DOJ mulls creating task force to look into 'lawless or terrorist' acts

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Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 24) The Department of Justice (DOJ) said it is considering to create a special task force to investigate "lawless or terrorist acts."

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said this two days after Malacañang ordered the deployment of more soldiers and policemen to the Bicol Region, Samar, Negros Oriental and Occidental.

"The DOJ is called upon to expeditiously investigate and prosecute those who may be apprehended for commission of lawless or terrorist acts," he said.

Guevarra said the decision to create a task force or special investigating team will be played by ear.

"If lawless violence persists, the DOJ may consider creating a special task force for the purpose," he said.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued the order citing "sporadic acts of violence."

Malacañang explained the violent attacks against police and military were conducted by communist rebels, and that the order repeats a previous memorandum in light of the proclamation declaring a state of national emergency on accounts of lawless violence in Mindanao.

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding Chairman Jose Maria Sison has criticized the order to be a prelude to nationwide martial law, and Leftist groups add that it may be used to harass opposition candidates.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines denied these claims.