President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the military on Thursday to take full control and stop paramilitary groups from operating amid ongoing peace talks with different rebel groups in the country.
Speaking to reporters following his visit in Camp Vicente Alagar here, President Duterte said the presence of the civilian armed groups could "undermine" the ongoing peace initiatives.
"I am now ordering the Army to take full control itong mga Bagani Command and the - there is another group I forgot the name," the President said.
"Paramilitary men operating especially with firearms issued by the government would undermine the peace process. Mahinto na sana ito because we are really trying our best to come up with a peaceful country," he added.
Paramilitary groups were organized in the past to help government in its campaign against communist insurgents in rural areas.
President Duterte particularly mentioned the Magahat-Bagani Force operating in Surigao del Sur and another group in Arakan, North Cotabato.
In his speech before scores of policemen here, he disclosed his scheduled meeting with National Democratic Front chairman Luis Jalandoni in Davao City on Thursday night. "
[Luis] Jalandoni is waiting for me in Davao. He's there right now and I've invited them for dinner," he said.
He stressed that he is pushing for an "inclusive government" and not a coalition government with the leftist groups.
He said he could come up with a peace deal with the Reds as long as they do not insist on having posts in the country's police and military organizations.
The Duterte administration is also talking with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MILF) and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), headed by Jose Maria Sison, in a bid to achieve lasting peace in the country especially in Mindanao.
Source: Philippine Information Agency