SULU — Bangsamoro Government’s Ministry of Public Order and Safety (MPOS) conducted a dialogue with 67 former members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the municipalities of Luuk and Omar in Sulu province on August 21 and 22.
The dialogue was MPOS’ intervention to the launched program of 4th Marine Brigade – Philippine Marine Corps dubbed: “ASG Returnees: Winning the Peace through Localized Social Integration Program.”
MPOS sought to know their main issues and concerns as returnees to the fold of the law, as well as the assistance they need to support their families.
In an interview, MPOS Peace Program Officer Sittie Janine Gamao emphasized the ex-ASG members’ need for livelihood assistance and educational support for their children.
“During the conversation, participants share common problem — how can they get back to farming and fishing as primary source of income without any danger,” Gamao said, adding that they also hope to provide good education for their children.
Gamao also mentioned that most of the former local insurgents lost their homes during clearing operations. “Most of them do not have their own home… that is why they only stay with other relatives,” she said.
During the dialogue, MPOS provided the ex-insurgents with financial aid worth Php3,000.00 each. The ministry also conducted activities on social healing, journey to integration, and linkage with other BARMM ministries. (Bangsamoro Information Office)