By Darryl John Esguerra

NEW PEACEKEEPERS. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. leads the graduation ceremony of 100 former members of the Moro National Liberation Front and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who completed the Basic Police Recruitment Course on Monday (April 29, 2024) at Camp Pendatun, Parang, Maguindanao del Norte. Their entry into the Philippine National Police is guided by Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which was enacted after the signing of a peace agreement between the government and the MILF. (Presidential Photojournalists Association)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday welcomed the 100 former Moro guerillas who successfully completed the six-month field training course to join the Philippine National Police (PNP) and urged them to actively participate in writing a “new chapter” for the Bangsamoro region.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the Bangsamoro Police Basic Recruit Course (BPBRC) Batch 2023-01 Classes Alpha-Bravo ‘BAKAS-LIPI’ at Camp Pendatun, Parang town, Maguindanao del Norte, Marcos congratulated the recruits for passing the grueling police training program.

“Tunay na malaking karangalan ang nakamit ninyo, ngunit kaakibat nito ang mabigat na pasanin na responsibilidad na nangangailangan ng matinding pagsisikap. Ang inyong misyon ay higit pa sa paglilingkod at pangangalaga sa mga kababayan natin (What you have achieved is indeed a great honor, but with it comes a heavy burden of responsibility that requires great effort. Your mission is more than serving and caring for our countrymen),” Marcos said.

“Kayo ang tutulong sa pagsusulat ng isang bagong yugto para sa Bangsamoro, tungo sa mas tahimik at matiwasay na kinabukasan (You will help write a new chapter for the Bangsamoro, towards a more peaceful and secure future),” he added.

The recruits are former members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), consisting of 92 men and eight women.

Their recruitment to the police force was based on National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) Resolution 2023-0380, which approved the recommendation of the Philippines National Police (PNP) to allocate 400 slots in its recruitment to former members of the MILF and MNLF and is guided by Republic Act (RA) 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which was enacted after the signing of a peace agreement between the government and the MILF.

The President also emphasized to the recruits the immense responsibility that comes with their designation as vanguards of peace and order.

“Napakalaki ng nakasalalay sa inyong bagong katungkulan dahil nasa kamay ninyo ang pagkamit ng ating patuloy na tagumpay (A great deal depends on your new position as you have in your hands the achievement of our continued success),” Marcos said.

“Simula ngayon, kahit saan man kayo italaga, kayo ay kinatawan ng kaayusan at pagbabago na layon nating ipamana sa ating mga anak (From now on, no matter where you are assigned, you are representatives of the order and change that we intend to pass on to our children),” he added.

The former Moro combatants underwent a rigorous 24-week program that prepared them to carry out the crucial duties of the police force, with a primary focus on enforcing national laws and the specific regulations within the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

The new graduates will be “temporarily appointed as patrolmen and patrolwomen”, in accordance with the decree of the NAPOLCOM.

They have up to 15 years from their date of entry into service to obtain a college degree, a requirement set by the Philippine National Police (PNP) to allow them to become permanent members of the police force. (PNA)