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Former MILF, MNLF combatants may now apply with PNP

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By Ali G. Macabalang

COTABATO CITY – Former combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation (MNLF) may now become members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) as long as they meet the requirements set by the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM).

The enabling agreement was inked last Friday in Quezon City by Department of Interior Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año, Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Interim Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim, and Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr.

(OPAPP / MANILA BULLETIN)

(OPAPP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Under the agreement, the government will waive the age and height requirements of MILF and MNLF applicants for police service, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) said in a statement.

“We welcome the admission of MILF and MNLF members to the police force, provided they meet the (national qualifications), and of course we will waive some requirements to accommodate our Moro brothers,” Año said in the statement.

Año said the MILF and MNLF hierarchies “can actually start” identifying members “qualified for immediate recruitment so we can…start training (them).”

Major General Jonas Calleja, PNP Director for Plans, said his agency was in the process of drafting a memorandum circular on age and height waiver, and on modalities of educational requirement application within 15 years.

Republic Act 11054, known as the charter of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim (BARMM) catering to MILF and MNLF inclusively, stipulates for BAPOLCOM to wave the age, height, and educational requirements.

It also states that those who want to join the police force shall apply within five years from the ratification of the BOL and that they should meet all the educational requirements within 15 years after joining the PNP.

Año said the DILG would also be appointing the police regional director for BARMM with the “recommendation” by the Chief Minister of “qualified” nominee(s).

He said the DILG and NAPOLCOM’s criteria on the operation of PRO-BARMM will be made adaptive to R.A. 11054 and give preference to appointment of key provincial police officers nominated by the local government units in the autonomous region.

Joint Peace Security Teams

Under the normalization track agreed by the MILF and the government, Galvez said at least 1,600 PNP members will be trained as members of the Joint Peace Security Teams (JPST).

He said the JPST, comprised of representatives from the military, PNP and MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, will secure communities during the camp transformation and the decommissioning of 12,000 or 30 percent of MILF combatants starting September 7 this year.

Ebrahim, alongside BARMM Minister of the Interior and Local Government Naguib Sinarimbo, expressed elation over the pronouncements of Año and Galvez.

“Once there is strong cooperation among (military, police and MILF representatives), there will be an efficient peace and order campaign,” Ebrahim was quoted as saying at the July 5 meeting.

Based on the normalization timeline, 35 percent of ex-combatants will be decommissioned by next year. The rest will undergo decommissioning from 2021 to 2022. This process will be finished before the signing of the Exit Agreement as stipulated in the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) of 2014.

 

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