By Julmunir I. Jannaral
LUUK, Sulu — 53 former members of the dreaded Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists in Sulu individually received P10,000.00 financial assistance from the Ministry of Public Order and Safety (MPOS) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) on Thursday, Nov. 18, in Brgy. Bual, Luuk Municipality.
On the same day, MPOS also broke grounds for the construction of a bunkhouse with workshop facility which aims to provide the ASG returnees with sustainable livelihood opportunities, through the conduct of livelihood skills trainings.
The 4th Marine Brigade volunteered to construct the said facility, while the ministry’s partner, Gagandilan Mindanao Women, Inc., will conduct a hollow block making livelihood program for the former insurgents.
Peace Program Officer Sittie Janine Gamao emphasized that MPOS, along with the other BARMM ministries, will always be willing to deliver the best of what they can offer to uplift the lives of the ASG returnees.
“Kung maaalala ninyo sa Tanduh Bato, may ibang ministry po tayong kasama at ang iba sa mga gusto niyo na hindi mandato ng MPOS ay ni-lilink namin sa kanila. Kung kaya, ang kaya lang namin na maibigay sa ngayon na kasama sa aming mandato ay ang groundbreaking natin kanina [bunkhouse] at itong P10,000 assistance, baka sakaling makatulong sa inyo bilang puhunan,” Gamao said.
“Kami rin sa MPOS, hinihiling naming maging isa kayo sa mga bantay kapayapaan sa loob ng komyunidad,” she added. (We in the MPOS would like you to be the guardian of peace in your community.)
The ASG returnees, on the other hand, said they are grateful to the Bangsamoro government for helping them start a new life and providing the assistance they need.
Meanwhile, lawyer Al-Rashid Balt, MPOS Director General expressed his gratitude to the BARMM leadership for giving the ministry the opportunity to serve the people.
“Ang MPOS ay lubos na nagpapasalamat sa ating mahal na Chief Minister Ahod “Al Hajj Murad” Ebrahim dahil kahit bago at maliit lang ang opisina ay pinagkatiwalaan niya ng mandato na maging responsive sa need ng mga tao,” Balt said.
MPOS also visited Brgy. Tukay in Parang, Sulu on Saturday, Nov. 20, to distribute similar financial assistance to 20 more ASG returnees. (JIJ)