Ex-Moro rebels join PNP as gov’t honors peace deal | Inquirer News

Ex-Moro rebels join PNP as gov’t honors peace deal

About 300 take oath as policemen but BARMM chief hopes more former MILF, MNLF fighters will be accepted as law enforcers
/ 05:19 AM December 30, 2023

Ex-Moro rebels join PNP as gov’t honors peace deal

Carlito Galvez Jr., Presidential peace adviser| | PHOTO: Voltaire F. Domingo/Senate PRIB

COTABATO CITY—Almost 300 former Moro rebels took their oath as members of the Philippine National Police on Thursday but Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim is hoping that more will join the national government’s law enforcement force.

“As one of the byproducts of the Bangsamoro peace process, we look forward to seeing members of the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) and MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) as part of the uniformed personnel,” Ebrahim said in a message read for him by BARMM Deputy Senior Minister Abdullah Cusain during the oathtaking of 294 former Moro guerrillas as new members of the PNP.


The program was held on Thursday at Camp Salipada K. Pendatun, the BARMM regional police headquarters, in Parang, Maguindanao del Norte.


“This ceremony is indicative that the peace process that we have all worked so hard on is working and is forging a new path [for] peace, progress and development in the Bangsamoro and in the entire county,” Ebrahim added.

The recruitment of qualified former rebels into the police force for the region is among the key confidence-building measures outlined in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) which was signed by the government and the MILF in 2014.

“The oath that you took today as full-fledged members of the armed national police force of the country serves as a pledge of commitment and a symbol of your dedication to the common good, and to serve and protect every Bangsamoro and Filipino,” the BARMM chief said.

Ebrahim urged the former Moro rebels to “exemplify the very best of duty, service, honor and justice.”

Screening process

The new police officers are part of the first batch of former guerrillas taken into the PNP to fulfill the quota for 2023.Speaking during the program, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said the administration of President Marcos was committed to the Bangsamoro peace process, as indicated by the continued implementation of the government’s commitment to the CAB.

‘Combatants to peacekeepers’

Abalos, who chairs the National Police Commission, assured the public that the new police officers were recruited through a transparent screening process, and underwent the same stringent procedures as the others who entered the police force.


“No one can claim there was favoritism, that some paid their way in. We made sure that it was fair. All of you reached this far through your merits,” Abalos said.

He urged the new policemen to remain strong amid the challenges that they would undergo as they train and prepare for deployment in the BARMM.

“You will be training physically (and) mentally to become instruments of peace. Undeniably, you will face challenges, hardships and struggles. At the end of this road, there is triumph,” Abalos said.

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. said that Thursday’s ceremony shows the transformation of Moro guerrillas “from combatants to peacekeepers.”

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“… You are all trailblazers within your respective organizations. You have paved the way for your other comrades who wish to follow in your footsteps in the future,” Galvez said. INQ

TAGS: former Moro rebels, Philippine National Police

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