• MOA inked for Maguindanao peace

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    TACURONG CITY, Sultan Kudarat: Officials of the Maguindanao provincial government, 6th Infantry Division (6ID) and the regional police of Muslim Mindanao inked on Thursday a memorandum of agreement (MOA) aimed at attaining peace and security in Maguindanao, especially in emergency responses.

    The three-pages MOA was signed by Gov. Esmael Mangu-dadatu of Maguindanao, commander of the 6ID Maj. Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan and acting regional police director Senior Supt. Ronald Estilles during their recent joint peace and security meeting held at Ginalyn Resort here. It was witnessed by local officials, brigade commanders and police municipal chiefs.

    The covenant emphasized primarily the necessity of “coordination” between local chief executives, the military and the police while conducting operations, especially on emergency responses in the troubled province of Maguindanao.

    Maguindanao, which literally means “people of the flooded plain,” was recently placed twice this year under “state of calamity” because of drought and dry spell that struck the province following the military’s all-out offensive against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) weeks after the Mamasapano bloody clash on January 25.

    The province is also known to be the enclave of the BIFF and its splinter radical groups such as Justice for Islamic Movement and Ansarul Khilafah or supporters of the caliphate.

    In the MOA, the three parties agreed to have an “open line of communication and to serve complementing or supporting body in conducting disaster response to both human induced and natural calamities.”

    Also both the military and police will provide security and manpower for relief operations including the validation, assessment and psycho-social debriefing of displaced people, while the provincial government will take the lead in dispatching relief assistance to affected residents.

    The military will provide training relative to disaster relief, rescue and life-saving to the personnel of the provincial government and the police and their auxiliaries, to enhance their capability enhancement at their own expense, as stated in the covenant.

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