The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is spearheading a peace forum with religious and political leaders to tackle peace and security issues in a three-day summit in Patikul, Sulu, Southern Philippines.
Anchored on the theme, “Unity and Harmony amidst Diversity towards Peace, Security, Development and Prosperity!” the peace summit saw around 100 Islamic and political leaders from Sulu who gave their consensus on internal security issues currently besetting the province.
The peace summit, which will started on December 19 and will culminate on December 21, is encouraging religious leaders to propose solutions to address terrorism in Sulu from the viewpoint of Islam, considering that terrorists used religious narratives to incite resentment and solicit resources to finance their nefarious ploys.
Brigadier General Francisco Ariel Felicidario III, Commander of the 101st Infantry Brigade, expressed his gratitude to local and religious leaders who are present in the summit and took the time to discuss the problem of armed struggles in Sulu.
“Religion and politics are correlated and that everyone, without regard to beliefs, needs guidance,” Brig. Gen. Felicidario said.
Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan cited a survey in Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, showing that a majority of the Suluanons prioritize religion.
“The Suluanons value religion more than family and work,” said Governor Tan.
“I think that is the reason why the Joint Task Force Sulu, in partnership with the provincial government and the Tumikang Sama-Sama, decided to organize a summit with our religious leaders,” Gov. Tan said.
Governor Tan added that such a focused group discussion with political and religious leaders will be helpful in coming up with solutions.
The peace summit is being held at the Sulu Area Coordination Center, Capitol Site in Barangay Bangkal, Patikul, Sulu.