Army chief praises signing of fourth annex

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

THE Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division expressed on Sunday its full support to the Annex on Normalization, the fourth and last annex of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), which was signed by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia on January 25.

The Annex on Normalization forms an integral part of the FAB signed by the parties October 15, 2012. This covers the way for the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB). It states, among others, that the MILF will decommission their armed forces.

M/General Ariel B. Bernardo, commander of the 10th Infantry Division, said the signing of the normalization is the final step towards forging a comprehensive peace agreement with the MILF.

"We have to be optimistic on it. If as envisioned, that this will ultimately afford genuine peace, sustainable development, and more opportunities for Mindanaoans then, we by all means support it," Bernardo said.

The normalization lays the foundations to a process that aims to ensure human security in Bangsamoro communities by achieving improved quality of life, livelihood, and political participation for its people.

Bernardo said though that in his area of responsibility, they wouldn’t stop pursuing other armed threat groups. He said that he would have to make sure that their efforts for peace will not be thwarted by other groups who only want chaos in the country.

"We will continue our focus military operations against other armed threats, and more importantly we’ll remain committed to winning the peace in the communities," Bernardo added.

Bernardo earlier said that their division will sustain immersions in more barangays in its area of responsibility this year as part their Peace and Development Outreach Program, a grassroots level implementation of the Internal Peace Security Plan “Bayanihan”.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 27, 2014.

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