By Arwen Pascua
MANILA — As Police Regional Office Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO BAR) adheres to the directives of the National Task Force on the Disbandment of Private Armed Groups (NTF-DPAGs) and the program under the security aspect of the normalization track of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro that focuses on the disbandment of armed groups in BARMM, it managed to once again facilitate the surrender of at least three members of a private armed group in Maguindanao on July 5, 2021, in Parang, Maguindanao.
After a series of negotiations with one of the Private Armed Groups identified as the “Ampatuan” group, PRO BAR’s efforts paid off.
On April 24, 2021, Shariff Aguak former Vice-Mayor Datu Akmad Ampatuan, the leader of the group expressed his desire to surrender to the police regional office to clear his name and to give peace a chance in Shariff Aguak and its neighboring towns.
The said group is considered an active PAG as of March 15, 2021 with three members identified as Abby Aguak, Pendatun U. Ampatuan, and Gani Macmod — all residents of Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao. Together with his three other members, Vice-Mayor Datu Akmad Ampatuan also surrendered three (3) M16 rifles and one (1)/M14 rifle.
Police Brigadier Gen Eden T. Ugale, Regional Director, PRO BAR expresses his appreciation to the Local Officials of Maguindanao for the selfless acts of adherence to the rule of law and respect to the regulations of the government.
He also lauds the troops behind this success for sustaining the gains of this national directive and their support to his campaign to fully dismantle all existing private armed groups in the region.
Ugale is calling other members and leaders of Private Armed Groups in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region to lay down their arms to the government authorities and return to the folds of law in order to achieve lasting peace in the Bangsamoro region.
“Rest assured that they will be supported by the government to start a new life,” the regional director said.
Ugale also appreciated the gesture of Vice-Mayor Ampatuan. He said that this will greatly contribute to the realization of peace and prosperity in the Bangsamoro region.