1 FEBRUARY 2015.

bulet-arow.gif (856 bytes) Mindanao peace process gets boost after the United Nations expressed support for Mindanao peace initiative
bulet-arow.gif (856 bytes) Palace says fallen Special Action Force Commandos could attain justice through national unity

Mindanao peace process gets boost after the United Nations expressed support for Mindanao peace initiative
 
The Palace welcomed the statement of the United Nations extending support to the country's quest for Mindanao peace, which has been threatened by the bloody encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last week.

"Malugod na tinatanggap ng pamahalaan ang pagpapahayag ng suporta ng United Nations (UN) sa patuloy na pagtataguyod at pagsulong sa prosesong pangkapayapaan ng pamahalaan," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a radio interview Sunday.

"Malaki ang maiaambag na tulong mula sa UN peace building fund upang tustusan ang iba’t ibang gawain at programa patungkol sa prosesong pangkapayapaan," he told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.

Also last week, the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed in Malaysia the decommissioning of firearms by the rebel group.

The decommissioning of arms by the MILF will be done in a gradual and phased process, Coloma said.

Four batches of armed MILF combatants will undergo processing in six to 12 processing areas that will be done by an Independent Decommissioning Body.

Ambassador Hayder Berk of Turkey will head the decommissioning body, and he will be joined by other representatives from Japan, United Kingdom, as well as from the Philippines.

"Ang mga nakalap na armas ay ilalagak sa isang ligtas na sisidlan sa isang guwardyadong imbakan hanggang sa ang mga ito ay hindi na magagamit pa," Coloma explained.

The four-phased decommissioning process will start through a ceremonial turnover of 75 high-powered weapons. And once the Bangsamoro Basic Law is ratified, it is expected that 30 percent of MILF combatants including their firearms are decommissioned.

After that, 35 percent will be decommissioned in the third phase of the decommissiong process, Coloma said. The remaining weapons and combatants will be decommissioned in the fourth phase.

Coloma also commented on the possible retaliation of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), after Abu Marwan, the target of the police assault in Maguindanao, was allegedly killed.

"Handa po ang Sandatahang Lakas at lahat ng puwersa ng pamahalaan para labanan po ang ganyang balak at tiyakin ang kaligtasan ng ating mga mamamayan. Ganap po ang kahandaan ng Sandatahang Lakas."

Coloma said authorities are still verifying through DNA analysis if Marwan has indeed been killed in the SAF commando raid.

Forty-four SAF commandos died in the ensuing firefight after the assault in Marwan's said hideout in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. The government promised assistance to the families of the slain policemen. PND (as)
 

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Palace says fallen Special Action Force Commandos could attain justice through national unity
 
The 44 Special Action Force commandos, who perished in Maguindanao last week, could attain Justice if the country unites and stands to fight terrorism and at the same time support the Mindanao peace initiative, the Palace said on Sunday.

"Mabibigyan po natin ng ganap na katarungan ang kanilang malaking sakripisyo kung tayo po ay magkakaisa bilang isang bansa sa layunin na pigilin at tapusin na ang ligalig at panganib na hatid ng terorismo," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. Said in a radio interview.

Coloma asked Filipinos to support the ongoing peace efforts to eventually achieve an enduring peace in Mindanao.

There is no way but through dialogue to ensure a more stable Mindanao, he said adding decades of war has not made the region stable and progressive.

"Kaya mainam po siguro ang pagtalima natin doon sa panawagan na ‘give peace a chance.’ Magkaisa po tayo sa layuning matamo ito habang ipinupursigi po natin ang paggawad ng katarungan at pagpapanagot sa mga naganap sa Maguindanao noong nakaraang linggo."

On Saturday, the United Nations in the Philippines said it will extend a UN Peace Building Fund to support various aspects of the peace process as it looks forward for more progress through the combined efforts of all parties involved.

With regards to the policemen who were killed in Maguindanao, Coloma said the public should include in their prayers the 44 SAF men who gave their lives for the sake of freedom and safety of communities. The public could give the policemen a fitting tribute for their sacrifices through prayers, he said adding that they must also pray for their families to help strengthen them in this difficult time.

The government vowed to extend assistance to the families of the SAF men through livelihood programs, educational grants and housing benefits. PND (as)

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