• GPH-MILF policing body for Bangsamoro arrives in Mindanao for stakeholders’ consultation

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    The Independent Commission on Policing (ICP) has started Monday a five-day consultation with the different stakeholders of the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

    The ICP, which is composed of representatives of the GPH, MILF and foreign countries, is chaired by Randall Beck, the assistant commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The other commissioners are Australian international expert Cedrick Netto, retired Police Director Ricardo de Leon, Police Dir. Lina Sarmiento, MILF military spokesperson Von Al Haq, retired Police Chief Superintendent Amerodin Hamdag, and Japanese international expert Yuji Eusugi.

    On Monday afternoon, the ICP commissioners paid a courtesy call to MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim at the MILF’s Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

    They conducted a meeting with MILF commanders also at Camp Darapanan Tuesday morning and in the evening with police officials from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Region 12 in Cotabato City.

    On Wednesday, the ICP commissioners held a community consultation, also attended by leaders from the academe and religious sectors, at the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute at Crossing Simuay in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

    The ICP commissioners are also set to consult community stakeholders from the academe, religious and civil society organizations recommended by the GPH peace panel tomorrow (Thursday) in Cotabato City.

    The creation of the ICP is contained under the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) signed by the GPH and the MILF on October 15, 2012.

    The envisioned Bangsamoro police force, which is civilian in character, shall be professional and free from partisan political control. It is aimed to be effective and efficient, fair and impartial as well as accountable for its action, and responsible to both the National Government and the Bangsamoro Government, according to ICP’s Terms of Reference (TOR).

    The TOR was agreed by the GPH and MILF peace panels last February 27 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    The ICP’s main function is to conduct studies and produce a set of recommendations on the appropriate policing for the Bangsamoro, the entity that would replace the ARMM government in 2016.

    The recommendations will be based on a needs-assessment that will reflect public’s perception of the police, the needs and demands of communities in the Bangsamoro and the human rights situation, among others.

    The ICP’s task is aligned with the work to settle the annex on Normalization, which is still being negotiated by the peace panels, along with the annex on Power Sharing.

    Earlier this year, the GPH and MILF peace panels signed the annexes on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities, and Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing. PNA

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