MILF all set for Sept. 7 decommissioning process

MILF fighters in their camp in Barangay Bualan, Balindong town in Lanao del Sur. Mindanews File Photo / Froilan Gallardo
MILF fighters in their camp in Barangay Bualan, Balindong town in Lanao del Sur. Mindanews File Photo / Froilan Gallardo

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said it is ready for the decommissioning process this Saturday (September 7) with Pres. Rodrigo Duterte in attendance.

“All is set, everybody is ready, the firearms to be decommissioned are ready,” Interim Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) told reporters Monday.

“The more than 900 guns to be decommissioned had been checked by the Independent Decommissioning Body (IDB),” he added.

Security around the old provincial capitol of Maguindanao in Barangay Simuay in Sultan Kudarat town where the decommissioning process will take place has been tight, with members of Philippine Marines securing the five-hectare grounds.

In a statement, Presidential Peace Adviser Sec. Carlito Galvez said the upcoming ceremony is part of the mainstreaming and normalization of MILF combatants, which aims to decommission 30 percent or 12,000 out of the 40,000 MILF members slated this year.

About 35 percent of the armed MILF forces will undergo the same procedure later this year and next year, and the rest until 2022.

By then, the Exit Agreement between the government and the MILF will have taken place.

Galvez said the normalization track is anchored on the “Annex on Normalization of the Comprehensive Agreement” on the Bangsamoro forged by the government and the MILF in 2014. Parallel with the normalization track of the accord was the political tract which was almost completed.

The political tract includes the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law and the establishment of a new political entity in southern Philippines that gave birth to BARMM.

The MILF now leads the eight-month-old BARMM. (PNA)