Gov't, MILF form, train group to facilitate rebel army decommissioning | Inquirer News
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Gov’t, MILF form, train group to facilitate rebel army decommissioning

/ 05:25 PM June 07, 2015

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) forces have formed and trained a group that will facilitate the implementation of decommissioning of the rebel group.

Toks Ibrahim, head of the MILF’s joint normalization committee secretariat, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer Sunday that the formation of the first Joint Peace and Security Team (JPST) was another concrete proof of the gains of the peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the MILF.

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Ibrahim said the week-long training involving members from their unit, the police and the military, ended last Thursday (June 4) inside Camp Abubakar, the former main lair of MILF in Maguindanao that was captured by the military in 2000.

“The training process was supported by the hierarchy of the military and police,” Ibrahim said.

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The JPST is also tasked to track down and document private armies and other armed groups; help reduce and control weapons; support the observance of the ceasefire agreement; work on security arrangements for peace process-connected personalities and events; and support dispute resolution initiatives on the ground as mandated in the Annex on Normalization of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

Maj. Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of 6th Division who witnessed the event, said that he “could no longer see the difference” between the government forces from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police and the MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces.

Pangilinan stressed that peace, which has long been prayed for by all sectors in Mindanao could only be attained through unity.

“Now we are one. We have a lot of experiences, the BIAF, the AFP, the PNP, including the civilians who suffered so much. We shed tears, perspire and bled. I believe that because of these experiences, we should stop these fights,” Pangilinan said.

Brig. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., chair of government’s Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, said the training was successful despite the differences between the participants.

“The former enemies are now working together to achieve their common aim which is peace in Mindanao,” he said. SFM

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TAGS: 6th Infantry Division, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, Carlito Galvez Jr., Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, decommissioning, Edmundo Pangilinan, Joint Peace and Security Team, JPST, MILF joint normalization committee secretariat, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, News, peace process, Philippine Army, Philippine Government, Philippine National Police, Regions, Toks Ibrahim
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