MANILA –To deny the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits their traditional harboring communities, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that it is connecting with the “Indigenous Muslim Traditional Leadership” to seek support for the Duterte administration’s ongoing campaign violent extremism.
AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said dialogue with traditional Mindanao leaders is part of their “convergence approach” which includes usage of military force and civil relation actions in defeating the bandit group.
He added talks with these local leaders are vital as it ensures the protection of vulnerable communities against ASG infiltration through violent ideology
“By involving Indigenous Muslim Leaders in Mindanao, we are a step closer in dissolving the terror group’s mass base support and prevent them from recruiting new members,” Arevalo pointed out.
Talks with an estimated 450 Muslim leaders, including those from various Mindanao sultanates and royal clans, took place last March 2 to 4 at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City.
Arevalo said the Muslim leader were headed by Sultan Abdulaziz Salem Mastura Kudarat V, the 25th Sultan of Maguindanao.