Army seeks cooperation of Muslim clerics in fight vs. extremists

October 5, 2016 10:44 am 

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao, Oct. 5 — Military authorities and Muslim Religious Leaders (MRL) have formed an alliance of cooperation to get rid Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur of suspected jihadist and extremists.

Maj. Gen. Carlito Galvez, commander of the 6th Infantry Division, invited MRLs in the division's area of jurisdiction to seek their support in the fight against extremism and armed men sympathetic to international terrorist groups.

Galvez sought the cooperation of clerics from Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and from the local "Darul Ifta" (Islamic House of Opinion), an organization of MRLs in Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and Lanao del Sur.

Galvez, a known peace advocate and former chair of the government ceasefire committee, said it is important for major stakeholders to take active roles in promoting Islamic principles on fraternalism, universal love, respect for non-Muslims and freedom in religion.

He said MRLs have big roles to play in preventing extremist recruitment activities of young Moro in less developed areas in three adjoining provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

In a statement, Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Toto Mangudadatu has expressed his all out support to the initiative of Gen. Galvez.

Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur have been identified as recruitment areas for Moro extremists that expressed support to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria but military authorities said it is yet to confirm the existence of genuine ISIS in the region.

The outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) remained to be the biggest threat to security in Maguindanao while armed groups which pledge allegiance to ISIS operate in Lanao del Sur. (PNA)

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