MILF handover Philippine Army men to CCCh, IMT

THE Central Committee of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) handed over two personnel of the 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army through the MILF and Government of the Philippines (GPH) Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and the Malaysia-led International Monitoring team (IMT) last February 8, 2011.

The army personnel were held under custody at the Office of the General Staff – Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAFF) after being found roaming around Camp Darapanan last February 7, 2011 during a peace advocacy program of the MILF Central Committee on the status and prospects of the GPH – MILF Peace Process.

The handover took place at IMT Headquarters in Cotabato City. BGen Rey Ardo, GPH CCCH Chairman, received the two army personnel in well physical and moral conditions from Said Shiek, Chairman of MILF CCCH. BGen Datuk Mazlan Bin Abbas, Deputy Head of Mission of IMT, the Norway and Brunei contingents with IMT were made witnesses.

The IMT high officials commended the decision and move of the MILF to handover the army personnel, even as they expressed belief that it will boost confidence and cooperation for the peace process.
Accordingly, the two army men were working with the Military Intelligence Battalion of the 6th Infantry Division at Camp Siongco in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

MILF Central Committee through the Office of the Chief of Staff – BIAF ordered the MILF CCCH for the turnover of the two army to the GPH CCCH, according to the MILF official site.

The MILF CCCH relayed that the two army personnel were held in custody to prevent them from participating to and getting inside the peace advocacy for MILF people in order to avoid creating setbacks to the peace process.
“They were well-taken cared of by MILF, rights respected, no harm was committed against them physically and psychologically, and no property and valuable in their possession were taken by MILF,” the MILF CCCH stressed.

It added that this act of the MILF is line with the mutual and concerted efforts of principals parties and other stakeholders to boost trust and confidence to the GPH – MILF peace process and to elevate to higher grounds the political latitude of the of the peace process.

Camp Darapanan is the administrative headquarters of MILF wherein the Office of the MILF Peace Negotiating and its Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) are situated. The vicinity of the camp, especially on occasions therein being spearheaded by MILF Central Committee and Peace Panel, such as the conduct of the peace advocacy, is for exclusive presence of MILF people.

Activities of government particularly by its armed forces should not be allowed unless properly coordinated and concurred upon through the mechanisms of the GRP – MILF Peace Process on the ground with the International Monitoring Team serving as third party monitor.

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