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(NAR) VOL. 7 NO. 4 / October-December 1996

[ ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 295, October 07, 1996 ]


WHEREAS, a Final Peace Agreement (hereinafter referred to as Agreement) between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), was entered into on the 2nd day of September 1996 between Ambassador Manuel T. Yan, Chairman of the Peace Panel and Professor Nur Misuari, Chairman of the MNLF Panel;

WHEREAS, the President, on the 2nd day of October 1996, issued Executive Order No. 371 proclaiming a Special Zone of Peace and Development (ZOPAD) in the Southern Philippines, and establishing therefor the Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development (SPCPD) and the Consultative Assembly;

WHEREAS, the Agreement provides that the five thousand seven hundred fifty (5,750) MNLF members shall be integrated into the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), 250 of whom shall be absorbed into the auxiliary services; and

WHEREAS, the Agreement further provides that all other matters regarding the integration on MNLF forces into the AFP not expressly covered therein shall be prescribed by the President as Commander-in-Chief of the AFP;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FIDEL V. RAMOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order the following:

SECTION 1. Period of Integration. —

The integration of the MNLF forces into the AFP shall be completed during Phase 1 of the Agreement or before the establishment of a new Regional Autonomous Government as may be organized in accordance with Constitution.

SECTION 2. Rules and Regulations for Integration. —

a. The Secretary of National Defense shall prescribe the rules and regulations for the integration of MNLF members into the AFP in accordance with existing laws and polices pertaining to the AFP.

b. In the interest of facilitating the entry of MNLF members into the AFP, age, height, educational attainment, AFP Aptitude Battery Test and civil status requirements may be waived by competent authority on a case to case basis, subject to existing rules and regulations.

SECTION 3. Phasing of the Integration Process. —

The MNLF integration shall be in three (3) phases, namely: processing, individual training, and on-the-job training (OJT) and deployment.

a. Processing Phase.
1. The MNLF shall initially conduct its own pre-selection process based on the guidelines to be provided for by the AFP and shall submit a duly authenticated list of its 5,500 principal candidates and 2,500 alternate candidates for final processing by the AFP. The MNLF shall also submit the complete MNLF roster of personnel by units and their location as ready reference for the AFP processing teams

2. The processing of applicants for both officer candidates and candidate soldiers shall start on 01 November 1996.

3. The AFP shall provide billet and mess at processing centers for candidates undergoing actual processing.

4. The officer candidates and candidate soldiers shall bring along their individual firearms as they report to their respective training centers. Those without firearms shall be deemed disqualified and denied integration into the AFP.
b. Individual Training Phase.
1. All candidate soldier shall undergo a six-month Candidate Soldier Course. Likewise, officer candidates shall undergo a separate 48-week Officer Candidate Course. Both courses shall start not later than 01 February 1997. The completion of these courses shall be a requirement for enlistment or commissionship, as the case may be.

2. Training of officer candidates shall be in one (1) batch and candidate soldiers in three (3) batches.

3. Candidate soldier not undergoing formal training shall be assigned to AFP brigades/battalions nearest their areas of residence for purposes of control, administration, orientation training and utilization in civil-military operations or socio-economic development assistance projects of the AFP.
c. OJT/Deployment Phase.

Officer candidates and candidate soldiers who have completed their respective individual training shall be organized into separate units (rifle or engineer companies) for on-the-job training. These separate units shall preferably be deployed within the four (4) ARMM provinces and Basilan and shall remain distinct from other AFP units during the transition period.

SECTION 4. Final Integration into AFP Units. —

a. The final integration into AFP units of those who have completed all the training phases shall start immediately after the OJT/Deployment Phase. During this period, the separate units shall be dissolve and their members individually reassigned to regular AFP units deployed within the SOUTHCOM area of responsibility.

b. After a reasonable period of time or as the exigencies of the service dictate, the integrated officers and enlisted personnel, just like other regular AFP personnel, may be reassigned to other units/areas.

SECTION 5. Ranks and Grades of Integrated Personnel. —

a. The ranks and grades of officer candidates and candidate soldiers integrated into the AFP shall be subject to existing laws, policies, rules and regulations governing the AFP.

b. Rank precedence, seniority and promotion of officers and enlisted personnel shall be governed by current AFP rules and regulations.

SECTION 6. Command and Support Relationships. —

a. COMSOUTHCOM shall exercise command, administrative and operational control over the separate units.

b. A Deputy Commander for Separate Units (DCSU), SOUTHCOM, to be addressed as such, shall be appointed/designated by the President, from among the recommendees of the MNLF, to assist in the command, administration and control of the separate units. He shall have his own office and staff separate from the Staff of COMSOUTHCOM.

c. The Office of the Deputy Commander for Separate Units (DCSU), SOUTHCOM shall be dissolved at the end of the transition period and its personnel shall be resigned to other SOUTHCOM officer/units.

d. Separate units deployed within the area of responsibility of deployed AFP brigade/battalions shall be attached to the latter for purposes of administrative ad logistics support. These brigades/battalions shall also exercise operational control over these separate units.

SECTION 7. Disposition of Firearms. —

a. Applicants who voluntarily turnover their firearms shall be compensated in accordance with the AFP Balik-Baril Project. Said firearms shall then be accounted for as government property and may be re-issued to them during training/deployment as members of separate units.

b. All firearms still in the possession of MNLF members not integrated into the military of police service shall be subject to existing firearms laws, rules and regulations.

SECTION 8. Funding Support. —

The AFP shall submit to the Office of the President, through the Secretary of National Defense and Secretary of Budget and Management, a supplementary budget of congressional action to cover the total fund requirement to implement this Order for the rest of 1996 and for 1997.

SECTION 9. Miscellaneous Matters. —

a. The AFP, in coordination with the MNLF, shall undertake a Personnel and Equipment Survey of the latter prior to the processing phase.

b. Integrated personnel shall be provided opportunities for further professional training and military schooling, including foreign schooling, in consonance with the education and training programs and policies of the AFP.

c. The Chief of Staff, AFP shall render appropriate reports to the President, through the Secretary of National Defense, on the integration of MNLF members into the AFP.

Adopted: 07 Oct. 1996

President of the Philippines

By the President:

Executive Secretary
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