Ex-Moro rebels a step closer to becoming cops
The Philippine National Police has started the recruitment for the second batch of trainees from the ranks of erstwhile secessionist groups Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) as part of President Marcos’ commitment to implement the Bangsamoro peace agreements.
Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos urged the 803 police applicants to “become beacons of lasting peace and security in [the] region.”
“We all share the dream of lasting peace and sustainable progress in Mindanao. Once you are admitted to the PNP, you will become symbols of peace. You will be the symbols not only of the PNP and Bangsamoro, but of the Republic of the Philippines,” said Abalos, who visited Camp Salipada K. Pendatun in Parang, Maguindanao del Norte, on Wednesday.
“You will be the ones to ensure that there will be peace and security here,” he added.
The PNP Recruitment and Selection Service started processing the second batch of applicants for the entry of former MILF and MNLF members into the PNP on Sept. 9.
Out of the 1,279 applicants for the second batch, 959 were able to proceed to the body mass index phase. The group was further reduced to 851 for the physical agility test, consisting of push-ups, sit-ups and a 3-kilometer run.
Of the 851, only 690 were able to proceed to the next phase for the psychological and psychiatric exam.
The 690 applicants will be joined by the 113 remaining applicants from the first batch to hurdle four more steps before their oathtaking. These are character and background investigation; physical, mental and dental examinations; drug test; and a final interview from Sept. 16 to Sept. 18. The results will be released after 15 days.
The PNP has said that those who did not make the cut could always reapply for slots that would be opened in the future.
The PNP has assured that the recruitment process is “nameless and faceless” to prevent favoritism.
Undersecretary Wilben Mayor of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity said the inclusion of the former MILF and MNLF fighters into the PNP is part of their transformation into peaceful and productive members of society, and is a testament to the national government’s efforts to push forward and build on the gains of the Bangsamoro peace process.
The first batch of 102 men and women of the MILF and MNLF had taken their oath as members of the PNP on Aug. 10 and they are now undergoing a 24-week intensive and progressive training designed for newly appointed police noncommissioned officers.
“The training will provide them with the basic knowledge and skills in police science, administration, combat operation and tactics, and for them to acquire the norms of conduct required in the performance of their jobs as guardians of peace and protectors of lives and properties,” Mayor said
Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. said the MILF and MNLF had demonstrated they could be a dependable partner of the government in promoting peace and development in Mindanao and the rest of the country.
“The entry of qualified MILF and MNLF members into the PNP will help realize the meaningful transformation process for these former combatants, and is a testament to our collective aspiration of bringing a just and lasting peace to the region and to the whole country,” he said.
The integration process is covered by Republic Act No. 11054 or the 2018 Organic Law for BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao), which was enacted after the signing of a peace agreement between the government and the MILF.
The National Police Commission earlier allotted 400 slots for MNLF and MILF members this year.