Military urges Muslim youth to take part in Mindanao peace campaign

A military approach is not a solution to winning the peace in Mindanao, said an official of the Western Mindanao Command, who urged members of the Muslim youth to take an active role in the peace campaign of the government, during the three-day national convention of members of the Muslim Students’ Association held in Zamboanga City from December 21 to 23, 2018.

“The problem here in Mindanao will only cease once all of you will decide to embrace the culture of peace. Security and order are not the sole responsibility of the security sector but of all stakeholders,” said Lieutenant Colonel Gerry Besana, the spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command.

Asked on how close is the Armed Forces of the Philippines in neutralizing the enemy, Lieutenant Colonel Besana said: “We are as close as this that we are gathering here to talk about the solutions. Hindi giyera ang solusyon sa problema ng ating bayan. Kapag dalawa ang napatay sa 10 kalaban, nagiging 28 ang kalaban dahil sa mga nauulila.”

Meanwhile, Engr. El-shal Sali, the vice-president of the Muslim Students’ Association Council of Elders’ Foundation, Inc., expressed support to the military’s inclusive campaign. “Despite the negative connotation, we are still thankful to Allah because the people here have been conscious about the meaning of Islam and now they are starting to study Islam and realize that it is a good religion,” he said.

Anchored on the theme, “MSAeans Speak: Institutionalizing the Roles of MSA in Today’s Societal Issues and Discourses,” the national convention with the MSA members in the Philippines was held at Woodland Resort in Barangay Zambowood, this city.

Lieutenant Arnel Dela Vega, the WestMincom commander, said that more engagements with the religious and private sectors will be initiated in the joint area of operations to further the military’s resolution for peace in Mindanao.

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