MANILA, July 28 — As the military continuously engages in fierce battle against the Maute terror group in Marawi City, Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon of Sarangani province urged his Muslim constituents to help sustain the anti-terrorism efforts the provincial government has initiated last year.
This is to shield the province from the influence and atrocities by any local terrorist organizations.
Solon made the call in his Eidul Fitr message distributed to 256 mosques in the six coastal towns of Sarangani read by respective Imams after the morning Eidul Fitr congregational prayers in Muslim communities on June 25.
“Let us all act together such that the atrocity brought by those groups that espouse terror to push their twisted ideology will not reach our province,” the governor said.
“We share the same goal and that is to live peacefully, happily and with ease in Sarangani, thus we ask your continuous engagement in our undertakings that will strengthen peace in our communities,” he added.
The initiative of the provincial government against terrorism started in September last year through the “Training of Trainers on Anti-Radicalism and Anti-Illegal Drugs Advocacy” participated in by Imams, Asatidz (Madrasa teachers), Muslim force multipliers, Muslim women and youth leaders.
The activity was spearheaded by the Sulong Kapayapaan Project under the governor’s flagship program – Sulong Sarangani.
With the help of invited Ulama (Islamic scholars), the trained participants re-echoed the anti-radicalism and anti-illegal drugs advocacy through municipal peace symposiums, Islamic forums, organizational meetings, sermons in mosques, and mobile da’wah (preaching).
The Asatidz also oriented the Madaris (Islamic schools) pupils and their parents on the harmful effects of prohibited substance and to be vigilant on radical groups.
For almost two decades now, the provincial government of Sarangani has been supporting the operation of 49 Madrasa centers by providing monthly honorarium for 125 Asatidz.
The support also includes provision or teaching materials and annual teaching enhancement training for the Asatidz.
Madaris offer Arabic literacy and Islamic values education for young Muslim learners on Saturday and Sunday classes.