COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Health Secretary Kadil Sinolinding, Jr. lauded the start of the decommissioning process of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), stating that it promises a new life to combatants and their families.
“Guns kill and people kill. The presence of the two creates an atmosphere of insecurity and the possible disruption of peace. Going back to civilian life promises a new perspective—a life without the sound of gunfire and the threat of displacement. It is difficult but possible,” Dr. Sinolinding said.
It may be recalled that a total of 145 members of the MILF Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) and 75 crew-serve and high-powered firearms were decommissioned last June 16 in an event attended by President Benigno Aquino, 3rd. The event is just Phase 1 of the decom-missioning process.
As stipulated in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), decommissioning is the turning in of weapons of the MILF to the Independent Decommis-sioning Body (IDB) so that they are put beyond use. The CAB provides a schedule for decommis-sioning which follows legislative milestones in the Bangsamoro peace process.
Government of the Philippines (GPH) Chief Peace Negotiator Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said the 145 combatants and the 75 weapons that were decom-missioned is just the start.
“The 145 are pioneers. They will be the people who will represent the possibilities, the possibilities of where we are going if we stay this course,” explained Ferrer.