Brunei military official visits troops monitoring ceasefire of PH gov’t, MILF

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COTABATO CITY, Philippines – A ranking military official of the Brunei military has visited his forces in Mindanao as they continue to help the international monitoring of the ceasefire agreement between the Philippine government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front ceasefire agreement.

Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels man a machine gun in Sultan Kudarat in this February 11, 2013, file photo. AFP FILE PHOTO

Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) Commander Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Major General Dato Seri Pahlawan Md Tawih Abdullah paid an operational visit to Cotabato City on Friday and met with Brunei personnel involved in the ongoing Mindanao peace-keeping mission.

In a statement, the Brunei Royal Armed Forces said the visit was part of the commander’s introductory visit. Accompanying General Abdullah in his visit were Commissioner Dato Seri Pahlawan Awg Bahrin Md Noor, commissioner of Royal Brunei Police Forces (RBFP) as well as senior officers from both the RBAF and RBPF.

Upon arrival at the Awang Airport in Maguindanao, the Brunei military officials were met by Maj. Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, chief of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, and Brunei Team Site Leader, Lt. Col. Khairil Hj Ismail.

Abdullah said the visit was aimed at enhancing defense cooperation in existing fields and to strengthen relations between both nations.

Brunei Darussalam has been a long-time partner of the Philippines in seeking peace in troubled Mindanao region.

It also extended various forms of peace and development assistance in Muslim Mindanao region, including the Grand Mosque in Cotabato City, which was a “gift” from Sultan Bolkiah of Brunei.

After military honors, the Brunei military delegation proceeded to tour the Grand Mosque in the outskirts of Cotabato City.

Abdullah’s delegation then proceeded to the International Monitoring Team (IMT) headquarters in Cotabato City.

Brunei has about a dozen police and military personnel serving in the IMT, which is led by Malaysian military.

Deployed in 2003, the Brunei and Malaysian unarmed military and police personnel have greatly helped in preventing skirmishes between Moro rebels and government forces.

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