Memorandum Circular No. 83, s. 2015

Office of the President
of the Philippines



WHEREAS, Section 24, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution mandates the dismantling of private armies and other armed groups not recognized by duly constituted authorities;

WHEREAS, for purposes of implementing this mandate, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) referred to private armies as “private armed groups” or PAGs and defined a PAG as “an organized group of two (2) or more persons, with legally or illegally possessed firearms, utilized for purposes of sowing fear and intimidation, and violence for the advancement and protection of vested political and economic interest;”

WHEREAS, the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) provided for a comprehensive approach towards achieving security and peace in the proposed Bangsamoro core territory as well as adjacent areas in Regions IX to XII, which includes as one of its highlights, the disbandment of such armed groups;

WHEREAS, the law enforcement agencies have been waging a relentless campaign against PAGs that has resulted in the dismantling of some identified groups and the improvement in the peace and security in these regions and other parts of the country;

WHEREAS, despite these efforts, the PAG menace remains because the major causes which primarily contribute to its proliferation such as very low level of human security, gun culture, “rido” or clan war, political dynasties and the use of military and police auxiliaries, still exist in some affected communities;

WHEREAS, there is a need for the creation of the National Task Force that would focus on disbanding the PAGs in the proposed Bangsamoro core territory and adjacent regions in order to stabilize the security situation and effectively implement the other measures stipulated in the CAB, particularly the gradual and phased decommissioning of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

NOW, THEREFORE, the concerned agencies are hereby directed as follows:

SECTION 1. Creation of the National Task Force for the Disbandment of the PAGs in the Proposed Bangsamoro and Adjacent Regions. The National Task Force for the Disbandment of the PAGs in the Proposed Bangsamoro and Adjacent Regions (NTF-DPAGs) is hereby formally established with the following members:

Chairperson: Secretary, Department of the Interior and Local Government
Members: Representative, Department of National Defense

Representative, Department of Justice

Representative, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency Director for Intelligence, PNP

Director for Operations, PNP

PNP Regional Directors in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Region IX to Region XII

Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, AFP

Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, AFP

Chief, Peace Process Office, AFP

Commander of Western Mindanao Command, AFP

Director, National Bureau of Investigation

Chair, GPH Negotiating Panel for Talks with the MILF

Head, Focal Team for the Peace Process, PNP

Representative, Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission

SECTION 2. Functions. The NTF-DPAGs shall be in charge of policy, planning and implementation of the program for the disbandment of the PAGs, including coordination with the relevant bodies* pursuant to the CAB and other entities as may be necessary, in accordance with the schedule provided in the Annex on Normalization. Upon assumption, the NTF-DPAGs shall draw up the implementing rules and operational guidelines for this Circular, subject to the approval of the Executive Secretary.

SECTION 3. Secretariat. The NTF-DPAGs shall organize its Secretariat which shall provide administrative and technical support thereto.

SECTION 4. Establishment of a Monitoring and Reporting System. A Monitoring and Reporting System shall be developed by the NTF-DPAGs in collaboration with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), in order to determine the development and level of achievements of the activities designed for the dismantling of PAGs.

SECTION 5. Duration. The NTF-DPAGs shall cease to operate upon the signing of the Exit Agreement by the Negotiating Panels of the Government of the Philippines and the MILF, or when the NTF-DPAGs determines that the PAGs are already dismantled, whichever comes earlier.

SECTION 6. Disposition of Assets. Upon the dissolution of the NTF-DPAGs, its assets shall be transferred in favor of the member agencies, as determined by the NTF-DPAGs.

SECTION 7. Support and Cooperation. All branches of the government, departments, bureaus, agencies, offices, and local government units, including government-owned or -controlled corporations, are encouraged to render full support, assistance, and cooperation to the National Task Force in carrying out its mandate and functions.

SECTION 8. Separability. If any provision of this Circular is declared invalid or unconstitutional, the other provisions unaffected shall remain valid and subsisting.

SECTION 9. Repeal. All orders, proclamations, rules, regulations, or parts thereof, which are inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Circular are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

SECTION 10. Effectivity. This Circular shall take effect immediately upon publication.

DONE, in the City of Manila, this 2nd day of September, in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Fifteen.

By Authority of the President:

Executive Secretary