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AFP Chief reaffirms commitment to peace in Bangsamoro Region

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By Francis Wakefield

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr., reaffirmed the military’s commitment to the peaceful resolution of all conflicts and the achievement of lasting peace and development in the Bangsamoro Region.

Maj. General Carlito Galvez, commander of the Western Mindanao Command. (Keith Bacongco)

AFP Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez Jr.(Keith Bacongco / MANILA BULLETIN)

Galvez gave the assurance as the AFP’s top brass met with the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) headed by its Chairperson, Commissioner Ghazali Jaafar oat the Silid Lapu-Lapu, General Headquarters Building in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Thursday.

“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.

Also present in the meeting were AFP Vice Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Salvador Mison Jr, and Deputy Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Gaudencio Collado Jr, Western Mindanao Commander Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, 1st Infantry Division Commander Major General Roseller Murillo, 6th Infantry Division Commander Brigadier General Cirilio Sobejana and the AFP’s Joint and Personal Staff.

Commissioner Jaafar was joined by fellow Commissioners Mr. Abdularaof Macacua, Mr. Ibrahim Ali, Mr. Haron Abas, Mr. Said Shiek, Mr. Hussein Muñoz, Mr. Melanio Ulama, Mr. Gafur Kainan, Ms. Ammal Solaiman, Dr. Susana Anayatin, and Mr. Romeo Saliga.

In the meeting, Colonel Cesar De Mesa, the Chief of the AFP Peace and Development Office presented updates on the military’s efforts in support of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

Efforts are currently focused on ensuring the successful implementation of the various peace mechanisms. Particularly, the AFP is jointly planning and organizing the Joint Peace and Security Teams (JPST) with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Each JPST is composed of seven AFP, eight PNP and 15 MILF members. Initially, the AFP was able to train 14 teams which were deployed in Central and Western Mindanao in June 2018. This number will continue to increase as the normalization process continues.

In his message, Commissioner Jaafar thanked the AFP and all the agencies involved for their ‘collective effort’ in pushing for peace and development in Mindanao.

“We pray to Allah and to your God that they will finally give peace to us.” Commissioner Jaafar said.

Galvez on the other hand, expressed his appreciation to the members of the BTC on behalf of the whole AFP.

“We convey our sincerest appreciation to all the honorable members of the Commission who served and especially those who are still serving since it was created in 2013,” Galvez said.

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