Gov. Hadjiman Hataman-Salliman highlighted in his State of the Province Address (SOPA) the zero kidnapping incidents for the past four years in this province.
Salliman said this was made possible through the concerted efforts of all stakeholders, “who in one way or the other helped the security forces in maintaining relative peace in this province.”
He cited the support to the Basilan Ulama Council and other Muslim religious leaders in the campaign on Anti-Violent Extremism, through Islamic teachings in the entire province, covering public and private schools, madrasah, mosques, and the rural and urban communities.
The governor said that through the “unrelenting efforts of the military,” the number of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) surrenderers “now reached 258 individuals and are all under the Program Against Violent Extremism (PAVE).”
“The accomplishments that we have had over the last four years are indeed notable. But we do not stop there. We have to do something to sustain the gains and attempt on more and better options if we do not want to slide back to where we were 20 or five years ago,” he said.
The province managed to sustain the reintegration processes of the ASG surrenderers, he said, through the PAVE of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), in collaboration with the provincial government, the Philippine National Police, international communities such as the Australian and Norwegian governments, civil society groups, religious groups, and other local stakeholders.
He thanked the different military units assigned in various areas of this province and lauded Brig. Gen. Fernando Reyeg, the Army’s 101st Infantry Brigade, for the program’s “successful implementation.”
Reyeg agreed with the governor that the absence of kidnapping incidents in recent years can be attributed to the “effective implementation of security measures in this province.”
“Our security measure was effective because all the stakeholders are very cooperative. The community provides us valuable information once there are new personalities in their place,” Reyeg said. “So we are able to guard against kidnapping.”
Meanwhile, Salliman said he has proposed to National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to establish a military training camp in this province.
Specifically, the governor wanted the training camp to be located in the so-called Sampinit Complex, which served as the stronghold of the ASG bandits in this province. (PNA)