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MILF JOINS DUTERTE IN WAR ON DRUGS.

THE WAR on drugs in Agusan del Sur has drawn into the fray these Christian pastors (right) who pray over drug suspects who are surrendering in Bunawan town. CHRIS V. PANGANIBAN/INQUIRER MINDANAO

DAPITAN CITY—The government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have formalized cooperation in the war on drugs in a deal that MILF leaders said they supported because drugs have been wreaking havoc on Moro communities, too.
Government and MILF representatives in two bodies created to keep a truce in place in conflict areas in Mindanao signed the agreement on July 12. The document, a copy of which was furnished Inquirer, was entitled “Agreement of Cooperation and Coordination in the Campaign Against Illegal Drugs in MILF-controlled Areas.”
For the government, the agreement was signed by Brig. Gen. Arnel De La Vega, chair for the government of the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (Ahjag), and Brig. Gen. Glenn Macasero, chair for the government of the Coordinating Committee on Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH).

Ahjag and CCCH were created to monitor and protect a truce between the government and MILF forces.
For the MILF, the agreement was signed by lawyer Abdul Dataya as Ahjag chair for MILF and Butch Malang as MILF CCCH chair.

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The MILF had offered to help in the war on drugs which, the rebel group said, “is already destroying the future of the Bangsamoro people.”
In November 2015, MILF launched its own war on drugs and said it was able to identify “hundreds to thousands of drug pushers,” especially in Central Mindanao.
Under the July 12 agreement, though, MILF rebels would not take part in arrests or actual antidrug operations.
Rebels, under the agreement, are required to only share information on drug personalities and to be informed of antidrug operations against drug suspects inside rebel territory.
Under the information sharing provision of the agreement, the MILF is required to submit a list of drug suspects in rebel territory. The list would be validated by government authorities.
Through the CCCH and Ahjag, the MILF is also encouraged to recommend other measures to fight drugs to government agencies at the forefront of the antidrug campaign like the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and antidrug units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Customs and Bureau of Immigration.
The agreement also gave MILF, which signed a peace agreement with the government in March 2014, the go-signal to launch an information campaign in rebel territory on the ill effects of drugs.
“Such information drive may be conducted in coordination with the barangay, municipal, city or provincial antidrug abuse councils,” the agreement read.
In a previous statement, MILF said among the challenges that it faces in its fight against drugs is that supply comes from areas outside rebel territory and government officials’ involvement in drug trafficking in Moro areas.
MILF said some of the government officials involved in drugs “won during the recent elections using drug money to buy votes.”
The rebel group also said many sources of drugs “are not citizens of this country.” Ryan Rosauro, Inquirer Mindanao

SOURCE : Inquirer.net

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