By Claire Gigje
PIAGAPO, Lanao del Sur –After existing once as a haven for the local terrorist Dawlah Islamiyah – Maute Group (DI-MG), 103rd Infantry Brigade commanding officer BGen. Jose Maria Cuerpo II cited Brgy. Gacap as a village now reopened to the public and is ready for awaiting opportunities.
He conveyed that the barangay is worthy of emulation with it visibly upholding peace.
“Ang Brgy. Gacap ay dating kuta at training ground ng mga Dawlah ngunit tingnan ninyo ngayon ang Gacap. Tahimik na siya at ang mga tao ay may kalayaang gumawa ng mga bagay upang itaguyod nila ang kanilang mga pamilya at sarili para sa mas magandang buhay at kinabukasan. Ang mga bata ay masayang nakakapag-aral. Ang mga tao ay masayang nakakakuha ng mga impormasyon dito,” said Cuerpo.
[Brgy. Gacap used to be a stronghold and training ground of the Dawlah but look at Gacap now. It is already peaceful and the people have the freedom to do things to support their families and themselves for a better life and future. The children are happily studying. The people are happy to get information from here]
The brigade commander stressed that like Brgy. Gacap, everyone is provided the chance to live with tranquility which gives no room for conflicts.
He further stated that it is just unfortunate for Lanao del Sur as, until this day, there is a struggle in the entry of opportunities considering the unremoved stains on the image of the province.
“Hanggang ngayon, ang hirap nating ibenta ang probinsya ng Lanao del Sur. Mahirap pumasok ang oportunidad na mabigyan tayo ng magandang pamumuhay sapagkat ang mga negosyante, Muslim man o Kristyano, ay minsan natatakot sapagkat ang unang pumapasok sa kanila ay ang pangit na imahinasyon ng probinsya ng Lanao del Sur dahil din sa kagagawan natin,” said Cuerpo.
[Until now, it is hard for us to sell Lanao del Sur. It is difficult for the opportunities to enter to give us better lives because businessmen, whether Muslim or Christians, are sometimes afraid because the first thing that comes to them is the ugly image of the province of Lanao del Sur and that is because of what we have done.]
“Tayo rin ang may kagagawan nito. Wala tayong mablame nito kung hindi tayo rin dahil tayo ang gumagawa ng kaguluhan natin sa atin mismong bayan, ang Lanao del Sur. Sana ito na ang katapusan,” he added, looking forward to the end of all conflicts.
[We are the ones liable for this. We cannot blame anyone but ourselves because we were the ones who made the chaos in our province, Lanao del Sur. I hope this will be the end.] (PIA-Lanao del Sur)