Duterte assures former MILF fighters of gov't support
President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said the decommissioning of MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) combatants and weapons is momentous for the government's goal to achieve "lasting peace" in Mindanao.
"Today we mark another important milestone in the history of the Bangsamoro peace process," he said.
"I take pride in the fact that we have made significant progress in the implementation of the agreements arising from the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, including the very important Annex on Normalization that covers the decommissioning process," he added.
During the launching of the second phase of the decommissioning in Barangay Simuay located at Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, Duterte in a speech assured MILF combatants assistance from the government.
"As we proceed with the decommissioning process, let me assure our MILF combatants that the government will assist you as you reintegrate into society and enjoy fruitful and productive civilian lives," Duterte said.
As part of the decommissioning process, Duterte he is looking forward working with MILF as government's partners in securing enduring peace and order in Mindanao.
"[I] assure the officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, the MILF, and the people of Mindanao that this administration will always listen to your grievances. Let us aside our differences and avoid further armed conflict," he said.
Following the launch of second phase, about 12,000 MILF troops are expected to take part with the normalization efforts and decommissioning process which is projected to be completed by March 2020. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS