Saturday Feb, 29 2020 05:45:27 AM

Hometown of slain Abu Sayaf chieftain now peaceful

Mindanao Peace Process • 18:45 PM Sun Dec 1, 2019
John M. Unson
Police personnel guards a thoroughfare in Lantawan, Basilan. (Contributed)

COTABATO CITY --- Despite the fragile peace now in areas under their jurisdiction, police personnel in Lantawan municipality in Basilan are still not taking chances.

Lantawan is the hometown of terrorist Isnilon Hapilon, the “emir,” or grand leader of the Abu Sayyaf, who was killed by soldiers during their five-month siege of Marawi City in 2017.

The Lantawan municipal police, led by Capt. Said Omar Ismael, have been guarding tightly all barangays in the area even as tranquility is felt now in the locality and in 10 other nearby towns and two cities in Basilan.  

The island province of Basilan is now touted as the new investment frontier of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The province is now rising from armed conflicts that bedeviled the local communities until forces of the Abu Sayyaf started dwindling three years ago through the domestic Program Against Violent Extremism, or PAVE.

The PAVE, pioneered by the now House Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman while governor yet of the now defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Basilan Gov. Jim Salliman, is being assisted by the Western Mindanao Command and the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. []  


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