Tue, 17 Sep 2019

Duterte vows support to former MILF combatants

Philippine Information Agency
12 Sep 2019, 22:38 GMT+10

COTABATO CITY, Sept. 12 (PIA) - President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Saturday, September 7, vowed to the former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants his administration's support during the second phase of the decommissioning process of the MILF combatants and their weapons at the old capitol in Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

"As we proceed with the decommissioning process, let me assure our MILF combatants that the government will assist you as you reintegrate into society and enjoy fruitful and productive civilian lives," President Duterte said.

Welcoming the 1,060 former MILF combatants, President Duterte guaranteed the officials of the Bangsamoro government and the former MILF fighters that his administration will continue to provide the necessary support to the Bangsamoro.

"Let me also take this opportunity to assure the officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, the MILF, and the people of Mindanao that this administration will always listen to your grievances," he added.

President Duterte expressed optimism that the decommissioned combatants would take the opportunity to improve their lives and create a better future for their families and loved ones.

"Let us celebrate this milestone, confident that we have started building a better and brighter future for our nation where every Filipino-regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion, or ideological leanings-will have a chance to live in peace, prosperity, harmony with one another," he said.

He further said that he looks forward to having the former MILF combatants as government partners in securing lasting peace in Mindanao by setting aside differences and avoiding further armed conflict.

The president also told them not to be disheartened for turning over their firearms as they are now with the government.

"If you really need firearms to defend the BARMM government, no problem, I will give you a new one," he stated adding that as long as he is president, the MILF will get what the national government has promised them.

During the event, Duterte inspected around 940 decommissioned weapons. Also part of the event was the ceremonial awarding of socio-economic assistance to the decommissioned combatants. Each of them will receive P100,000 cash assistance as well as health, social, and housing benefits amounting to P950,000.

The event was the second decommissioning activity of the four-phase decommissioning process of the MILF combatants and their weapons. (PIA- Cotabato City)

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