Marcos welcome new police graduates from MILF, MNLF

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 29 April) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr is the guest speaker during the graduation ceremonies of the first batch of former Moro guerillas who joined the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The historic rites will be held at the Bangsamoro region’s police headquarters in Camp Salipada K. Pendatun, Parang town, Maguindanao del Norte on Monday, April 29.
The 102 police trainees from the MILF and MNLF during their acceptance ceremony on August 10, 2023 at Camp Salipada K. Pendatun in Parang, Maguindanao. Photo courtesy of Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region
Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) confirmed the President’s arrival during an interview with reporters in Cotabato City on April 27.

The entry of members  of the MILF and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in the PNP is provided for in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), the peace agreement signed between government and the MILF in 2014.

The new policemen are among the 11,000 former rebels who took the qualifying examination conducted by the National Police Commission (Napolcom) on May 29, 2022.

On August 10, last year, the first batch of 102 former rebels – 52 from the MILF and 50 from the MNLF – took their oath as patrolmen and underwent a six-month police training.

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos, who administered last year the oath of the former guerillas as policemen, said the government has committed to producing 400 new policemen in 2023 from the ranks of the MILF and MNLF. 

There are so far three batches of former rebels undergoing police training.

Based on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), Napolcom can waive the age, height, and educational requirements for former guerrillas who wish to become policemen, subject to other existing policies and regulations.

Recruits who are accepted into the police force but lack the required educational attainment will be given 15 years to comply.
Their ranks and salary grades will be determined based on existing laws, rules, and regulations in the PNP.

Ebrahim said the president will visit MILF camps Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat town, Abubakar in Barira town and Rajah Muda after the ceremonies in Parang.

Camp Abubakar was the main camp of the MILF until then President Joseph Estrada, waged an “all-out war” in 2000.

Estrada raised the Philippine flag in the camp in July 2000 to mark its fall to government forces.  He brought lechon (roasted pigs) and cases of beer to celebrate the fall of the camp, which now hosts Camp Iranun, the headquarters of the 1st Marine Brigade.
Marcos’ visit to the camp is part of the 10th anniversary of the CAB.