PIAGAPO, Lanao del Sur (PIA)–The municipality of Piagapo here through the efforts majorly handled by the municipal mayor is now on the move toward eradicating the presence of the Dawlah Islamiyah group in the area.
Mayor Ali Sumandar shared that they have been collaborating with appropriate line agencies and the security sector to successfully attain their goal.
He said the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) has recently led a peace conversation with former violent extremists (FVEs) which he saw as a big help as they continue the program that they have started for peace.
Sumandar affirmed that the OPAPRU has always been monitoring the situation of FVEs in the town.
Moreover, he stressed that although their place is just a fourth-class municipality, they still strive to extend efforts to surrenderees by giving incentives despite the struggle on making ways to give some interventions.
Sumandar explained that unlike the security sector and other peace agencies who have separate funds for such a matter, local government units do not have this appropriation.
Nevertheless, he highlighted that he still perseveres to give care to FVEs as attested by his latest motion to the Provincial Peace and Order Council to pursue programs for the returnees’ necessities as they are mainstreamed back into the government and their normal lives.
“Sa ngayon, maganda siya [ang sitwasyon ng FVEs]. We are hoping na marami pa ang bumaba,” said Sumandar.
[For now, it [the situation of FVEs] is good. We are hoping that more will go down.]
The mayor bared that as per the latest inventory of the 51st Infantry Battalion, only one extremist is operating in their place, thus, their intensive effort of convincing this person to yield.
“Tinatrabaho natin na bumaba itong isang terorista para nang sa ganoon, ma-zero na ang ating lokalidad sa Dawlah Islamiya,” he said.
[We are striving so that this one terrorist will go down and for our locality to be zero with Dawlah Islamiya.]
Sumandar said that under his term, roughly 30 FVEs surrendered to his office while some went through the military and peace agencies which summed up to more or less 50 returnees. (CRG/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)