Bangsamoro policing body eyes ‘broad’ consultations-A A +A
Monday, October 28, 2013
ILIGAN CITY -- The Independent Commission on Policing (ICP) is eyeing “wide ranging” consultations related to finding the appropriate form, structures and relationships of the police force for the future Bangsamoro autonomous entity.
“The ICP will be conducting wide ranging inclusive consultations in Mindanao, throughout the coming weeks and months,” Randall Beck, assistant commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said in a statement.
Beck, who represents the Canadian government in the ICP, chairs the seven-member body created by the peace panels of government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to come up with proposals on how to establish the Bangsamoro police force.
The body first met in September in Kuala Lumpur during the 40th exploratory meeting of the parties. It formally convened October 21 to 23 in Manila to hear presentations from various resource persons, said a news release of the Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process (Opapp).
On the first day, the ICP members held a meeting with the government peace panel and were apprised of the institutional context of their task.
During the meeting, Police Director Lina Sarmiento discussed the structure, history, and constitutional mandate of the Philippine National Police (PNP) while government chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer presented the legal framework relevant to policing in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm), Opapp said.
Based on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), the Bangsamoro police force will be “civilian in character” and “professional and free from partisan political control.” Such police force is also hoped to be “responsible to the central government, the Bangsamoro government, and to the communities it serves.”
In exploring ideas for the establishment of the police force, the ICP will be guided by the principles of “equal access to justice and security for all members of society” and inclusiveness “to reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity in the Bangsamoro...” read the ICP’s terms of reference, which was firmed up last February.
The Bangsamoro police force is also hoped to be capable of addressing “the different security issues facing women, men, children and minority groups.”
In constituting the ICP, the parties each nominate a local expert, an international expert and its representative. Both agree on the appointment of the body’s chair.
Aside from Beck, its members are retired Police Director Ricardo De Leon; retired Police Chief Superintendent Amerodin Hamdag; Sarmiento; Von Al-Haq, erstwhile military spokesman of the MILF armed wing Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces; and Cedric Netto, an international expert from Australia.
The Japanese government has yet to nominate an expert to be part of the body.
The ICP is slated to wind down its work within six months, or around mid-April next year.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 28, 2013.