By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Members of Congress have agreed that police and military personnel in the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region will be under the authority of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri reported this following the small-groups meeting of the Congress bicameral conference on the disagreeing provisions of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that will establish the new Bangsamoro region.
The bicameral panel has formed subcommitees to tackle and fast-track the approval of the most contentious provisions of the proposed law. Among them was that of the public order and national security.
“When it comes to the PNP and AFP, it will still under the direct command of the PNP and AFP. That is a no-compromise issue. That was also ordered to us by the president when it comes to the security [of the region],” Zubiri told reporters in a briefing in a hotel in Pasig City Tuesday.
President Duterte had opposed the creation of a separate police and military force in the proposed Bangsamoro region.
“There will be no other armed group or armed force in the region. There will be none. We are going to treat this just like a province,” Zubiri said.
The bicam, he said, is poised to adopt the subcommitee’s approved provisions stating that the Bangsamoro Regional Police and the Bangsamoro Military Command would be under the PNP and the AFP, respectively.