MILF to Lay Down Arms in Decommissioning Ceremony

The first phase of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)’s decommissioning process will start Tuesday in a symbolic ceremony at Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

Dubbed as “Ceremonial Turnover of Weapons and Decommissioning of the MILF Combatants,” the ceremony marks the start of a gradual decommissioning process which forms part of the Annex on Normalization of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed by the government and the MILF in 2014.

The MILF is expected to turn-in some 55 high-powered and 20 crew-serve weapons to the Independent Decommissioning Body (IDB) while 145 Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) combatants will also be decommissioned.

President Benigno S. Aquino III will grace the turnover ceremony along with MILF Chair Murad Ebrahim, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles, members of both peace panels, and other stakeholders.

Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel are on alert to ensure the peaceful conduct of the event.

The PNP has also designated three commissioned officers to assist the IDB in overseeing the disarming of MILF combatants.

Chief Inspectors Randall-Lyon G. Bueno, Filmore Abdulsalam C. Calib and Christopher V. Muego are three of the police officers who will form part of the Joint Verification and Monitoring Team of the IDB.

The IDB is headed by Turkey’s former ambassador to NATO, Haydar Berk.  Its other members are Jan Erik Wilhemsen from Norway; Maj. Muhammad Aiman Syazwi Bin Haji Abdul Rahim from Brunei; and local experts AFP ret. Lt. Gen. Rey Ardor, Dr. Mario Aguja, Von Al-Haq, and Janati Mimbantas.