Gov't talking to JICA, Ayala Corp. to develop MILF camps into rural development areas
Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr on Tuesday said they in talks with the Japan International Cooperation Agency ( JICA) to develop Moro Islamic Liberation Front ( MILF) camps into a rural development area.
In a press conference in Malacanang, Galvez said they will transform the MILF camps into “very productive” villages as a sign of goodwill to the Moro people.
“We already talked with JICA and Ayala (Corporation) to convert these camps into rural development plan,” he said.
“What we will do is transform their camps into beautiful places like for example, in Camp Bilal, they have a very beautiful mosque,” he said.
According to Galvez, the MILF acknowledged six camps which are Bilal, Bushra, Rajamuda, Abubakar, Bad’r and Omar.
Galvez also said they are training around 200 MILF members that will be part of the Joint Peace and Security Teams which according to him will help the military and police to crush criminals in the Bangsamoro areas.
The 200 members began training last month and Galvez said there will be another batch in September and October.
They will be a part of the 6,000 JPSTs members where 1,600 were policemen and 1,400 were soldiers.
“At the same time will work hand-in-hand with our Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines to suppress and neutralize terrorism, criminality and other crimes,” he added.
Galvez said they are aiming to complete the training of 3,000 MILF rebel returnees by next year.
He said an allowance will be given to trainees during their 26-day basic military training.
“The budget has already been given to us so we will finish that by 2020,” he said.
Next month, Galvez said President Rodrigo Duterte will lead the decommissioning of around 1,000 combatants and 920 firearms on September 7.
He said this number of combatants is part of the 40,000 they are expecting to decommission.
Galvez said around 12,000 MILF combatants, and 3,000 firearms will be decommissioned for this year until March 2020.
“With the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law and the establishment of Bangsamor Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, both which are under the political track of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), we have now started the implementation of the normalization phase of the peace agreement,” he said.
He said the implementation of the normalization process paves the way for the transformation of former combatants into productive members of the society and the conflict-affected areas into peaceful and progressive communities.
“The era of war is gone. We are now ushering a new age of genuine and sustainable peace throughout Mindanao,” Galvez said. Ella Dionisio/DMS