Galvez says war between AFP, MILF over
Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr. on Saturday said the war between the military and the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front is “finally over”.
“Today I can now declare that the war between the Armed Forces and the MILF is finally over. To my commanders, let us embrace our brothers and sisters and give them respect and lasting peace that the Moro people deserve," Galvez said during his visit at MILF’s Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao in a historic gesture since the Muslim armed group's establishment in the 1970s.
The visit also marks the heightened trust and confidence between the government and the MILF in the effort to bring enduring peace to the Bangsamoro Homeland.
“Today, I came back to one of the most revered places, a place I can call home because here lives those gallant men I considered my brethren, those whom I had been working with for a peaceful Mindanao,” he said.
Galvez met with MILF Chairman Al Hajj Murad Ebrahim and was joined by top military commanders from General Headquarters of the AFP and the Western Mindanao Command.
He expressed the sincerity of the AFP in helping the peace process to propel following the guidance of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“The President is always very supportive and serious in his guidance to the AFP in sealing the peace process here in Muslim Mindanao," he said.
During the ceremony, the MILF leadership also awarded Galvez with the "Soldier of Peace Award", the first to be given by the MILF organization to any military officer.
“This is really an amazing gesture of love which I will always treasure and cherish for my lifetime,” the military chief said.
It was also the first time that about 6,000 MILF members coming from the different islands in Mindanao, going as far as Sulu and Basilan, lined up on both sides of the 5-kilometer road from Cotabato City to Simuay, Sultan Kudarat Municipality, Maguindanao where the MILF seat of government is located to welcome a visiting military commander. Ella Dionisio/DMS