CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao — Peace activists on Saturday bade goodbye to the retiring commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division who was instrumental in the surrender of 314 religious extremists in the past 18 months.
Army Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, who graduated from the Philippine Military Academy in 1989, was succeeded by Brig. Gen. Eduardo Gubat, who shall, meantime, lead the 6th ID as acting commander.
The retirement rite for Uy in this Army camp Saturday was led by the commander of the Philippine Army, Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr.
The event was attended by many members of PMA’s Class ’89 and leaders of various sectors in central Mindanao.
Susana Anayatin, a member of the Bangsamoro regional parliament, said she is grateful to Uy for his peace-building initiatives focused on propagation of unity among Muslims, Christians and indigenous people in provinces covered by 6th ID.
Anayatin is chairperson of the 6th ID’s multi-sector advisory board, whose members include Muslim and Christian religious leaders and representatives from the business sector, civic groups and the media.
The 6th ID covers the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, South Cotabato and North Cotabato and the cities of Cotabato, Tacurong, Koronadal and General Santos.
Uy, in a message, acknowledged the support of the local communities to his peace-building programs while 6th ID commander.
He said among those who had supported the 6th ID’s peace and development initiatives while he was at the helm of the division were North Cotabato’s Vice Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza and Gov. Suharto Mangudadatu of Sultan Kudarat.
“I shall cherish the good days I had while in 6th ID,” Uy, who had served in the Army for 37 years, said.
Uy became popular in central Mindanao for having worked out, along with local government units and Moro datus in the region, the surrender of 314 members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Dawlah Islamiya since his assumption as 6th ID commander in September 2020.
Local officials present in Saturday’s event here took turns thanking Uy for his pacification campaign that paved the way for the return to mainstream society of hundreds of BIFF and Dawlah Islamiya members in recent months.
Both terror groups, fashioned from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, were tagged in all deadly bombings in central Mindanao since 2014.
Members of both groups who have returned to the fold of law have jointly been reintroduced to mainstream society by the 6th ID and different agencies of the government.