Non-Muslim Soldiers fixing dilapidated mosque, school building

John Unson - Philstar.com
Non-Muslim Soldiers fixing dilapidated mosque, school building
Local executives, benefactors, Army and police officials launched on June 20, 2024 the mosque and Madrasah repair project in Barangay Gawang in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur.
Photo courtesy of Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY— Army units led by non-Muslims and Moro stakeholders have fused ranks to rehabilitate an old dilapidated mosque and an adjoining Islamic school building in Barangay Gawang in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur.

The commander of the Philippine Army, Lt. Gen. Roy Galido and Major Gen. Alex Rillera, who is at the helm of the 6th Infantry Division, and local executives in Datu Saudi and nearby towns told reporters on Monday that they appreciate the project, a joint initiative of the 92nd Infantry Battalion, the Philippine Army Finance Center Producers Integrated Cooperative (PAFCPIC) and other cooperating Army units in the province.

The mosque and Madrasah reconstruction project, launched on Thursday last week, was planned together by officials of the 92nd IB, led by their commanding officer, Lt. Col. Christian Cabading, barangay officials and local executives in Datu Saudi.

The PAFCPIC shall bankroll the expenditures for the repair of the mosque and the Madrasah school building that local officials said can be a venue for inculcating among students the importance of Islamic teachings on the importance of religious tolerance and solidarity among Muslims and non-Muslims.

Rillera said that besides the 92nd IB, the project also involves the 6th Mechanized Battalion and 9th Field Artillery Battalion under the 1st Brigade Combat Team.

Two representatives of the PAFCPIC, Gemma Delena and Lebrito Olmoguez, the cooperative’s manager for Cotabato City, and member of its board of directors respectively, and officials of the Bureau of Fire Protection in the municipality and the Datu Saudi Ampatuan Police Station attended the symbolic launching of the project.

“This project complements the efforts of the local communities and Army units in Maguindanao del Sur to spread peace and sustainable development in the province through community-based peacebuilding programs,” Rillera, commander of both the 6th ID and the anti-terror Joint Task Force Central, said.

Barangay Gawang was the scene of fierce clashes between state security forces and guerillas of the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in decades past.

The two groups have forged separate peace compacts with the national government, brokered by member-states of the influential Organization of Islamic Cooperation. They are now overseeing the peace and development initiatives of the regional government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

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