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Army initiates peace dialogues for safe, secure BSKE 2023

GOVERNANCE/POLITICS • 16:15 PM Thu Oct 5, 2023
Edwin O. Fernandez

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao del Norte  – Military authorities have initiated separate dialogues with stakeholders of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE 2023) in a bid to help for the peaceful conduct of political exercises.

On Thursday, Brig. Gen. Nasser P. Lidasan, 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division assistant commander, also appealed for everybody’s cooperation to establish an environment conducive to the democratic process of electing local leaders in the communities.

Lidasan spearheaded the first dialogue at the headquarters of the 602nd Infantry Brigade, Carmen, North Cotabato followed by similar activity at the headquarters of the 601st Infantry Brigade headquarters in Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur on October 4.

"I am urging all our stakeholders to cooperate to ensure the smooth and peaceful conduct of BSKE 2023. I call on the aspiring candidates in each barangay to respect the election results and allow the process to transpire smoothly and peacefully," Brig. Gen. Lidasan said.

After the peace dialogues, stakeholders including the law enforcers, poll officials, and candidates signed the peace covenant signifying their unwavering commitment to ensuring a peaceful election and emphasizing their support and dedication to a harmonious and well-organized BSKE 2023.

The participants affixed their signatures on a Wall of Commitment, denouncing violence, human rights violations, and injustice while expressing their commitment to promoting a safe and secure BSKE 2023.

Lidasan said the stakeholders also pledged their support for peace and development in South and South-Central Mindanao where the Army units under 6th ID operate.

The peace dialogues addressed various security measures that the AFP will implement in collaboration with other security agencies.

These dialogues also emphasized the pivotal role of citizens in ensuring a peaceful election on October 30.

"AFP personnel will be deployed in all polling centers to provide security and assistance to the election committee and the electorate. We are also in full support of the gun ban as we promote peaceful and non-violent conduct of the elections," Brig. Gen. Lidasan.

Brig. Gen. Donald Gumiran, commander of the 602nd Brigade and Brig. Gen. Oriel Pangcog, 601st Brigade commander, have expressed unwavering support for this initiative, emphasizing the AFP's commitment to remaining apolitical and non-partisan, solely dedicated to serving the people and the country.

In his message, Major Gen, Alex S. Rillera, 6th ID commander and head of Joint Task Force Central, emphasized the importance of unity and cooperation, stating.

"Our collective efforts are a significant stride toward guaranteeing a peaceful and transparent BSKE in 2023," Rillera said, adding that the 6th ID troopers are dedicated to establishing an atmosphere conducive to a fair and peaceful electoral process. 

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