GPH, MILF sign protocol on “cooperation and coordination” in war on drugs

Want create site? With Free visual composer you can do it easy.

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 01 July) — The government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed a protocol Friday that sets the “cooperation and coordination mechanisms” in addressing the drug problem in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and some parts in the Davao region which has MILF presence.

During the 4th Consultative Meeting to Address Drugs, Criminality and Corruption Friday at the Hotel Elena, Catalino Uy, OIC Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said the signing of the protocol between the two parties is a manifestation of a year-long series of meetings on how both parties can work together in clearing the Bangsamoro communities of drugs.

Atty. Abdul Dataya (L), chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panel’s counterpart in the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (MILF-AHJAG), Isidro Lapeña, Director General of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and Catalino Cuy (r), Officer-in-Charge of the Department of Interior and Local Government, sign the “Protocol of Cooperation on Anti-Illegal Drugs Operations and Related Activities in MILF Areas/Communities” on Friday, 30 June 2017 in Hotel Elena, Davao City. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

On July 12 last year, the government and the MILF signed a two-page “Agreement of Cooperation and Coordination” between the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) of the government (GPH) and MILF in the “Campaign against illegal drugs in MILF-Affected Areas.”

After the signing last year, Director General Isidro Lapena, chief of the Philippine Drug Enforcement agency (PDEA) said there will be more meetings with the MILF to “finetune” the MILF’s participation in the war on drugs.

Cuy said the GPH and MILF acknowledged the enormity of the drug problem in the country and that the areas controlled by the MILF “are not exempted.”

He said the 15-page “Protocol of Cooperation on Anti-Illegal Drug Operations and related Activities in MILF Areas / Communities” will provide procedures and integrate efforts of both parties during anti-illegal drug operations.

The protocol notes that the MILF recognized the ill effects of illegal drugs and the rampant trading of shabu in the Bangsamoro and declared “the use, sale and proliferation of shabu as ‘haram’ and prohibited in Islam.”

It said the protocol applies to anti-illegal drug operations and other related anti-illegal drug efforts that will be conducted jointly by the government and MILF forces in the Bangsamoro and some parts in the Davao region which has MILF presence.

It also said the protocol aims to integrate efforts, provide procedures and clearly “define the roles of GPH and MILF in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations and related activities in MILF areas through ceasefire agreement with the end goal of filing drug cases against arrested drug personalities.”

The protocol adopts the ceasefire mechanisms of the government and MILF. The protocol states that government agencies that will conduct anti-illegal drug operations in MILF areas “shall inform not less than 24 hours prior to the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations, the GPH-AHJAG (government-Ad Hoc Joint Action Group).“

The Joint AHJAG “shall then inform the GPH-MILF CCCH (Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities) in order to avoid misencounter between the GPH and MILF forces.”

The protocol also provides, among others, the general guidelines, operational procedures, and implementation of search warrant.

July 12, 2016 Agreement of Cooperation and Coordination

On July 12 last year, the CCCH and AHJAG of the  government and MILF signed a two-page “Agreement of Cooperation and Coordination between the GPH and MILF CCCH and AHJAG on the Campaign against illegal drugs in MILF-Affected Areas.”

The agreement provides that in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations, all existing protocols under RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 “and all relevant agreements between the GPH and the MILF shall apply,” that the PDEA and anti-drug units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Customs and Bureau of Immigration and Deportation “shall coordinate with the AHJAG and CCCH.”

It also involves “information exchange/sharing which includes but is not limited to the submission of the MILF of a list of drug personalities identified in its area subject to validation of the law enforcement agencies.”

The agreement also provides that the MILF “can conduct information drive on the ill effects of illegal drugs” in their areas “as part of its demand reduction activities” and that the drive may be conducted “in coordination with the barangay, municipal, city or provincial anti-drug abuse councils.”

Before Duterte’s anti-illegal drugs campaign, the MILF launched its own campaign in late 2015. An editorial posted on the MILF website on November 17, 2015, shortly after the MILF declared its war on drugs said  shabu (metamphetamine hydrochloride) “is the enemy of all and, therefore, should be fought together. A common enemy calls for a united front approach.”

Smooth sailing

Police Chief Supt. Pierre Bucsit, chair of the GPH-AHJAG, on Friday said he believes coordination between the police and the MILF will become “smooth sailing” with the signing of the protocol.

He noted the difficulty of the government forces in holding operations inside the Bangsamoro communities before.

Atty. Abdul Dataya (2nd from L), chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panel’s counterpart in the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (MILF-AHJAG), and Chief Supt. Pierre Bucsit (3rd from r), chair of the GPH-AHJAG, exchange copies of the final “Protocol of Cooperation on Anti-Illegal Drugs Operations and Related Activities in MILF Areas/Communities” on Friday, 30 June 2017 in Hotel Elena, Davao City. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

“The coordination will be smooth sailing when it comes to law enforcement operations. Today is another milestone between government and MILF,” he said.

GPH-CCH chair Brig. Gen. Earl Baliao said he saw the need for the two parties to collaborate and coordinate  “efforts for us to be able to further fast-track our cooperation against illegal drugs.”

He said the protocol will allow proper coordination with their MILF counterparts.

“We do not have problem before with the conduct of anti-illegal drugs in other areas, but many difficulties in MILF-controlled areas, sometimes the coordination allows our target to get out from the areas, that’s why, we believe with the protocol, we will be able to efficiently operate with coordination and support from MILF in their controlled areas,” he said.

Lawyer Abdul Dataya, chair of the MILF AHJAG said government’s coordination with the MILF will be advantageous because “we know the ground.”

“The MILF will assist in trying to prevent possible misencounters. Meron kaming sariling grupo (we have our own group) who will coordinate with the Armed Forces (of the Philippines),” he said.

Dataya said they recommended the addition of PDEA in the efforts against illegal drugs since they are operating in the ARMM and other known MILF areas in some parts of Davao Region.

Under the general guidelines, all planned operations by government agencies shall have anti-illegal drug coordination from PDEA in compliance with the existing rules and regulations as mandated by the Republic Act 9165,

It added the government anti-illegal drug operations in MILF area, whether initiated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies shall be coordinated with the MILF-AHJAG and CCCH and be supervised by the PDEA to ensure the proper implementation of RA 9165.

It also ensures that respect for human rights will be observed at all time when handling arrested or surrendered drug personalities.

Anti-illegal drug operations by the MILF will be conducted jointly with the PDEA through the ceasefire mechanism.

Also, the protocol provides that a regular seminar/workshop on RA 9165, criminal procedures, handling of drug evidence and other related topics on anti-illegal drugs will be conducted among MILF members and training of the madrasah teachers on anti-illegal drugs will be conducted to ensure successful prosecution of drug cases. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

 

Did you find apk for android? You can find new Free Android Games and apps.

Comments

comments

LEAVE A REPLY

nine − six =