Military officials and key ministers of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) met to discuss measures to sustain peace and development in the region, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) said.
AFP WestMinCom chief Lieutenant General Corleto Vinluan Jr. said he and the military commanders of the Joint Task Force Sulu paid a courtesy call to BARMM chief minister Ahod Ebrahim and his ministers in Cotabato City on Monday, May 3 to express their gratitude for the region’s support in addressing the armed conflict in Muslim Mindanao.
Vinluan also assured that the military will support the Bangsamoro government in its quest for peace and development.
“The Joint Normalization is moving forward despite various challenges, and it only shows our shared commitment to finally achieve lasting peace in Southern Philippines,” he said in a statement.
“Rest assured that WestMinCom will support the Bangsamoro Government, as a strong partner in our joint quest for peace and development,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. further stated,” he added.
Vinluan also disclosed that the meeting was conducted to provide BARMM ministers “areas for partnership, determine the mechanism platform of support relationship, and jointly establish a mechanism of coordination, collaboration, and convergence of efforts with the security sector.”
“The strengthened cooperation and convergence between the armed forces and our stakeholders led to the effective implementation of efforts to address terrorism and insurgency in the region. This is an opportune event to sustain our gains in the province of Sulu” he added.
According to Joint Task Force Sulu Commander Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, the province of Sulu as one of the six provinces of BARMM is now ready for sustainable development.
The security situation in the province is considered at a manageable level as manifested by the diminished level of atrocities.
“We fervently believe that the BARMM and the Joint Task Force Sulu can work hand-in-hand towards sustaining the peace and can bring significant development in the province,” Gonzales said.
“Rest assured that we in the Joint Task Force Sulu and 11th Infantry Division, your army in Western Mindanao, will remain committed as ever. We will never bring down our guards in protecting the people and the communities and shall continue to uphold and contribute to sustaining the community development,” he added.
In a message, Ebrahim said expressed gratitude for the military’s support in maintaining order and in building the Bangsamoro region.
“We are fortunate that in the journey towards peace in the Bangsamoro region, we have our dear partners from the security sector to help us out in maintaining order, troops whom we once faced at the other side of defense but are now working with us side by side, one in building the Bangsamoro region,” he said.
“We are very thankful to the Western Mindanao Command for the help you extended to sustain the peace and order in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, and the entire Bangsamoro region,” he added.