Maguindanao mayors urged to help end extremism

Maguindanao mayors urged to help end extremism

PEACE AND ORDER MEETING. Maguindanao Governor Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu (center) leads the prayer prior to the start of the local peace and order council meeting in Maguindanao attended by officials of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID) in Buluan, Maguindanao on Thursday (Oct. 8, 2020). During the meeting, Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, the 6ID chief (right), posed a challenge to the town mayors to help put an end to violent extremism in the province. (Photo courtesy of Maguindanao PIO)

COTABATO CITY – A ranking military official in Maguindanao on Thursday called on local government executives (LCEs) to make their presence felt in the government campaign to end violent extremism.

Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID), issued the call during the Maguindanao 4th Joint Inter-Agency Task Force on Coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Peace and Order Council, Anti-Drug Abuse Council, and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Buluan, Maguindanao.

Uy urged the town mayors to work with Governor Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in ending violent extremism in the province.

“The fight against violent extremism is not always through violence but there are other options like determining what pushed these people to embrace extremism and solve it,” Uy said.

Some of the mayors who attended the meeting via zoom video conferencing welcomed Uy’s challenge.

“We are behind Gov. Mangudadatu in making the province free from violent extremists,” Mayor Edris Sindatok of Datu Saudi Ampatuan said, noting that a number of extremists have returned to the fold of the law.

On the other hand, Mayor Solaiman Sandigan of Datu Salibo, said: “We are ready to help, we will support the provincial governor and the military at all cost because at the end of the day it is us who will benefit the program.”

Other town mayors are yet to publicly show their support.

Uy said he believes that many local government executives are helping the campaign but wished a more intensified effort among local government units to address the threats of extremist groups.

Mangudadatu, meanwhile, said the council members formed the Peace MERUIT (Mediation, Reconciliation, Unification and Investigation Team), a body that will intensify the diplomatic settlement of “rido” or clan wars and put an end to extortion against freshwater fisher folk of Lake Buluan.

In the same meeting, the governor also called on local officials to support the creation of AGILA-HAVEN (Anak na may Ginintuang Layunin upang Hintuan ang Violent Extremism Ngayon), an Army-led program aimed at ending violent extremism in Maguindanao. (PNA)

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