MANILA - Mayors of Lanao del Sur are planning to arm barangay police and civilian volunteers amid the crisis in the province's capital, Marawi City.
The idea was floated during a meeting of 24 out of 39 Lanao del Sur mayors on Sunday in Marawi.
Some of the mayors believe this move will help them secure their towns and prevent terrorists from infiltrating their areas amid the ongoing clashes between government troops and the Maute group.
In a press conference this afternoon, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he is open to the idea but the military needs to finish the Marawi siege first.
"We support that but not now kasi medyo magulo pa. If we'll be arming people there magkakagulo lang," said Lorenzana in a press conference.
Lorenza said they will allow the local government units to do it when the crisis ends and under an organized system
"We're going to do this properly after this thing is through," he said. "We're going to organize them properly. Ite-train natin sila we will give them firearms, they will be controlled by the military."
He said they will also have to vet the people they will accept as armed civilian volunteers and make sure they are not supporters of the Maute terrorist group.--with reports from Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News