The local officials of the town of Parang in the province of Sulu have signed a manifesto declaring the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) as persona non grata in the municipality.
Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said the signing of the manifesto was made during a peace covenant meeting on February 19, 2020, in the town of Parang.
Vinluan said Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan and Parang Mayor Alkhadar Loong led the covenant meeting, where key officials denounced the ASG and proposed initiatives to strengthen and institutionalize public safety, security, and well-being in the municipality.
The other stakeholders and officials who signed and took part in the commitment are the following: Col. Ignatius Patrimonio, 1102nd Infantry Brigade commander; Col. Taharudin Ampatuan, Patrimonio’s deputy; Lt. Col. Jooney Jay Businos, 2nd Special Forces Battalion commander; Imam Kahal Tiplahan, Muslim religious leader; Lt. Col. Jeff Uy, OIC-Sulu Police Provincial director; Captain Rico Tagure, 4th Special Forces Company commander; Maj. Moh’d Hussin Tapsi, Parang police chief; Councilor Awaljaman Tahil, Parang Liga ng mga Barangay president; and the 24 barangay chairpersons of Parang.
Vinluan said the covenant meeting also empowered the religious sector to promote mutual respect and peaceful coexistence.
He said the municipal and military officials have activated the Municipal Task Force in Ending Local Armed Conflict (MTF-ELAC) during the signing of the covenant.
“The activation of the MTF-ELAC substantially proves that the government is serious in accelerating the peace process in Parang, Sulu. It shows that the different sectors are also working together to sustain security and normalcy in the area,” he said.
He said key officials also activated the Municipal Peace Action Operations and Monitoring Center (MPAOMC) and the Islamic Religious Council of Parang to address the socio-cultural, security, and development issues and to sustain and tap the development potentials of the town.
Vinluan said several consultations and discussions were held during the Municipal Peace and Order Council meeting in Parang since February 6.
“Peace calls for commitment, involvement, and integration of efforts. We let synergy work out and bring a breakthrough in our security and development campaign. With our headway, this convergence will continue to substantiate our peace efforts and ameliorate our gains,” said Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief.
“I thank and urge our committed partners who ardently share this common goal towards transformation for peace and progress in Sulu and the entire Mindanao,” Sobejana said. (Teofilo Garcia, Jr, PNA)