ZAMBOANGA

106 MILF-BIAF combatants decommissioned

A TOTAL of 106 Moro Islamic Liberation Front-Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (MILF-BIAF) combatants from Lanao del Sur underwent decommissioning process on February 18.

The decommissioning was led by the Independent Decommissioning Body (IDB) and held at the old Provincial Capitol, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

The IDB was created by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the MILF to oversee the decommissioning process of the MILF combatants and weapons.

Each of the former combatants received P100,000 cash and a socio-economic assistance package.

Their families will also get an estimated worth of P500,000 up to P1 million of health care assistance, scholarships for their children, housing, and livelihood projects from the government.

Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm) Executive Secretary Abdulraof Macacua thanked the BIAF for being consistent in ensuring that the peace process is right on track.

"As always, we are grateful to our brethren in the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces who are in solidarity with us all throughout the peace process," Macacua said.

"Truly, our combatants are the ones who are experiencing the biggest change during this transition process and we are forever committed to make sure that the direction of this transition phase is inspired by their sacrifices along with maximizing all our resources in making sure that they can find a life outside the field and eventually become a new faces of progress in Mindanao," he added.

Undersecretary David Diciano, chair of the GPH Peace Implementing Panel and head of Joint Normalization Division, said that after the decommissioning, the national office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development will hire social workers to evaluate the status of the combatants in their respective communities.

"The Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority will work together with the Joint Task-Force Camp Transformation to develop the six majors camps," Diciano added.

Tuesday's decommissioning was part of the 30 percent of the 40,000 MILF-BIAF members to be decommissioned until March 2020. (SunStar Zamboanga)


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