Ilagas (Philippines)

Country: Philippines
Details of Formation: There are several accounts of how Ilaga was formed. One says that the Philippine government encouraged Illongo settlers in Mindanao to form a militia which was then called the Ilaga (Wikipedia). A news source says that Ilaga was established in 1967 in South Cotabato by Feliciano Luces, alias Commander Toothpick. Other sources mention dates of formations in the following years, up to the early 1970s. One news source says that the group was allegedly founded by the military.
Details of Termination: There is no exact termination date reported but in August 2008 evidence points out that the group was revived. This new generation calls itself Bag-ong Ilaga or New Ilaga (Wikipedia) or “Reform Ilaga Movement” and claims to continue the work of the original group. However, police, army and local politicians are skeptical about the new group, declaring that they would not support the group, and eventually sanction its actions. We take this as evidence of the group not being pro-government anymore. Fighting between Ilaga und Muslim insurgents continues (last evidence in 2015).
Purpose: Ilaga’s original purpose was to fight the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). It later also fought the New People’s Army. ID cards of Ilaga members said that Ilaga was to assist the government of Philippines, the National Bureau of investigation, police, navy, marines, coast guard, army and other law enforcement agencies in the implementation and enforcement of Philippine laws and order.
Organisation: In 2000, the secretary of Ilaga stated that they were ready to serve the government if peace was threatened. One news source reports that an Ilaga member was officially attached to the police as civilian volunteer, which might point to a more general pattern.
Weapons and Training: News sources report that military officials gave firearms to groups such as Ilaga, or more generally, that the government arms the Ilagas.
Size: News sources estimate a total of 75,000 cult members, which the Ilaga are part of.
Reason for Membership: --
Treatment of Civilians: Ilaga committed massacres against civilians during the 1970s (Wikipedia). A later news source also accused the Ilagas of killing civilians. Another news source accuses Ilaga of being part of the paramilitary units which in general rape, torture and murder, but we have no information if this generalized statement applies to Ilagas.
Other Information: Ilaga is visayan and means rat. It is a Christian extremist paramilitary group based in southern Philippines (Wikipedia). There are divergent reports on what the term “Ilaga” stands for: Versions include Illongo landgrabbers (Wikipedia) or Integrated Liberatros and Government Advocates. Ilaga was mainly active during the 1970s, but there were periods of activity in 1988 and 1996 fighting Muslim insurgents. Occasionally it was mentioned in the 2000.
References: Wikipedia. “Ilaga”.

Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD