Advertisement

Assistance programs for former MILF, MNLF combatants proposed before BTA

Font Size

THE second batch of the Joint Peace and Security Team are undergoing training from Oct. 22 to Nov. 22. — OPAPP

THREE RESOLUTIONS calling for emergency financial assistance and other development programs for former combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were proposed during the Bangsamoro Transition Authority’s (BTA) 21st session last Friday. In a statement, the BTA said the proposals “call for the proper recognition of the shahid or those who were martyred in the Bangsamoro struggle and the allocation of funds for financial assistance to the mujahideen and their family.” One of the resolutions, asks BTA Chief Minister Al Haj Murad Ebrahim to “allocate funds for emergency financial assistance” to both MILF and Moro National Liberation Front combatants and their families “pending the releases and implementation of the special development and rehabilitation programs” that are provided for under the Bangsamoro Organic Law. Faiz Alauddin, a member of parliament and the MILF provincial chair, earlier said “the mujahideen,” or those who helped in the struggle for the Bangsamoro’s right to self-determination, said, “Let us enable our mujahideen to reap the benefit of the peace agreement and assist them in every means possible so they may cherish civilian lives.” The proposed resolutions have been referred to BTA committees for action.

JPST BATCH 2
Meanwhile, the second batch of the Joint Peace and Security Team (JPST) started training last week at Camp Gen. SK Pendatun in Maguindanao. The latest JPST contingent is composed of 75 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, 86 from the Philippine National Police, and 152 from the MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF). “The JPST training will prepare you in the fulfillment of the other tasks of the JPST: (1) tracking and documenting of Private Armed Groups, (2) security arrangements for Normalization activities, and (3) support to dispute resolution initiatives on the ground,” Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Assistant Secretary David B. Diciano said during the opening ceremony. The month-long JPST training, which will be concluded on Nov. 22, is simultaneous with the second phase of decommissioning of MILF-BIAF members, according to OPAPP. The first batch of former MILF combatants, composed of 219 men, completed their Joint Peace and Security Team in August. A formal ceremony for the first batch of decommissioning was held Sept. 7, with more than 12,000 of the estimated 40,000 BIAF turning over their weapons. — Marifi S. Jara

Advertisement