Cordi ex-rebels to be integrated to AFP-A A +A
Sunday, January 13, 2013
NEARLY 200 former rebels belonging to the Cordillera People's Liberation Army (CPLA) will be integrated into the military, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said Sunday.
The members of the CPLA, now known as the Cordillera Forum on Peace and Development (CFPD), are set to formally start their integration to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on January 14 at the 5th Infantry Division's Camp Melchor Dela Cruz located in Barangay Upi, Gamu, Isabela, OPPAP said.
"We have been preparing for this moment. We have our list of candidates. We have our documents,” said CFPD Chairman Arsenio Humiding, who reported that 168 members will undergo the integration process.
Former combatants' integration into the AFP fulfills a commitment of the government's Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the CBA-CPLA that provides for employment and other manners of livelihood support along with the group's disposition of arms and forces. It also completes the provision of Executive Order 49 (EO 49) s. 2011 mandating the AFP to lead the process of winding down the group's army integration as guided by Administrative Order 18 (AO 18).
It can be recalled that AO 18 signed in 2001 set out the first wave of integration of CPLA members into the Armed Forces.
To jump-start the integration, the former rebels will undergo a two-month Candidate Soldier Course and a 45-day specialization training. They will then be deployed to areas under the watch of the 5ID as part of the training. The final stage of the integration process is the incorporation of the new privates into the tactical units of the military.
Humiding added that “this acceptance to the regular force of the AFP shows government's sincerity and decisiveness in concluding the Memorandum of Agreement.”
Meanwhile, AFP has scheduled a separate recruitment of other CFPD members into the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu), which also forms part of the employment package provided in the Memorandum of Agreement between the two parties. (SDR/Sunnex)