Manila Crusaders for Peace and Democracy (Philippines)

Country: Philippines
Details of Formation: The PGM was set up by the police in November 1987 after an increase in rebel activity that had killed many police and soldiers in Manila. This was accompanied by a call by President Aquino for civilian vigilantes to form anti-insurgent hit-squads. The Manila Crusaders were set up as a force in the area of Tondo in Manila. Brig.-Gen. Alfredo Lim and the local police commander Major Romeo Maganto are mentioned to have been involved in the creation of the group.
Details of Termination: Police commander Maganto, who initiated the group, was suspended in July 1989, and his group was also suspended. He was back in office six month later and apparently a new Metro Manila CPD was formed but no evidence exists.
Purpose: Their main purpose was to participate in counterinsurgent activity and help fight rebels in Manila. Members vowed to rid their neighbourhood of criminals in general and communist gunmen in particular. One news source says that they were used as information gatherers.
Organisation: Major Romero Maganto stated that his officers would firmly control the recruits. Police Lt. Col. Conrado Francisco is mentioned by one news source as the overall coordinator for the Manila Crusaders for Peace and Democracy. In 1988, Margarita Tenorio was mentioned as president of the PGM.
Weapons and Training: Recruits received elementary target-shooting and martial arts training at the police station in Tondo slum.
Size: Initially, the group was planned to expand in Manila with more than 16,000 members. When applications opened, around 4,000-5,000 people signed up. One news source says that 1,380 were then accepted, another news sources speaks of 2,500 vigilantes.
Reason for Membership: When police opened applications, thousands of volunteers lined up to form part of the new PGM.
Treatment of Civilians: --
Other Information: --
References: Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD