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Normal ties with MILF seen

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a directive for the decommissioning of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) forces and the possible amnesty or pardon for those involved in the armed conflict between government soldiers and Muslim rebels.

The President signed on April 24 Executive Order No. 79, which would hasten normalization under the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro with the MILF.

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The process includes the dismantling of private armed groups, as well as implementing socioeconomic development efforts, transitional justice, and reconciliation programs.

The normalization program states that MILF forces and their weapons will undergo a verification, validation and decommissioning process to be carried out by the Independent Decommissioning Body comprised of three foreign experts and four local representatives.

Von Al Haq, spokesperson for the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), the armed wing of the MILF, said they were still waiting for a copy of the EO, and that they would comply with all agreements signed with the government.

MILF chair Murad Ebrahim has yet to give his reaction.

The normalization program will include the MILF combatants and noncombatants, families of decomissioned combatants and other vulnerable sectors in the Bangsamoro region.

It will cover six camps: Camp Bilal in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur; Camp Omar ibn al-Khattab in Maguindanao; Camp Rajamuda in North Cotabato and Maguindanao; Camp Busrah Somiorang in Lanao del Sur; Camp Badre in Maguindanao; and Camp Abubakar as Siddique in Maguindanao. —With reports from Bong Sarmiento and Inquirer Research

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TAGS: BARMM, Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, MILF, Rodrigo Duterte
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