Tuesday Aug, 09 2022 09:14:14 AM

BARMM builds ex-rebels' halfway house in Patikul

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 08:30 AM Thu Jun 23, 2022
Edwin O. Fernandez
BARMM Interior Minister Naguib Sinarimbo leads groundbreaking for ex-rebel reformation center in Patikul, Sulu. (MILG photo)

BONGAO, Tawi-Tawi – The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is giving former Moro rebels a second chance in life by providing them a space for reform or half-way house.

Interior and Local Government Minister Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo, also BARMM spokesperson, said a reformation center will rise in Patikul to serve as venue to rebuild lives of former Abu Sayyaf Group members who surrendered earlier to the government.

Patikul, and in particular Barangay Langhub, where the center will be built, is a known ASG stronghold just a few years ago.

“In fact, while we were leaving Cotabato, our Team was still debating whether it was a good idea to put the Reformation Center in this area. I trusted the military and our locals in this area. And so even if it was already getting dark in this area, we proceeded with the program just the same,” he said in a statement Thursday.

Brig. Gen. Benjamin Batara, commander of 1103rd Infantry Brigade and his officers as well as the LGU of Patikul under Mayor Kabir Hayudini joined Sinarimbo and BARMM team in the ground breaking ceremonies.

“The location was in the interior and given that it rained that day, the path leading to the site was slippery,” Sinarimbo recalled.

The Reformation Center will serve as the half-way house for these rebels who have decided to rejoin the mainstream society.

“It is a complement to our Project Tugon and will serve as the venue for their skills development training as well as reorientation,” Sinarimbo said.

Sinarimbo said this will be a safe space that will prepare them to rejoin the mainstream society and become productive community members.

He said the project was specifically requested by WesMinCom Commander Maj. General Alfredo Rosario when he paid a courtesy visit to Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim last year. “It is a partnership between our ministry, the LGU and our security sector,” he said.

The BARMM spokesperson was elated seeing the island of Sulu at night.

“We left Patikul when it was already dark and proceeded to the other end of the Sulu main island, Luuk. Just very recently, no one dared to traverse this road at night, but here we are on a journey to the far end of Sulu and enjoying the serenity of the surroundings. Peace, indeed, is taking root in this once troubled paradise,” he said.


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