Friday, July 13, 2018

AFP, MILF link up vs. terrorism, anti-drug ops

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 13): AFP, MILF link up vs. terrorism, anti-drug ops

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are now cooperating in the ongoing fight against ISIS-linked terrorist groups and the anti-drug campaign, AFP Chief-of-Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. said Thursday.

"We have done that already and also with Sir (Sammy Al Mansour, Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces - MILF chief-of-staff), we have already done that also with counter-drug operations," Galvez said in an interview with reporters, noting that the military serves only as support units to local law enforcers during anti-illegal drugs operations.

Galvez also said such cooperation with the MILF have been going on since he became commander of the Maguindanao-based 6th Infantry Division and Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) head.

"We have done that before even during the time I was Westmincom and (6th Infantry) division commander and we continue cooperation(s)," the AFP chief said, adding that this cooperation highlights the success of the peace process between the MILF and the government.

Earlier, members of the Bangsamoro Transition Committee (BTC) headed by its chairperson, Commissioner Ghazali Jaafar, met with Galvez at the AFP headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

"The cooperation and solidarity among us is necessary now more than ever, as we are only a few steps closer to achieving the objectives of the transition process. I trust that we shall see better days ahead for our brothers and sisters in Mindanao," Galvez said.

During the meeting, AFP Peace and Development Office head, Col. Cesar de Mesa, presented updates on the military's efforts in support of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.