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AFP, MILF intensify efforts against violent extremism in Lanao del Sur


Marawi City—Two years after an extremist siege left Marawi City in ruins,  the military has stepped up efforts in helping address the causes of violent extremism in Lanao del Sur.

Philippine Army's 103rd Infantry Brigade, led by Brigadier General Romeo Brawner Jr., together with other stakeholders, conducted peace-building events and dialogue with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) community in Barangay Padas, Pagayawan, Lanao del Sur.

Maute leader Abu Dar was killed in an encounter with the government Forces last March, 2019 in Pagayawan.

Photos by M. Revales


At a briefing at the headquarters of the 103rd IB  in Kampo Ranao, Marawi City, Brawner said the activities for the day aimed to provide a first-hand coverage of the AFP peace activities with the MILF, along with other partners such as NGOs, the media, military reservist forces, Upsilon Sigma Phi  organization from the University of the Philippines, among other stakeholders in the province.

Brawner said a playground will be provided for the young MILF, to provide a avenue for cohesive and positive social engagement instead of divisive and potentially vicious activities that could drag children and the youth into violent extremism.

According to Brawner, the sole intent of the activities is to break the cycle of violent extremism.

Activities undertaken during the event include medical and dental services, livelihood projects, awarding of the first-ever playground set up in the MILF community; boodle fight with the MILF, Maute -ISIS returnees, among other programs.

Sammy Punda alyas Kumander Bangladesh, MILF chief of operation, Western Mindanao Base Command said that they are very grateful to President Rodrigo Duterte and to the AFP for their joint efforts for the betterment of their community. —LBG, GMA News

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