AFP ready to counter ‘spoilers’ to peace pact between
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) vowed on Sunday not to let its guard down against “spoilers” of the historic peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala, AFP public affairs office chief, said the military welcomed the signing of the fourth and last annex of the comprehensive peace agreement, which covered the deactivation of the MILF fighters.
Government and MILF peace negotiators signed the fourth document of the peace agreement on Saturday, about 15 months after they signed the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro in October 2012.
“The AFP is optimistic that lasting peace and sustainable development for Mindanao is now (within) our reach as the government is in near realization of forging a final peace agreement with the MILF,” Zagala said in a statement.
In support of the government’s initiatives to put an end to the decades-old strife in Mindanao, he said the military would continue conducting “development programs” by reaching out to the communities as drawn out in its IPSP (Internal Peace Security Plan) Bayanihan, the AFP’s anti-insurgency program.
Zagala said the military’s programs were intended to “further encourage and inspire support to the Bangsamoro Region.”
He said the military would stay vigilant against forces and threat groups, which might try to disrupt the peace agreement, a development that could also signal the end of the Moro secessionist movement in Mindanao.
“Rest assured that our focused military operations will continue to ensure that the peace process is not hampered or disrupted by spoilers and other threats,” he said.
An MILF breakaway group, which called itself as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, had warned that it would “continue the struggle” for a separate Islamic state in Mindanao.
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