OPAPRU and JTF Central spearheaded security and Socio-economic Forum in Central Mindanao

CAMP SIONGCO, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao – The Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) popularly known as OPAPP together with the JTF Central facilitated the conduct of a Security and Socio-Economic Forum held at Kampilan, Clubhouse in 6th Infantry Division Headquarters on April 23, 2019.

The forum aims to provide updates on the current security situation, determine points of convergence and identity conflict-sensitive interventions relative to the implementation of the normalization process.

The first part of the activity, from morning to noon, was the Security Forum attended by the military leadership from WMC and JTF Central down to brigade and battalion commanders; the PNP national quad staff, regional and provincial commanders in Central Mindanao; MILF leadership from chief of staff, front and base commanders; NBI, PDEA and other mechanisms for the peace process like the GPH-MILF Ad Hoc
Joint Action Group (AHJAG), GPH-MILF Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and the Independent Decommissioning Body (IDB).

Discussed in this part were updates on situation by JTF Central, peace and order by PRO ARMM, anti-drug campaign by PDEA BARMM, decommissioning plans and procedures by the IDB Chief of Staff Mr. Terje Skjoelsvik , the Joint Peace and Security Teams (JPST) updates by Police Brig. Gen. Gerardo M Rosales, the Co- Chair of Joint Peace and Security Council (JPSC) and issues and concerns regarding
BIAF decommissioning by Sammy Gambar Al Mansour, the MILF-BIAF Chief of Staff.

This activity kicked-off with the opening remarks of Maj Gen Cirilito E. Sobejana- Commander, JTC Central, expressing his delight and gratitude for the unprecedented attendance of involved parties, particularly the the MILF-BIAF commanders. “Your coming here is a manifestation of our collective effort and sincerity towards a lasting
peace in Mindanao paving for real development to benefit our people,” he said.

MILF Chief of Staff Sammy Gambar also said that they do not have issues with the peace process and its decommissioning. He expressed high hopes on this thrust and the current strong collaboration with the security sector promising full cooperation from their end.

“Our hearts now are connected towards achieving the success of the peace process for the benefit of our people here in Mindanao and whole Filipinos in general,” he added. The morning’s activity was capped with a presentation and message of Sec. Carlito G Galvez Jr- OPAPRU, on the interventions in stored for MILF and its combatants. “The sincerity of the government to help our MILF brothers is emphasized in these interventions. We are also refocusing the PAMANA projects in conflict vulnerable and affected areas to ensure responsive approach in addressing ground issues” he proceeded.

The Socio-Economic Forum on the other hand was the second part of the day’s activity which was more of a workshop between the military ground commanders of JTF Central and the OPAPP. It focused on identifying socio-economic programs consisting of conflict sensitive and peace promoting interventions that will truely address the existing ground issues especially in conflict vulnerable and affected
areas. PAMANA as the lead division of OPAPP in this aspect shall dovetail the interventions in the normalization process with MILF as part of the sustainable peace building programs.

Other top leaders present during the event were: Lt Gen Arnel B Dela Vega- Commander of Western Mindanao Command, Police Lt Gen Archie Francisco F Gamboa heading the party of Quad Staff from the PNP National Headquarters, Police Brig Gen Graciano Jaylo Mijares and Police Brig. Gen Eliseo Tam Rasco of PRO12 and PROBARMM respectively, DIR. Juvenal B Azurin of PDEA BARMM, Brig Gen
Cesar D De Mesa of GPH AHJAG and his MILF counterpart Mr Usama Ali and Mr. Anwar Alamada, MILF JNC Co-Chair Architect Eduard Guerra, MILF CCCH head Mr. Butch Malang and Lt Gen Rey C Ardo (Ret), the GPH IDB representative.