The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) leadership in the province said it will ensure that the Philippine Army’s (PA) paramilitary unit, known as CAFGU (Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit), will remain impartial and not be utilized as private armed groups during the May polls.
“Yan ang tinitiyak natin na hindi sila [CAFGU] magagamit sa mga politiko,” said Lt. Col. Eufracio Malig, Jr., commander of the PA’s 47th Infantry Battalion.
Malig admitted that many CAFGU members in Bohol have relatives who are politicians.
However, the Army official said that the CAFGU is prepared to assist the AFP and the Philippine National Police in maintaining peace and order during the elections.
According to a Philippine Information Agency article published in 2018, CAFGUs “are entitled to free health care, an initial clothing allowance, and a stipend of P4, 500.00 monthly.”
“CAFGU members have the advantage in protecting their barangays from immediate threats as they are more familiar with their own communities,” it added.
In December last year, President Duterte signed Executive Order 69, giving financial aid to CAFGU members as part of the government’s efforts to combat terrorism and insurgency.
The EO granted P7,000 in monthly cash assistance to members of the CAFGU for November and December last year. (RT)