ARMM execs, stakeholders support IDB PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 11:53

Stakeholders on Monday assured to support the International Decommissioning Body (IDB) that will oversee the deactivation of guerillas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front based on the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB).

The CAB, signed March 27, 2014 by the government’s chief negotiator, Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, and her counterpart in the MILF, Muhaquer Iqbal, aims to decommission rebels as part of a normalization process meant to foster tranquility in the proposed Bangsamoro core territory.

Among the first to express support to the IDB, besides local government units, were Chief Supt. Noel Delos Reyes of the ARMM police command, and the Philippine Army’s 6th Infantry Division.

Col. Dickson Hermoso, spokesman of 6th ID, which is based in Maguindanao, said their rank-and-file personnel will support the programs and activities of the IDB.

Delos Reyes said on Monday that he had, in fact, ordered all of his subordinate-policemen to study the modalities of the IDB’s operation and to help formulate measures on how the ARMM police can complement its decommissioning initiatives.

The ARMM’s five provinces account for most number of MILF fighters and Moro clans that stockpile weapons as protection from rival groups, and as tools for perpetuating political power.

Ferrer, in a statement emailed by the Mindanao information bureau of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, said the IDB’s creation was part of recent discussions between the government and MILF peace panels in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The discussions focused on the composition of the different bodies that will oversee and implement the normalization process for MILF members as stated in the CAB.

“The IDB would be the one to supervise, oversee and basically implement the decommissioning process,” Ferrer said .

The IDB shall be composed of three foreign experts, including the chairman, and four local experts jointly nominated by the government and the MILF. The two parties shall invite three states to provide foreign experts on decommissioning and normalization.

Ferrer said the procedure is for the MILF to submit a list of its weapons and combatants, to be verified by the IDB, which will implement the decommissioning program.

Ferrer said there will be no wholesale integration of MILF combatants into the Armed Forces and Philippine National Police, unlike the process undertaken by the Moro National Liberation Front following the 1996 final peace agreement during the time of President Fidel Ramos.

About 7,000 MNLF members were absorbed into the AFP and the PNP under the integration component of the group’s September 2, 1996 final peace pact with government, which was brokered by the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).

Ferrer said there is a provision for the setting up of a police force for the Bangsamoro that will still be part of the PNP.

ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman had said his administration was delighted with the IDB’s creation.

Hataman, who has just arrived from a short-term study on effective governance in the United States of America, said he had instructed his executive secretary, Laisa Alamia, to disseminate to all heads of regional offices the IDB’s creation and the intricacies of its operation.

Hataman said there are mayors from the ARMM’s more than a hundred towns that already assured overtly to support the IDB via the regional local government department.