The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) hailed the Philippine National Police (PNP) as a vital partner in the country’s comprehensive peace process.
In a news release Tuesday, OPAPRU Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. noted that the police force has taken on a more active role in peacebuilding over the years.
“As we know, peace is not merely the absence of conflict. It is the condition wherein there is harmony, security, and justice, allowing societies to thrive and individuals to realize their full potential,” Galvez said during Monday’s flag-raising rites at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Galvez cited the initiatives being carried out by PNP to support the implementation of all signed peace agreements between the national government and revolutionary groups in the country.
These include the ongoing recruitment process for Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members into the PNP, which he described as a major milestone in the Bangsamoro peace process.
The OPAPRU chief is also confident that these former combatants will become “highly-professional, competent and trustworthy peacekeepers” under the PNP’s guidance.
The entry of former MILF and MNLF members in the PNP is covered by Republic Act 11054 or the Organic Law for BARMM, which was enacted after the signing of a peace agreement between the government and the MILF.
In May 2022, around 7,000 of 11,000 MNLF and MILF members passed a special qualifying eligibility examination administered by the National Police Commission to join the PNP.
Galvez also highlighted the contributions of the PNP to the Localized Peace Engagement (LPE) and its Transformation Program, which is being implemented under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
The OPAPRU and the Department of the Interior and Local Government co-lead the NTF-ELCAC’s LPE cluster.
“Countless members of the communist group have laid down their arms and returned to mainstream society as peaceful and productive civilians through the LPE and the Transformation Program, as we are turning once conflict-ridden communities into zones of peace and development,” Galvez said. (PNA)