Troops seek aid to repair Sulu Mosque

By ALAN AMANTIAD

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Philippine Army’s 6th Special Forces Company (6SFC) is seeking the assistance of donors for the repair of Masjid Maas (old mosque) which was constructed in 2019 in Sitio Banglot, Barangay Upper Sinumaan, Talipao,

MASJID MAAS. The Army’s 6th Special Forces Company (6SFC) on Friday (March 25, 2022) seeks donors to fund the repair of the only mosque in remote Barangay Upper Sinumaan in Talipao town, Sulu to prevent violent extremism in the area. The areas surrounding the mosque was used as a sanctuary by the Abu Sayyaf Group six months ago but villagers have since rejected the presence of the terrorists in their community. (Photo courtesy of Capt. Ron Villarosa, 6SFC commander)

Capt. Ron Villarosa, the 6SFC commander said in a statement that this will help prevent violent extremism in a remote village in Talipao, Sulu.

The mosque sits on the foot of Mount Sinumaan, a remote area, where light materials can be used for its structure.

“This initiative forms part of 6SFC’s efforts on preventing violent extremism by strengthening vulnerable institutions that could easily be exploited by threat groups,” Villarosa said.

“The rehabilitated mosque will serve as a conducive venue to preach peace under the teachings of Islam,” he added.

The repairs would cost around PHP60,000, which will cover the procurement of a sound system and complimenting solar panel set, repair of walls, and concreting of floors.

The mosque currently has compacted soil as the floor used for praying.

“As Ramadhan nears, we are looking forward to rehabilitating the mosque for a more conducive praying environment,” Villarosa said.

This year’s Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, introspection, and prayer for Muslims, is set to start on April 1.

Six months ago, Villarosa said the vicinity of Masjid Maas was used by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits as a sanctuary.

Through intensified mass base operations and community support programs launched by the 6SFC, the ASG has since been denied popular support from the community.

“This, in effect, shaped the operational environment in favor of government forces,” Villarosa said.

“Let us help our Tausug brothers and sisters,” he added. (With PNA)

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