The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has distributed food packs to 32 former combatants of the Daesh-inspired Dawlah Islamiya (DI) terrorists in Lanao del Sur.
The 1st Infantry Division said in a statement on July 28, 2020, that the relief assistance was facilitated by the municipal government of Piagapo and Army’s 82nd Infantry Battalion.
It said that each of the 32 former DI members received 20 kilos of rice and assorted grocery items from OPAPP. The distribution was held Monday at the town hall of Piagapo.
Abdul Hakim Limug, OPAPP representative, assured the former DI combatants that the government will support their rehabilitation and reintegration into the mainstream society.
One of the DI surrenderers, a certain Asis, thanked the government for the support extended to them.
“We are thankful to the government for all the help extended to us. Through your sacrifices, we are able to change and live righteous life),” Asis was quoted in the dialect as saying.
The 1st Infantry Division said that sustainable livelihood programs are being crafted as part of the efforts of the Piagapo municipal government and other government agencies to assist the former DI extremists in their “journey to peaceful and normal lives”.
The Municipal Agriculture Office of Piagapo, the Office of the Provincial Agriculture, Technical Education, and Skills Development Authority, and the 82nd Infantry Battalion are collaborating in crafting the Agri-Crop Production Program for the former DI fighters in the area.
Piagapo Vice Mayor Ali Sumandar called on the former DI members to continue “embracing peace and continue to live up to the ideals of Islam”.
“Piagapo is a Peace-loving municipality. Your rehabilitation and reintegration to the mainstream society will prove that indeed we are peace-loving and that we denounce any forms of violence and terrorism in our society for it is unIslamic,” Sumandar said.
Lt. Col. Rafman Altre, 82nd Infantry Battalion commander, lauded the municipal government of Piagapo for the “diligence and sacrifices” in accepting and assisting the former DI combatants.
“I believe that we are on the right track. The 82nd Infantry Battalion strongly supports all the developmental programs of the Municipality of Piagapo especially in rehabilitating and reintegrating our FR (former rebel) brothers who decided to embrace peace,” Altre said. (Teofilo Garcia, Jr., PNA)