Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Duterte approves order on transition for MILF armed units

From the Business World (Mar 5, 2019): Duterte approves order on transition for MILF armed units

Rodrigo R. Duterte

MALACAÑANG ON Tuesday said President Rodrigo R. Duterte has approved the proposed executive order for the implementation of the next plan for the newly-established Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), which includes the disarming of private armies and former rebels in the area.

“The Chief Executive during the…Cabinet Meeting [last Monday] approved the proposed Executive Order on the Implementation of the Annex on the Normalization under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which was led by Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unification Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr.,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said in a statement.

The Annex on Normalization is the last of the four annexes to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB). “Normalization” means the beginning of an end of conflict or war between the state and an armed group.

The Annex states that the police force for the Bangsamoro “shall be professional, civilian in character, effective and efficient in law enforcement, fair and impartial, and accountable under the law for its actions.”

The police force, it also says, “shall be responsible both to the Central Government and the Bangsamoro Government, and to the communities it serves.”

The Annex states that there shall be an Independent Decommissioning Body (IDB) that will oversee the process of decommissioning of the MILF forces and weapons.

The national government, for its part, “shall redeploy Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) units and troops from or within the Bangsamoro, consistent with a normal and peaceful life and the progress in the other aspects of normalization.”

“There shall be coordination between the Central Government and the Bangsamoro Government in the movement of the AFP in the Bangsamoro region. In the exercise of this coordination, protocols shall be established by the Central Government and the Bangsamoro Government.”

As for the disbandment of private armed groups, the document states that “appropriate approaches or methodologies” should be applied by both the GPH and the MILF through the Joint Normalization Committee (JNC).

To facilitate the healing of the wounds of conflict and the return to normal life, the Annex says that the Central Government “shall take immediate steps through amnesty, pardon and other available processes towards the resolution of cases of persons charged with or convicted of crimes and offenses connected to the armed conflict in Mindanao.”

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