Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim. (Photo courtesy of BARMM)

COTABATO CITY – The integration of former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants into the Philippine National Police (PNP) has begun as set by the Mindanao peace process, officials said Monday.

This came after the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) signed an agreement with the National Police Commission (Napolcom) over the weekend for the Special Qualifying Eligibility Examination (NSQEE) for MILF and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members.

“After three years of the transition period, we are happy that we are finally taking the first step into making this provision a reality,” BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim said in a statement Monday.

In a video conference Saturday, Ebrahim and Napolcom Vice Chairperson and Executive Officer Alberto Bernardo signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) concerning the integration process.

As agreed, the qualifying examinations for integration aspirants are set to be held on May 29 this year in the cities of Cotabato and Zamboanga.

Under the MOA, 5,060 successful examinees will be granted eligibility for temporary appointment as patrolman or patrolwoman of the PNP.

After signing the MOA, Ebrahim created an ad hoc office and designated Senior Minister Abdulraof Macacua as its head to facilitate administrative support in the application process set forth by the Napolcom.

Ebrahim, who is also the MILF chair, lauded the Intergovernmental Relations Body Technical Working Group (IGRB-TWG) for the realization of the provision in the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) allowing qualified MILF and MNLF members to join the PNP.

The Organic Law is the enabling law that created BARMM, and defined several provisions for the integration of former Moro rebels into the PNP.

Macacua said the MILF and MNLF are now working together to come up with a list of qualified members who could avail the integration program.

“At a personal level, the lives of the 5,060 individuals and their families can change for the better as they benefit from the stable career in the police service,” Bernardo said.

Bernardo said the qualified aspirants for integration will undergo rigorous training to broaden their minds, sharpen their skills, and deepen their value to become professionals. (PNA)