CHR hails MILF decommissioning | Inquirer News
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CHR hails MILF decommissioning

/ 05:26 AM September 13, 2019

Some of the 1,060 combatants of the MILF who will be decommissioned on Saturday, Sept. 7, are aging warriors who dedicated their lives fighting in the battlefields to attain Moro self-rule. (Photo by Bong Sarmiento, Inquirer Mindanao)

MANILA, Philippines–The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Thursday called the start of the decommissioning process of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants a “significant step” and a “historic milestone” in the Bangsamoro peace process.

“The decommissioning of 1,060 MILF combatants, along with 920 weapons and about 20 heavy weapons that were put beyond use, is a significant step for the return of the former fighters to normalcy,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement.

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The decommissioning of more than a thousand former MILF combatants began on Sept. 7, at the old provincial capitol in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

Assistance package

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In exchange for laying down their arms, each decommissioned combatant will receive from the government a socioeconomic assistance package worth at least about P1 million, spread across three to five years. This also includes a one-time cash grant of P100,000.

In her statement, De Guia said the start of decommissioning “signals a new chapter toward sustainable peace.”

She added that the CHR is hopeful that with the government’s assistance, former combatants will have an easy transition to civilian life.

“With the comprehensive socioeconomic package, the commission is hopeful that combatants can finally transition to civilian and productive life for good, coupled with the envisioned transformation of [six] camps into peaceful and productive communities,” De Guia said.

“Let us not forget to also prioritize the rehabilitation of Marawi and address the grievances of the displaced people to ensure that no new seed of conflict would be sown among those that suffered from the siege.”

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TAGS: Armed conflict, CHR, Commission on Human Rights, MILF, Mindanao peace process, Moro Islamic Liberation Front
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