Thursday Oct, 06 2022 07:26:07 PM

154 terrorists avail of rehab program

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 15:45 PM Thu Feb 17, 2022
John M. Unson
The 154 men have sworn to respect the Philippine Constitution throughout their lives.  (6th ID photo)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao --- A large group of religious extremists, many of them bomb-makers, on Wednesday pledged allegiance to the government here in the presence of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.  

The 154 men first renounced their membership with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Dawlah Islamiya before they promised to thrive in peace in their respective hometowns in the adjoining provinces of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat.

The event, held at the parade ground here of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, was graced by the couple Governors Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu and Suharto Mangudadatu of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces, respectively.

Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of 6th ID, said he is grateful to local officials and various peace advocacy blocs for helping them secure, through backchannel dialogues, the surrender of more than 300 BIFF and Dawlah Islamiya members in the past three years. 

Uy said the provincial governments of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat are helping the 6th ID return former violent religious extremists to mainstream society via humanitarian projects and spiritual reorientation programs.

The 154 BIFF and Dawlah Islamiya members who have returned to the fold of law surrendered in batches in the past 12 months, officials of 6th ID said. 

They received agricultural equipment and brand new farm tractors as livelihood support from the provincial government of Maguindanao during Wednesday’s activity inside this Army camp, located in Barangay Awang in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao. 

The BIFF and the Dawlah Islamiya, fashioned from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, were tagged in deadly bomb attacks in central Mindanao in the past four years.

The commander of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, Lt. Gen. Alfredo del Rosario, Jr. and Police Major General Albert Ferro, director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group also witnessed Wednesday’s engagement of Lorenzana with 6th ID officials and the governors of the two provinces.

Uy reported to the visiting officials that a total of 378 BIFF and Dawlah Islamiya members have surrendered to the 6th ID in the past 18 months through the joint efforts of its units scattered in central Mindanao and local executives in the region.


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