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Gov’t forces, MILF prepare for decommissioning of BIAF

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Top government security officials and commanders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have started preparing the groundwork for the decommissioning of the latter’s combatants, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said Wednesday.

OPAPP said the top military and police officials, as well as the front and base commanders of the MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) gathered Tuesday, April 23, in Camp Siongco, Maguindanao for a security and socioeconomic forum to prepare for the smooth implementation of the Normalization Track of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

“There should be a harmonious relationship among the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police, and the BIAF. It should be mutually reinforcing,” said Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr.

He said the goal is to help the MILF forces make the transition to mainstream society by putting their weapons beyond use.

For this year, at least 12,000 MILF combatants will be decommissioned.

Galvez asked the BIAF front and base commanders to work together with the state security forces to ensure order in their communities once the formal decommissioning process begins this year.

The Normalization Process, which includes the decommissioning of about 40,000 MILF forces, is one of the annexes of the CAB signed between the Philippine government and the MILF in 2014.

The decommissioning of MILF forces would be conducted after the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) that catapulted the MILF leadership to lead the region’s interim parliamentary-form of government.

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