PIAGAPO, Lanao del Sur: Twenty six former members of the Dawlah Islamiya-Maute Group (DI-MG) here have received lately relief assistance from the local Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) against Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Services and Development of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MWSD-BARMM) and the Army’s 82nd Infantry Batallion (82IB).
Piagapo Vice Mayor and IATF Chairman Ali L. Sumandar said each former rebel received one sack (25 kilos) of premium rice as part of the continuous efforts of the government in aiding the community in fighting and surviving Coveid-19.
Sumandar assured his constituents that in trying times like these the government will help the people and no one will be left behind, not even former rebels.
It can be recalled that after the liberation of Marawi City from the hands of the ‘ISIS-inspired’ violent extremists, the government offered its doors to those who wanted to return to the folds of the law and be re-integrated in the mainstream society.
Sumandar assisted in numerous negotiations and peace dialogues that resulted in the voluntary surrender of some active and lie-low members of the DI-MG in his municipality.
Troops of Charlie Company of 82IB led by its company commander, 1LT Chris Anthony T. Cayaba facilitated the travel and attendance of the former rebels during the distribution of the food assistance.
LtCol. Rafman S. Altre, commanding officer of 82nd IB, called on the remaining active and lie-low members of the DI-MG and also of the Communist Terrorist Group in the area to lay down their arms and accept the peace offered by the government in furtherance to ending the local armed conflict in the province.
“The government is serious in giving you a chance to live peaceful and normal lives once again, just like these former rebels who are now enjoying the different programs of the government in the comfort of their homes and their families,” added Altre.
“While our troops are focus on assisting the different frontliners against COVID-19, there is no let-up on our security and efforts in tracking down the remnants of the Local Terrorist Groups in our area,” he said.
Masiding Noor Yahya