AFP declares ‘end of war’ with MILF » Manila Bulletin News

Manila Bulletin Philippines

Breaking News from the Nation's leading newspaper

Tempo

Online Newspaper

Showbiz and Celebrity News

Sports News

World News
News Asia

AFP declares ‘end of war’ with MILF

Updated

By Ali Macabalang and Francis Wakefield
COTABATO CITY — General Carlito Galvez Jr., Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), officially declared the “end of war” with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) last weekend during a historic visit to Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

(photo courtesy of AFP-PAO)

(photo courtesy of AFP-PAO)

“Today I can now declare that the war between the Armed Forces and the MILF is finally over,” Gen. Galvez told host MILF leaders and members led by Chairman Hadji Murad Ebrahim.

Galvez’s visit is a historic gesture as it was the first time that an AFP Chief of Staff set foot on the main headquarters of the MILF since the armed group was established in the 1970s.

Galvez recognized in his remarks that it also reflects the heightened trust and confidence that now exists between the government and the MILF as unprecedented efforts are underway to bringing enduring peace to the Bangsamoro Homeland.

“Today, I came back to one of the most revered places; a place I can call home because here lives those galant men I consider my brethren – those whom I had been working with for a peaceful Mindanao,” Galvez said.

Galvez met with Ebrahim and was joined by top military commanders from General Headquarters of the AFP and the Western Mindanao Command.

“I am pleased to receive the delegation of the Chief of Staff here in Camp Darapanan,” said Chairman Ebrahim, who was also joined by the Vice Chairman of the MILF Alim Solaiman, the BIAF Chief of Staff Almansour ‘Sammy’ Gambar and the different Front and Base Commanders in welcoming the visitors.

“General Galvez is well known among our commanders, the friendship between the MILF and him is already strongly established due to the numerous incidents and challenges in the past that we have jointly faced and solved,” Ebrahim said.

The MILF tendered a warm welcome exemplified by the lining up of some 6,000 of its uniformed members along the seven-kilometer stretch between this city and Camp Darapanan.

Ebrahim also accorded Galvez a “soldier of peace award” in recognition of his diplomatic gestures with the MILF that started years ago when he was head of the government’s ceasefire body sustaining policies on cessation of hostilities with the front.

In his speech, Galvez, who also once served as commander of the Maguindanao-based Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the AFP is sincere in backing the peace process with the MILF through the guidance of President Duterte.

“The President is always very supportive and serious in his guidance to the AFP in sealing the peace process here in Muslim Mindanao,” Galvez said.
Ebrahim described Galvez as a “friend” of the Bangsamoro.

“(Galvez’s) visit represents the degree of progress we have made over the years in bringing significant cooperation between our military officers in our quest for peace in the Bangsamoro homeland,” he pointed out.

After the 2008 outbreak of major armed clashes with government forces over its bungled Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MoA-AD) with Malacañang, the MILF has maintained cordiality with state authorities.

The MILF-government ceasefire faced a snag only when terrorist-hunting police commandos clashed with MILF field combatants in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25, 2015 in what the military and the rebel front deemed as an “isolated” instance of “lack of coordination.”

The MILF has two standing major peace accords with the government forged in 2013 and 2014 that served as the basis for the recent enactment of R.A. 11054. The law prescribes the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to replace the 28-year old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Related Posts