MILF chair makes historic visit to Camp Aguinaldo on Monday

Published November 18, 2018, 5:08 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Francis Wakefield

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is set to welcome Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Al Hadj Murad Ebrahim on his historic visit to Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Monday.

Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo
(MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

In an interview, AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, said that it will be the first time that an MILF Chairman will be setting foot at the AFP’s General Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.

“And we are very pleased that this is happening at this time of our history as a nation. Now that our economy is picking up and the people wants to have a lasting peace,” Arevalo said.

Arevalo said the visit speaks well of the degree of confidence, level of sincerity, and extent of trust that both the AFP and the MILF repose unto each other.

“If only the CPP-NPA can show the same sincerity to the talks and fidelity to the peace agreements that the MILF says and does, we could have a lasting peace to bequeath to the future generation of Filipinos,” Arevalo said.

Arevalo said both Murad and Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr., are expected to discuss the areas of collaboration that the AFP and the MILF can embark on apart from combat, intelligence, civil-military operations.

When asked if the BOL (Bangsamoro Organic Law) plebiscite in January 2019 will be included in the agenda, Arevalo said he was not sure.

“I haven’t seen the agenda yet. But the conduct of the plebiscite is the office of the COMELEC. The level and the extent of the AFP’s participation will depend upon the poll body that shall issue deputation order,” Arevalo said.

For his part, AFP Public Affairs Chief Colonel Noel Detoyato, said not only will it be Murad’s first visit to Camp Aguinaldo, but it will also be his call on the AFP Chief of Staff.

“The relationship of the MILF and the AFP has evolved for the better and as the former head of the AFP CCCH (Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities), he expressed his support for BOL during our visit to Camp Darapanan last October 6, 2018,” Detoyato said.

“This reciprocal visit of Al Hadj Murad is to cement the trust that they have on the AFP leadership and the government in general,” he added.

 
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