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HomeAdvertisementsGPH-MILF Peace Panels, AFP turn over JPST station; activate JPST in Lanao...

GPH-MILF Peace Panels, AFP turn over JPST station; activate JPST in Lanao del Sur

MAGUING, LANAO DEL SUR — Peace and security efforts in the province continue to be strengthened as the Government of the Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front Peace (GPH-MILF) Implementing Panels turned over a Joint Peace and Security Team (JPST) facility here as well activated another JPST in the province.

JPSTs are part of the security component under the normalization track of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB). They are tasked to ensure peace and security in mutually-agreed areas by the GPH and MILF.

BGen. Jose Maria Cuerpo II, commanding officer of the 103rd “Haribon” Infantry Brigade, noted the turnover of the JPST facility and the activation of the 18th JPST on October 8 is “a very good development” in terms of peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts in the region.

“Sa tagal na hinahanap natin ang tunay na kapayapaan, I think this is the best example — Isang magandang ehemplo sa buong bansa ng Pilipinas,” Cuerpo said.

“Itong nangyayari sa Maguing na area na kung saan makikita natin ang pagtutulungan ng mga dating nagtutunggaling mga grupo na ngayon ay sama-sama na sa pagbabantay sa lugar na ito,” he added.

Each JPST is composed of representatives from the MILF-Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (MILF-BIAF), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP).

The creation of JPSTs is considered a major milestone under the Bangsamoro peace process, as former adversaries in the battlefield are now working side by side as partners in peace and development.

Gov’t pursues peace through increased collaboration

Brig. Gen. Antonio Nafarrete, commander of the Philippine Army’s 1ID pointed out the “venture is the result of our successful collaboration with the OPAPRU (Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity).”

“Meron po tayong tatlong barracks, isang mess hall and admin building, elevated water tank, powerhouse garage, two tower post and three-meter perimeter fence facility. Lahat ng ito ay ginawa ng ating Philippine Army,” Nafarrete said.

He stressed the construction of the facility is a “symbol of commitment” of the Philippine Army to ensure the implementation of the security component of the CAB.

It is the first out of 11 stations to be constructed under a Memorandum of Agreement signed between the OPAPRU and AFP in support of the deployment of JPSTs in Mindanao.

PMGen Eden Ugale, GPH Joint Peace and Security Committee member, underscored that JPSTs are an essential part of the security component of the normalization track.

According to Ugale, the JPST facility in Maguing was built by the 55th Engineering Brigade of the 1ID under the command of BGen Irineo Sebastian.

The facility in Maguing will serve as the barracks and command post of the JPST Maguing — a 30-man unit composed of seven members from AFP, eight members from the PNP, and 15 members from the MILF-BIAF.

Sustaining the dividends of peace

In his message of support, Jannati Mimbantas, commander of the MILF-BIAF North Eastern Front Command, lauded the creation of the JPSTs, calling them as “ambassadors of goodwill of the national government.”

Mimbantas said the GPH and MILF are no longer adversaries but are now brothers and partners in peace and progress.

He also urged the Bangsamoro people to nurture and take good care of the Bangsamoro Government because it is a “price of all the sacrifices of the mujahideens, a fruit of their blood and tears.”

“The BARMM is all ours. This is not a personal property of MILF, nor the MNLF. Sa ating lahat ang Bangsamoro Government — both Muslims, Christians and indigenous people,” Mimbantas added.

Meanwhile, Maguing Mayor Fahad Molok said the newly-constructed JPST station will also serve as a “safe station” for travelers along the Lanao del Sur road.

For BARMM Government Deputy Chief Minister Ali Solaiman, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) remains committed to sustaining the gains of the Bangsamoro peace process.

MILF JPSC member Alim Isah Bato read the Activation and Deployment Orders to the JPST members, which were subsequently confirmed by Joint Normalization Committee (JNC) Co-Chairs Ariel Hernandez and Eduard Guerra, for the national government and MILF sides, respectively.

Nafarrete, for his part, led the symbolic key turnover to JNC co-chairs and JPSC members, which included Ugale, MP Dan Asnawie, and Alim Isah Bato. The ceremony was followed by the donning of blue berets and brassards of JPST members who will be assigned in Maguing.

Also present at the event were Maguing Vice Mayor Mohammad Fahad Haji Malik; PRO BAR representative PCol. Rex Derilo; GPH CCCH Chairman BGen. Eduardo Gubat; JPSC, CCCH and Adhoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) Secretariat members; Local Monitoring Team of Lanao and other peace partners.

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