Cotabato City (October 20, 2015) – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will establish a task force to intensify law enforcement in the region, especially in Lanao del Sur. The decision was made following the killing of Marawi City’s Police Chief Superintendent Abner Wahab Santos on Saturday, October 17.
Members of the ARMM’s Regional Peace and Order Council and Lanao del Sur’s Provincial Peace and Order Council convened in a joint emergency security meeting on Monday, October 19, at the provincial capitol in Marawi City to discuss possible actions that would be taken in response to the incident.
Santos was killed at 2 p.m. on Saturday while driving his vehicle at Crossing Sarimanok, Brgy. Luksa Datu in Marawi City. The victim suffered multiple gunshots on the head and was dead on the spot. The suspects are still unidentified.
ARMM governor Mujiv Hataman condemned the killing saying the police officer’s execution was a “heinous and cowardly act that demonstrates brutality and an utter lack of regard for the value of human life.”
Gov. Hataman and Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr. presided over the meeting and agreed to create the joint task force comprising of the regional and provincial governments, the military, the police, and civil society organizations.
Officials who attended the meeting agreed on drafting a resolution defining the structure and tasks of the members of the task force that would address peace and order problems in the region. It was concluded that the killing of the police chief was due to his active involvement against drug syndicates operating in the city and in nearby towns.
Lanao del Sur is a component province of ARMM, with four other provinces namely Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. “Hindi ito ang panahon para magsisihan (This is not the time for us to blame one another). These are all our responsibility, these are all our accountability,” Gov. Hataman said.
Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman, ARMM vice-governor; Col. Roseller Murillo, 103rd Brigade Commander; and Police Chief Supt. Ronald Estilles, ARMM’s regional police director, also attended the meeting.
Gov. Hataman urged the active participation of the general public to secure peace in their respective communities. “The success of the government’s mandate on peace and security depends on the participation of the community,” he said. The councils will also create a ‘Special Investigating Task Group Abner’ that will further investigate the killing. (Bureau of Public Information)