Tuesday Mar, 05 2024 06:06:49 PM

Former extremists, rebels embrace transformative journey in Maguindanao del Norte

Mindanao Peace Process • 08:00 AM Tue Jan 30, 2024
6th ID news release
Army Maj. Gen. Alex Rillera, 6th Infantry Division commander, receives a rifle from former extremists during surrender rites at 57th IB base. With Rillera were Upi Mayor Mayor Rona Cristina Piang- Flores and South Upi Mayor Reynalbert Insular. (6th ID)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao del Norte – Six former violent extremists (FVEs) and two former communist rebels (FRs) have embraced a transformative journey as they returned to the folds of the law.

This was formalized during the ceremonial presentation of FVEs and FRs at the 57th Infantry (Masikap) Battalion, Camp Edwards, Barangay Mirab, Upi, Maguindanao del Norte on Monday.

Lieutenant Colonel Guillermo Mabute Jr., 57 IB Commanding Officer, coined the FVEs as “Former Victims of Extremism” and FRs as “Friends Rescued”. “I commend the former victims of extremism and friends rescued for their courage in denouncing violence and extremism. Rest assured that the government will help you start your journey in living normally and peacefully with your families”, Lt. Col. Mabute Jr. added.

He also led the presentation of the FVEs and FRs to the Commander of the 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division and Joint Task Force Central, Major General Alex Rillera along with Regional Adviser on Peace and Security, Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) Regions 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13 Major General Edgardo De Leon (Ret), 603rd Brigade Commander Brigadier General Michael Santos, AGILA-HAVEN Focal Person Mr. Roger Dionisio and Local Chief Executives of Upi, South Upi, Ampatuan, Esperanza, Lebak, Maguindanao del Norte, Maguindanao del Sur, and Sultan Kudarat.

Major General Alex Rillera said that the ceremonial presentation showcased the FVEs and FRs' commitment to leaving behind their past affiliations and embracing a new journey.

“We, in the JTFC, aim to foster and give our utmost support for such initiatives of reintegration. Additionally, we aspire to encourage the remaining rebels to lay down their arms and reintegrate into the folds of law”, Maj. Gen. Rillera added.

As the ceremony concluded, the FVEs and FRs received financial assistance and food packs from the AGILA-HAVEN program and local chief executives at both provincial and municipal levels.

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