Civilian Home Defence Force (CHDF) (Philippines)

Country: Philippines
Details of Formation: The CHDF is considered a revival of the Barrio Self-Defense Units, which might have been an informal PGM in the 1970s. The CHDS was created via presidential decree in 1976. It is unclear to what degree the government created them as a group or whether creation refers to restructuring the Barrio Units by giving them a new name and a more formalized link to government.
Details of Termination: President Corazon Aquino ordered the CHDF and other paramilitary units to dissolve in July 1987 by issuing Executive Order 275. The same month, she issued Executive Order 264, which established the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU). Between 25-70% of former CHDF members then became members of CAFGU (Wikipedia).
Purpose: In the decree Marcos issued to establish the CHDF, he stated that the CHDF’s purpose was to maintain peace and order (Wikipedia). In practice, this implied counter-insurgency operations by helping the Philippine Army against the New People’s Army. The CHDF became a staple in the military’s counterinsurgency campaign because their members were mostly unpaid, familiar with the terrain and well known in the villages. One news source mentions that CHDF’s actions played into the hands of the insurgents and cost the government support.
Organisation: The CHDF was supervised and deployed by the heads of the local governments (provincial governors, city and municipal mayors) (Wikipedia). Little control was exercised over them. In some areas, they were used as private armies for local political or economic interests.
Weapons and Training: The CHDF received training and equipment from the Department of National Defense (Wikipedia).
Size: At its inception, the CHDF had around 73,000 members (Wikipedia). A news source of 1984 mentions 65,000 members. By the end of Marcos’ government, estimates of group size vary between 70,000 and 76,000 members.
Reason for Membership: Members were active reservists, private security guards and part-time soldiers, but also unemployed thugs looking for guns and some money. CHDF volunteers received weapons, rations and uniforms. One source says that most members were unpaid volunteers, others speak of irregular payments.
Treatment of Civilians: The CHDF were reported to kill farmers, students and opposition leaders, because members weren’t able to distinguish between rebels and critics. Only little control was exercised over them. Criticism against the human rights violations of the CHDF was a key issue of the opposition during the end of Marco’s rule and when the new President Aquino took over, she moved to disband them.
Other Information: --
References: Wikipedia. “Integrated Civilian Home Defense Forces”.

Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD