MILF to decomission fighters, qualified to join military against terrorists in Mindanao

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) announced that it is willing to disarm and decommission over 30,000 of its fighters once the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) is passed.


File photo of MILF fighters (Source: Luwaran.net)

“This announcement is very much welcomed, If this happens peace will at last reign in the Muslim Mindanao area. The effect will be far reaching: the land and people will be more productive, investments will pour, infra development can proceed unimpeded,” Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

Being born and raised in Mindanao, Secretary Lorenzana said he is “very happy with this development.”

The DND, through the Armed Forces of the Philippines, is willing to intensify operations against lawless elements like the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters who have earlier announced their dislike for the BOL and plans to conduct attacks.

“We will also intensify our operations against them. We will get the help of the MILF and MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) to eliminate these people,” Secretary Lorenzana said.

Qualified members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) could be absorbed in the military should the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) carry out its threat of intensifying its attacks, Lorenzana said.

When asked on how the MILF and MNLF can help the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) fight the BIFF threat once they are disarmed and decommissioned, Lorenzana said, “several ways: we could absorb those qualified to join the AFP, or we could organize them into CAFGUs or SCAAs (Special CAFGUs).”

The House of Representatives ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the BOL last Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

The BOL seeks to create a new Bangsamoro political entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The bicameral panel approved the reconciled version of the BOL last July 18 after six days of marathon hearings. The bill provides for the 75-25 wealth-sharing term in favor of the Bangsamoro.

This increases the share of the Bangsamoro in government tax revenues by 5 percent compared with the current 70 percent being received by the ARMM from national internal revenue taxes, fees, and charges, as well as taxes imposed on natural resources.

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