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GPH, MILF anti-crime body to start working soon

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The body tasked to flush out criminal elements in the bailiwicks of the Moro Islamic Liberation (MILF) will start work anew in the next few days.

This, after the government and the MILF separately confirmed that they have already reconstituted their respective members of the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG).

Mario Victor Leonen, chair of the government peace panel, said Brigadier General Allan Luga Jr. was appointed head of the government AHJAG team.

His counterpart would be lawyer Abdul Dataya, who was reappointed by the MILF, the Moro rebels announced on Tuesday.

The reconstitution of each party’s AHJAG team came as the peace panels are set to resume formal negotiations Wednesday and Thursday in Malaysia, which is facilitating the amity talks.

AHJAG was agreed by the government and the MILF in May 2002 with the purpose of isolating and interdicting kidnap-for-ransom groups and other criminal gangs operating in or near MILF areas in Mindanao.

Dataya said they are ready to discharge their duties after the Kuala Lumpur meeting when their list would be formally submitted to the government peace panel.

Recently, members of the government AHJAG team convened in Davao City for a briefing on the task force’s structures and functions, which Leonen attended.

Leonen said that the government peace mechanisms and security forces should continue to foster civilian-military relationships.

“While the government is sincere in its efforts to attain lasting peace, it still keeps itself ready to respond when conflict arises,” he said. (PNA)




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