Mindanao peace and security in upswing due to peace process, says Gen. Pangilinan

COTABATO CITY, July 6 -- The peace process and the signed Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (Moro forces) continues to positively impact the peace and order in Bangsamoro communities, Brigadier General Edmundo Pangilinan, Army Commander of the 6th Infantry Division (ID) based in Cotabato City, a Peace Process Media Bureau said.

In an email press statement by the Peace Process Media Bureau, it said that according to Pangilinan, since 2012 when the peace negotiations were in full swing, they have not recorded any encounters between government troops and Moro forces forces.

“Mula noong magkaroon tayo ng tuloy-tuloy na kasunduan three years na actually, for three years, hindi tayo naka-experience ng labanan between the Moro forces and the government forces,” Pangilinan said in a statement.

He added: “Kaya kung tatanungin ako kung may maitutulong ba ang BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law)? Yes, definitely talaga dahil nakita naman natin iyong improvement sa peace and security condition dito sa area natin.”

He said that because of the continuing peace process between the government and the Moro forces forces, the peace and security condition in central Mindanao area has been “relatively peaceful.”

“This provides an opportunity for the Army troops to divert their forces and assist in rescue operations particularly in areas affected by calamity,” he added. Sultan Sa Barongis, a town in the province of Maguindanao has been placed under a state of calamity this week due to flooding.

He said the two parties must have realized the benefits of the initial peace talks because they later on signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in March 27, 2015.

At the same time, Pangilinan expressed hope that the ongoing ceasefire between government and Moro forces troops could become permanent.

“Sa lahat ng ating mga kababayan, mga kapatid na nagdiriwang ng holy month ng Ramadhan I pray that we continuously be showered with God’s blessings. And as we pray sana ang kapayapaan at katahimikan na ating kasalukuyang tinatamasa at nararamdaman sa ngayon ay magpatuloy. Alam ko na sa tulong ni Allah, sa tulong ng Panginoon ang lahat ng ating mga adhikain at naisin sa buhay matutupad,” Pangilinan said.

So far, the Mamasapano encounter between the Philippine National Police Special Action Forces and armed groups that include the Moro forces is the only break in the ceasefire. Until now, no reported skirmish has been recorded between the AFP and Moro forces.

(PPMB)

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