The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) announced Monday that 35 people claiming to be members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) were arrested in Rizal for allegedly engaging in unlawful paramilitary training.
Reiterating that the suspects were also caught illegally discharging firearms and wearing military uniforms in a camp, they set up in Brgy. Guinayang in San Mateo, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said: “Wearing of AFP and PNP uniforms by civilians is already a violation of the law.”
“We will make sure that these people will be penalized. Pinababaklas ko na rin sa mga barangay officials at sa LGU ang mga illegal structures na tinayo nila sa lugar,” the DILG chief added.
“Sa ating mga kababayan, maging mapanuri po tayo sa mga sasalihang grupo. Huwag po basta-basta maengganyo sa mga pangako ng mga nanghihikayat na grupo,” Año further stressed.
The suspects are currently being held at the San Mateo Municipal Police Station, according to Año, and cases for violations of the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, and usurpation of public authority are being prepared for filing with the prosecutor’s office.
Two caliber 45 pistols, ammunition, varied army outfits, five handheld radios, and a jungle knife were recovered during the operation.