Friday, April 28, 2017

Mindanao Police Officers attend refresher on GPH-MILF peace pact

From the Website of MILF
Article links:

Mindanao Police Officers attend refresher on GPH-MILF peace pact

DAVAO CITY, April 26 (PNA) –- Regional, provincial and city police directors from six regions in Mindanao gathered here Wednesday for a one-day briefing on the peace accord between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which focused on the coordination of law enforcement activities in Bangsamoro areas. 

Irene Santiago, chair of the government implementing panel for the Bangsamoro peace process, said the forum seeks to refresh the police about the peace agreement with the MILF. 

Santiago said there is a need to explain again the security protocols, including the ceasefire mechanism, in order to avoid misencounter or misunderstanding in government law enforcement operations. 

She said the forum also seeks to get the continued commitment of the police to sustain the peace process. 
The forum was conducted following an MILF statement last week voicing concern on the police operation that killed Mogaimen Abo in Dalumangcob, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. Abo is a member of the front's armed wing, the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, and a brother of MILF vice chair Ghazali Jaafar. 

In an interview on the sidelines of the peace forum, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director for Operations Camillo Cascolan noted that the peace process has many dynamics, thus it is important for law enforcers to know all the procedures on the ground. 

He also underscored the importance of coordination in order not to repeat the Mamasapano incident in 2015, which left 44 members of the PNP's elite Special Action Force dead. 

“Coordination is important and we need to do it properly,’ he stressed. 

Cascolan, a former member of the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG), said the police and the MILF can even go together in police operations, such as in the implementation of search or arrest warrants. 

There is, however, a different procedure when it comes to drug buy-bust operations, said Cascolan, without elaborating. 

Chief Superintendent Pierre Bucsit, AHJAG chair and chief of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO) - Western Mindanao, said all police units in Mindanao are given orientations to keep them abreast on the peace process and the coordination system for AHJAG and the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) 

AHJAG and CCCH are mechanisms agreed upon by the government and the MILF peace panels to preserve the gains of the peace process. 

Bucsit encouraged policemen to follow the coordination system in law enforcement operations in Bangsamoro areas, noting that AHJAG-coordinated law enforcement operations from the police is still low. 
Bucsit reported that AHJAG-coordinated law enforcement operations only reached 42 from 2013 to April 2017. Of the total number, 37 were coordinated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the rest by the police. 

So far, Bucsit said the ceasefire agreement between the government and the MILF is holding well. (Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA) 

MILF Website

Article links: