Some 1,000 MILF fighters to surrender arms before Duterte - Philippines Today

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Martes, Agosto 20, 2019

Some 1,000 MILF fighters to surrender arms before Duterte

Some 1,000 Muslim rebels will lay down their arms before President Rodrigo Duterte on Sept. 7, his peace adviser said Tuesday, as the insurgents enter decommissioning or the final phase of its settlement with government.

A total of 1,096 Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters will surrender 920 weapons in a decommissioning ceremony next month, said Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez.

“Decommissioning the MILF combatant is really a challenge like what we did in the decommissioning also of the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front),” he told reporters.

By March of next year, Galvez said the government aims to decommission a total of 20,000 MILF fighters.

The decommissioning of MILF fighters is the final component of a peace accord signed by the government with the MILF in 2014, which will allow their reintegration into civilian communities.

Duterte ordered the implementation of the “normalization” process for former MILF rebels in an executive order he signed last April 24 after the creation of an expanded Bangsamoro Region.

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The government is also forming joint peace and security teams composed of 3,000 former MILF fighters, 1,600 policemen, and 1,400 soldiers. MILF fighters who will be part of the joint peace and security teams will function like the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit of the Army.

At present, some 200 former MILF fighters are taking basic military training and will soon be reissued with firearms, this time by the government, Galvez said.

 “Iyong mga firearms po na ‘yun ilalagay po natin sa tamang proseso (We will put their firearms under the right process) and then it will be reissued to them. It will be profiled and it will be some sort of given to the military for identification and for nomenclature; and after that, it will be reissued to them,” Galvez said.

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