Decades-old war between Philippine military and MILF is officially ended

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MILF
MILF leader Al Haj Murad Ebrahim presents AFP chief General Carlito Galvez with a “soldier of peace” award at yesterday’s meeting.

The decades-old war between the Philippine military and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is officially over.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez made this remark in a visit yesterday (Saturday, October 6) to Camp Darapanan, the MILF’s main encampment in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

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Some 6,000 MILF supporters lined up along the Sultan Kudarat stretch of the highway from Quirino Bridge to welcome Galvez and his party shortly before noon.

Cordiality marked the visit, with MILF chief Al Haj Murad Ebrahim leading the welcoming party.

“I finally declare the end of the war between the AFP and MILF. Let’s respect the peace in Mindanao,” Galvez said in his speech, which was met with cheers from a huge crowd.

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Galvez also said he was also looking forward to a strong partnership with the MILF through the forthcoming 2019 plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) that will pave the way for the creation of the new MILF-led Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), replacing the old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) setup.

The BARMM, through the plebiscite, would determine its proposed composition to include the cities and provinces under the current ARMM.

“Once I hang up my uniform for good, it would be okay for me to push for the BOL for everybody. I will dedicate my service pro-bono,” said Galvez, who is set to retire in December.

Prior to becoming military chief, Galvez served as co-chairman of the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities for the government side in the peace process with the MILF in 2015.

Several months later, he became commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division based in Maguindanao before being appointed as AFP’s Westmincom chief based in Zamboanga City.

In April this year, Galvez assumed leadership of the AFP after General Rey Leonardo Guerrero retired.

Ebrahim, for his part, expressed joy on the visit of Galvez to their camp, describing it as “historical”.

“This visit represents the degree of progress we have made over the years in bringing significant cooperation between our military officers in our quest for peace in the Bangsamoro homeland,” he said.

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