100 former MNLF, MILF members now police officers

100 former MNLF, MILF members now police officers
Photo from PCO

AROUND 100 former members of local rebel groups are now police officers, as they graduated under the Bangsamoro Police Basic Recruit Course (BPBRC) on Tuesday, April 30, 2024.

The 100 new members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) who were former members of either the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) or Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) were the first batch to graduate under BPBRC.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. attended the graduation of the BPBRC Batch 2023-01 Classes Alpha-Bravo “Bakas-Lipi” in Maguindanao del Norte.

Marcos reiterated that he is one with the Filipino people in congratulating them for choosing the right path and public service.

“Kasalo ako sa inyo ng mga mahal sa buhay sa kasiyahang nararamdaman nila sa araw na ito. Kabilang din ako sa inyong mga kasamahan na ipinagmamalaki ang tagumpay na inyong nakamit ngayon. Kaisa ako ng mga kapwa ninyong lingkod-bayan na ikinalulugod ang pagpasok ninyo sa serbisyo publiko,” he said.

(I join your loved ones in the joy they feel on this day. I am also among your colleagues who are proud of the success you have achieved today. I am one of your fellow public servants who are pleased with your entry into public service.)

“Higit sa lahat, kasama ko ang sambayanang Pilipino sa tuwa at pasasalamat sa inyong nalalapit na pag-lingkod sa ating bayan,” Marcos added, assuring them of the government’s continued support toward an inclusive Bagong Pilipinas.

(Above all, I am with the Filipino people in joy and gratitude for your upcoming service to our country.)

The recruitment of qualified former rebels to become police officers was allowed under the agreement signed by the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm) and the National Police Commission (Napolcom) on April 7, 2022.

At least 11,033 examinees took the Napolcom Special Qualifying Eligibility Examination (NSQEE) in which 7,145 passed.

Following several assessments of the PNP such as physical and psychiatric examinations and drug tests, the number of qualified recruits went down to 102, which is composed of 52 MILF and 50 MNLF.

Of the 102, one resigned during the training, while another was found unfit due to a medical condition but he recovered and is training with the next batch.

In a press conference, PNP chief of the Public Information Office (PIO) Colonel Jean Fajardo allayed fears over the recruitment of former rebels, noting they went through a “very stringent” assessment.

“So on the part of the PNP, kami ‘yung unang dapat tumanggap ng pagkakataon na mabago kasi marami na tayong paraan, strategies na ginawa diyan sa BAR pero until now, may mga conflict areas pa rin diyan, sporadic enemy attacks,” she said.

(So on the part of the PNP, we are the first to accept their opportunity to change because we already have made strategies there in the BAR but until now, there are still conflict areas and sporadic enemy attacks.)

“So hopefully, na meron na tayong mga kapwa MILF, MNLF doon sa hanay natin, inaasahan natin na sila ‘yung mangunguna para ipaintindi doon sa mga dati nilang kasamahan at hanggang ngayon ay lumalaban sa gobyerno na once makita nung kabilang side na nasa hanay na namin sila, siguro naman ay mas magdadalawang isip sila, if not mas maintindihan nila na ‘yung ibang mga kasamahan nila na tumanggap ng pagbabago ay magiging bukas na rin sila sa pagbabago,” she added.

(So hopefully, now that we have fellow MILFs or MNLF in our ranks, we hope that they will be the ones to take the lead in making their former colleagues understand, and once they see that their colleagues before are already in our ranks, they might think twice, or understand better and eventually learn to accept change.) (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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