Albayalde says ex-MILF fighters with criminal cases not allowed in PNP | Inquirer News

Albayalde says ex-MILF fighters with criminal cases not allowed in PNP

/ 02:51 PM September 02, 2019
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PNP chief Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) can accept former combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as recruits as long as they do not have warrants of arrest or pending cases in court, police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said Monday.

“Kung talagang qualified, whether you are MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front), MILF, provided that wala kang criminal case, pending na kaso, then pasok ka sa PNP,” he said in a press briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

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(If you are really qualified, whether you are MNLF or MILF, provided that you don’t have a criminal case or a pending case in court, then you can enter PNP.)

“Ang stand namin diyan is lahat ng may (Our stand on this is that everyone who has) standing warrants of arrest, they have to face the charges,” he added.

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Albayalde stressed that should the former fighters of the MILF want to enter the 190,000 strong police force, they should first qualify in the basic standards of the PNP just like ordinary police recruits.

“Bukas ‘yan (recruitment) just like to any other Muslim brothers that we have, basta sila ay qualified. They have to meet the qualification [and] standards natin that is stated in the law,” he said. “Dapat ‘yung edad, educational attainment, height, nandon lahat. ‘Pag disqualified sila, then we cannot process them.”

(Recruitment is open just like to any other Muslim brothers that we have, as long as they are qualified. They have to meet the qualifications and standards we have that is stated in the law… Their age, educational attainment, height, and other qualifications should be present. If they are disqualified, we cannot process them.)

Albayalde, however, said that they cannot accept former MILF fighters as members of an auxiliary arm, or similar to the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), since there is no law allowing the PNP to do so.

On August 22, the AFP and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace and Process (OPAPP) signed an agreement to formalize their partnership in decommissioning 40,000 former MILF fighters and their weapons in the coming years.

Under the agreement, the AFP will also provide basic military training to 3,000 fighters of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) to prepare them for membership in the Joint Peace and Security Teams (JPSTs). BIAF is the armed wing of the MILF which had ended a four-decade fight for independence in 2014 after signing a peace pact with the government.

Aside from the BIAF members, the JPSTs will also be composed of 1,600 police officers and 1,400 soldiers and will be responsible for securing areas that will undergo the normalization process in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

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On August 1, 225 former BIAF combatants, aged 18 to 55, started basic military training to mold them to be peacekeepers for the transition to BARMM that replaced the 29-year-old ARMM in February.

READ: Former guerrillas undergo basic military training

Part of the movement of the government and the MILF towards normalization in BARMM is an opportunity for former MILF fighters to join the Philippine Army or the PNP. /je

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TAGS: BIAF, Gen. Oscar Albayalde, MILF, PNP‎
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