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Friday, April 12, 2024
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Basilan’s Golden Year: Remembering the past, embracing progress


ISABELA CITY—Basileños are commemorating their province’s 50th founding anniversary, remembering recent years of turbulence which transformed into a journey of peace, resilience, and progress from February 27 to March 7, 2024.
 
This year’s celebration carries the theme, “Basilan@50: Advancing Our Gains, Expanding Our Capabilities Towards a Better Life for All.”
 
Governor Jim Salliman-Hataman reflected on the province’s journey, from its prosperous golden era in the 1960s to the challenges posed by spoilers like the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, leading to its eventual recovery from economic downturns.
 
“50th anniversary is worth celebrating, kahit balikan natin yung mga nakaraan, gawing lang natin armas sya maging equipment o armas natin para isulong at ipataas ang level ng antas ng ating pakikibaka towards development,” Gov. Salliman-Hataman said.
 
[50th anniversary is worth celebrating, even if we reminisce about the past, let’s just make it a weapon, let’s make it our equipment or weapon to advance and raise the level of our struggle towards development.]
 
“Noong dumating ang sakuna ang una-unang tumanggap at kumilos, with due respect with the security sector, ay tayo mga Basileños tulung lamang ang military at pulis sa atin.” He added.
 
[When the disaster came the first to accept and act with due respect with the security sector were us Basilanos only the military and the police helped us.]
 
Governor Salliman-Hataman hoped in ten years now no one will die from a gun, instead they will engage in livelihood.
 
Meanwhile, BGen Alvin Luzon, Brigade Commander, 101st Infantry Division, Philippine Army, expressed appreciation to the provincial government’s activity which centered on peace and security.
 
“Twenty-eight years ago when I first set foot in this province I was still young and promising lieutenant then. I was here when discord, violence and poverty were very evident throughout the province. I myself witnessed the fighting, the armed conflict and the war on terror. I’ve seen the worst, we even heard nuisance stories of how hard life, where everyone was before, how arm conflict affected the lives of everyone,” BGen Luzon said.
 
Luzon enjoined everyone to come together appreciate and celebrate its 50th years of journey of resilience, growth and progress.
 
“As Basilaneos we should take pride in our province rich cultural heritage. Let us also celebrate our unity in diversity and most importantly we should all together look forward to bright future that promises a better life for everyone,” Luzon said.
 
In his recent engagements across various parts of Mindanao, Luzon reported that the province has effectively administered the small arms and light weapons (SALW) program, achieving success in its implementation.
 
Inspired by Basilan’s achievements, other provinces within BARMM have endeavored to emulate its exemplary management of SALW, turning Basilan into a beacon of peace-building and fostering a culture of harmony.
 
These initiatives are part of upholding peace and progress in the Bangsamoro region, recognizing the importance of managing the instruments of violence to support the normalization process outlined in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB). (Majid Nur/BIO)

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