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Friday, August 5, 2022

Sulu peace efforts lauded

INTERIOR SECRETARY Benjamin Abalos praised the peace efforts of the provincial government in Sulu and the security forces for the sustained and successful surrender of Abu Sayyaf members and their supporters.


Provincial government photos show Gov. Sakur Tan with DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos and Police Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr inspecting the weapons surrendered by Abu Sayyaf members during the formal presentation of 100 surrendered Abu Sayyaf members in Sulu.

Abalos was recently in Sulu where he formally received 100 Abu Sayyaf members who surrendered separately to authorities in the province. 

Governor Sakur Tan led security and municipal officials in presenting the former Abu Sayyaf fighters to Abalos. Tan said the support of the community and local government officials and the efforts of the police and military led to the mass surrender. 

He said those who surrendered were provided livelihood assistance and financial support by the provincial and municipal government, as well as by the police and military as part of the collective peace efforts in the province. 

The ceremony was attended by Police Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr., Army Maj. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of the Joint Task Force – Sulu; Police Aj. Gen. Eden Ugale, Police Brig. Gen. Arthur Cabalona, the regional director, among others.

Abalos said: “This is truly a historic day. Itong araw na ito ang simula ng inyong bagong buhay, kayo ay may pagkakataon na muling maging produktibong kabahagi ng bansa. Kaya nagpapasalamat ako na kayo'y naniwala at nagtiwala sa pangako ng pagbabago ng ating gobyerno. Kayo man ay sandaling naligaw ng landas, masaya ako na kayo’y nagbalik hindi lang para sa inyong sarili kung hindi para sa ating kabataan.”

Those who surrendered were from the towns of Indanan, Omar, Maimbung, Panamao, Talipao, and Patikul. They also handed over 22 assorted weapons.

Abalos said the former terrorists will be enrolled in the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and shall receive additional financial and livelihood assistance.

Under the E-CLIP grant, qualified beneficiaries are entitled to guaranteed safety and security; cash assistance P50,000 livelihood assistance; P15,000 for mobilization expenses; and firearms remuneration amounting to the value of surrendered weapons.

E-CLIP is a government flagship program that aims to help former rebels live a normal life with their loved ones. “Through this program, the E-CLIP aims to address the root cause of the country’s problem on terrorism. We will make sure, na uunlad ang agrikultura at turismo ng Sulu. We will make sure that our children will live in a good, better, and brighter future,” Abalos said. (Mindanao Examiner)