Basilan execs renew support for peace initiatives

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ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY, Philippines

Two officials of Basilan province have renewed their support to further the peace initiatives as they assumed office on Thursday, June 30.

Lamitan City Mayor Roderick Furigay and Basilan Gov. Gov. Jim Salliman separately announced they will support the Mindanao peace process as elected officials.

The Mindanao peace process aims to end the decades-old Moro struggle for self-determination.

Furigay took his oath of office as mayor of Lamitan City on Thursday, after serving as vice mayor for three consecutive terms that lasted for nine years.

“My administration shall focus on peace building activities, along with other interventions, essential to the attainment of socio-economic progress in Lamitan City. I shall fully support the national government’s peace process with Moro sectors in Mindanao,” Furigay said.

Salliman, elected to a third and last term as Basilan governor during the May 9 local polls, said Thursday he, too, shall embark on programs complementing the national government’s peace efforts in the Bangsamoro region.

Salliman said he shall continue reaching out to his constituents identified with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front that have separate peace agreements with Malacañang.

“My office shall support all efforts meant to resolve the Moro issue hounding Mindanao since the late 1960s. Peace processes are the best means of addressing security issues in our province and elsewhere in the Bangsamoro region,” Salliman said.

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Lamitan City and Basilan are both in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) that also covers the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Two other cities, Marawi and Cotabato, are also inside BARMM’s core territory. (John Unson and Antonio Manaytay)

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