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Duterte to lead decommissioning of MILF combatants on Sept. 7

/ 04:10 PM August 20, 2019

PATH TO PEACE Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters brandish their firearms at Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, in this file photo. The government and the MILF are working for the decommissioning of the group’s members and weapons as part of a peace agreement. —BONG S. SARMIENTO

MANILA, Philippines—Presidential Rodrigo Duterte is set to lead the public launch of the decommissioning process of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) forces on September 7, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Carlito Galvez, Jr. said Tuesday.

In a Palace briefing, Galvez said around 1,206 MILF combatants and 920 weapons would be deactivated in a ceremony as part of the normalization process of the peace accord.

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“The public launch of the decommissioning process will be on September 7 and it will be attended by no less than our President,” Galvez announced.

Under the normalization track, MILF forces would be decommissioned in four phases, with 12,000 combatants, which account for 30 percent of the total 40,000 MILF members set to be decommissioned this year.

READ: 12,000 MILF fighters to be decommissioned

Another 35 percent will be decommissioned next year, while the remaining will be done in 2022 before the signing of the exit agreements.

Last April, Duterte issued an executive order to implement Annex of Normalization, one of the tracks under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) which is the final peace deal signed by the government and the MILF in 2014 after four decades of conflict.

Under the CAB, the normalization phase will follow after the political track, which has been accomplished with the passage of the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which Duterte signed last year.

READ: Challenge after BOL ratification: MILF to decommission arms

Duterte’s peace adviser said the normalization program aims to transform former combatants into productive members of society.

“The era of armed hostilities is now gone. We are now ushering a new age of genuine and sustainable peace throughout Mindanao,” Galvez said.

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TAGS: BARMM, Carlito Galvez, Local news, Malacañang, MILF, Nation, national news, news, Peace Talks, Philippine news update, Rodrigo Duterte
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