In Photo-Members of the 2nd Batch of Joint Peace and Security Team (JPST) comprising members of the AFP, PNP, and MILF-BIAF at the start of their training in Camp Gen. Salipada K. Pendatun, Parang, Maguindanao

Second batch of JPST members start training in Maguindanao

Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao– The training for the second batch of Joint Peace and Security Team(JPST) comprising 86 representatives from the PNP, 75 from the AFP, and 152 from the BIAF-MILF started Monday, October 21 at Camp Gen. SK Pendatun, Parang, Maguindanao 

The training will end on November 22. 

The training for the first batch of JPST members was held in Camp Lucero, Carmen, North Cotabato in December of last year.

During the opening ceremony, OPAPP Assistant Secretary and Joint Normalization Division (JND) head, David B. Diciano in his message underscored the crucial role of JPST in the Bangsamoro Region.

 “We need to protect and strengthen the peace and security conditions here at the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. And it is you the members of the JPST who will be at the forefront to achieve those objectives,” Diciano added.

According to him, the tasks of the JPST are: (1) tracking and documenting of private armed groups, (2) security arrangements for normalization activities, and (3) support to dispute resolution initiatives on the ground.

Meanwhile, Abdulraof Macacua, aka Sammy Al Mansoor Gambar, Chief-of-staff of the BIAF-MILF, also Minister of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy, BARMM, who represented BTA interim Chief Minister Al Haj Ahod B. Ebrahim reminded the trainees of the sacrifices they made which paved the way for the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Macacua said, “Hindi naging madali ang tinahak nating landas upang makamit ang kasalukuyan Bangsamoro Government. Maraming nagbuwis ng buhay upang makamit ang oportunidad tungo sa totoong autonomy at self-governance. We have to treat this transition phase as another chapter of our struggle.”

The joint training of AFP, PNP and MILF-BIAF reflects the trust, confidence and camaraderie built between members of the group. More importantly, it is a testament to the unwavering commitment of the Government of the Philippines and the MILF to push forward the Bangsmoro peace process, said a report by OPAPP Site on October 21st.

The JPSTs will function as peacekeeping forces that will be deployed to ensure the security of residents within the six government-acknowledged MILF camps during the decommissioning process which began last August, the OPAPP report added.

Two hundred JPSTs will be created in the next three years, with a total of 6,000 personnel. These teams will carry out their duties until the signing of the Exit Agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the MILF in 2022.