Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mindanao Massacre: Suspend Maguindanao Officials

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has vested Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno the "blanket authority" to suspend local and police officials in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) regional government and Maguindanao.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said in a media briefing on Friday at Malacanang, President Arroyo authorized Secretary Puno and was given full powers to carry out his own recommendation to implement suspension on local and police officials in Maguindanao and ARMM government while Maguindanao together with Sultan Kudarat and Cotobato City are under the state of emergency following the gruesome Maguindanao massacre last Monday.

Remonde added it is up to Puno to carry out his own recommendations for possible suspension of all local government officials of Maguindanao, ARMM regional government including police and military officials in the area.

He added the national government or the DILG will then appoint officer-in-charge to replace the suspended local government and police officials.

"If it is necessary to put military commanders as OIC's then we will put military commanders, Remonde pointed out.

This move by the government through the DILG is part of the state of emergency that was declared by President Arroyo last Tuesday and this will be temporary until the President lifted the state of emergency, he added.

The Palace official said that it is up to Puno announce who will be the local officials in Maguindanao that will be suspended or relieved.

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