By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL
CAMP NAVARRO, Calarian, Zamboanga City – The International Monitoring Team-16 (IMT-16) headed by a two-star general of the Royal Malaysian Armed Forces made an exit call before the commander of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom).
They were feted in a ceremony held here recently in grateful recognition for the team’s invaluable contributions to WestMinCom from April 10, 2021, to April 10, 2022.
A Military Civic Action Medal was awarded to Maj. Gen. Datuk Hamdan Bin Hj Ismail, IMT-16 Head of Mission, and the members of the team.
This was in recognition of their meritorious achievements while serving as personnel of the IMT-16 and ADHOC Joint Action Group Team-3 who rendered indirect support to the implementation of the peace agreement between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
A photo slate and a memento were also awarded to Maj. Gen. Hamdan.
Aside from Maj. Gen. Hamdan, other awardees include Col. Sukiman Bin Mohamed Ghani of the Malaysian Army; Lt. Col. Mohd Fakaruddin Zuraidi Bin Ramli of the Royal Brunei Army; Commander Rosnan Bin Isenin of the Royal Malaysian Navy; Deputy Superintendent Saiful Adli Bin Hashim of Royal Malaysian Police; Captain Mohd Asyraf Bin Noor Azan of the Malaysian Army, and Mr. Johan Arief Bin Mohmad Jaafar of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia.
During their deployment to the Philippines, the IMT-16 monitored the security aspect, socio-economic assistance, and civilian protection component of the GPH and MILF Peace Agreement.
They conducted field verification and validation of the reported ceasefire-related violations. They also monitored the implementation of the development projects initiated by the Philippine Government and donor countries in the Bangsamoro region.
The team conducted numerous advocacies and focused discussions in different AFP brigades and divisions on the ceasefire mechanisms. They also conducted medical missions, in partnership with the Bureau of Quarantine and Department of Health, in the MILF areas in Datu Tumangong, Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay Province, and Dinas, Zamboanga del Sur.
In his message, WestMinCom commander Lt. Gen. Rosario, Jr. expressed his appreciation to the members of the IMT-16 for the help and cooperation that contributed to the attainment of the security and development goals of the GPH and the MILF.
“As foreign military observers, you, our friends from Malaysia and Brunei, worked behind the scene to monitor the implementation of the peace process that effected numerous gains in the Philippine Government’s pursuit of peace and growth, particularly in the Bangsamoro region,” Lt. Gen. Rosario stated.
Brig. Gen. Antonio Nafarrete, Deputy Commander for Administration; Col. Elmer Suderio, Chief of Unified Command Staff; and other officers of the command joined Lt. Gen. Rosario in welcoming the distinguished visitors during the exit call of the Head of Mission and members of the IMT-16. (JIJ)