Gov’t turns former MILF, MNLF fighters into peacekeepers

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MANILA – The government will facilitate the entry of around 11,000 former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) combatants into the police force, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) said Tuesday.

The OPAPRU said the former fighters already underwent a two-day orientation workshop that focused on the Philippine National Police (PNP) guidelines for the application process.

They will also have to pass the National Police Commission (Napolcom) Special Qualifying Eligibility Examination on May 29 as stated in the agreement signed on April 7, according to the OPAPRU social media announcement.

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) assured that only legitimate former members of the MILF and MNLF will benefit from the special qualifying examination.

The initial 5,060 successful examinees will be granted eligibility for temporary appointment as patrolman/woman of the PNP, according to Napolcom Director for Planning and Research Service, Evangeline Almirante.

Napolcom-BARMM Regional Director Randy Babao said in a statement that the integration of MILF and MNLF members into the PNP will serve as a “big leap” to achieve long-lasting peace in Mindanao.

Following the signing of the agreement with Napolcom, BARMM chief Minister Ahod “Murad” Ebrahim ordered the creation of an ad hoc office that will provide administrative support to the eligible applicants throughout the process.

The agreement was finalized through a provision under the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which serves as an enabling law of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

The BOL states that that MILF and MNLF members must legally comply with the requirements of the PNP before their admission to the force.

Article 11, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the BOL likewise states that Napolcom can waive the age, height, and educational attainment requirements of the MILF and MNLF members residing in BARMM provided that it is availed of within a period of five years from the ratification of organic law.

The BOL was ratified by Congress and signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte in July 2018.

The requirement on educational attainment must be complied with within 15 years from entry while ranks and grades shall be subjected to existing laws, rules, and regulations governing the PNP. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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