By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL
LUPAH SUG: Sulu Gov. Abdusakur M. Tan has vehemently opposed the imposition of martial law in the province of Sulu.
This was in reaction to the proposal of Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commanding general of the Philippine Army after the recent twin bombings in downtown Jolo.
Nahdin Jubaira, a staff of Gov. Tan and concurrently executive director of the Sulu Area Coordinating Center told the Philippine Muslim Today that the provincial governor has convened a multi sectoral meeting on Wednesday at the Sumadja Hall of the Sulu Provincial Capitol in Patikul, Sulu.
Gov. Tan presided the meeting attended by high ranking officials from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) headed the list of AFP officers and Brig. Gen.
William Gonzales, 11th Alakdan Infantry Division Commander based in Jolo.
And from the PNP, in attendance were Brig. Gen. Manuel Abu, Regional Director of the Police Regional Office in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO BAR), and Police Col. Michael Bawayan, Jr., Provincial Director, Sulu Provincial Police Office (PPO); and other military officers.
Then from the local government units (LGUs), Jolo Mayor Kerkhar Tan as well as representatives of the civil society organizations were in attendance too in order to discuss the elusive peace and order in Sulu.
Gov. Tan recalled his actual experience when Martial Law was imposed in the whole country particularly in Sulu on September 21, 1972.
“I was there, I was 22 years old in 1974. I was not a bystander. I had a first rate experience of the event. You cannot teach us anything about it, we knew it,” Gov. Tan emphasized.
Hence, he recalled his first rate experience about martial law particular in downtown Jolo where many residents were picked up by the dreaded military men known as the GHQ (General Headquarters).
Some of the Tausug residents were invited for military investigation on suspicion for aiding the rebels notably the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), where some of them entirely disappeared and have not returned back home.
Be that as it may, Gov. Tan was at all praising the behavior of the AFP troopers now assigned in Jolo.
“You are not the soldiers that I saw in the 70s. You are better than them.”
Meanwhile, in his message, Maj. Gen. Vinluan said, “In spite of the recent unfortunate incidents, it is assured that the military remains steadfast in ensuring the safety and security of our Tausug brothers and sisters here in Sulu.”
“To achieve peace, we need to harmonize all our efforts and establish an atmosphere of unity and understanding among us,” the WestMinCom commander added.
Maj. Gen. Vinluan, also checked on the situation of the soldiers under the Joint Task Force Sulu during his unit visit at Headquarters, 11th Infantry Division, Busbus, Sulu on August 26.
As the newly installed WestMinCom commander, he visited and conferred medals on the soldiers who are currently confined at Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital. They sustained injuries during the twin blasts in Barangay Walled City, Jolo on August 24.
Conferred with the Wounded Personnel Medal were Sergeant Jose Alonzo, Corporal Philip Anthony Aleta, Corporal Aldrin Paj-dio, Private First Class Novin Guzman, Private First Class Jayson Paguirigan, Private Stephen Rey Oliveros, and the two Tausug Army troopers who were wounded also Private Alphasier Tapsi, and Private Alviner Hamsaji. JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL