By Ali G. Macabalang
Isulan, Sultan Kudarat – Officials of all Regional Peace and Order Councils (RPOCs) in Mindanao met here on Wednesday to harmonize their agenda relevant to ensuring security in the regions.
The day- long meeting was presided by Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael “Mike” Sueno and hosted at the provincial capitol complex here by Sultan Kudarat Governor Pax Mangudadatu, the newly designated RPOC chairman for Region XII or Central Mindanao.
Other RPOCs chairpersons and vice chairpersons as well as some provincial governors attended the meeting, which tackled major concerns including cases of prohibited drugs, illegal gambling, terrorism and insurgency.
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor Mujiv Hataman, who chairs the ARMM’s RPOC, shared much of recommendations concerning issues on insurgency and extremism affecting his region.
ARMM, which covers Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi provinces and the cities of Marawi and Lamitan, hosts the major enclaves of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Moro National Liberation Front, the outlawed Abu Sayyaf and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and some jihadist quarters such as the Maute group.
“We want to provide safe and secure atmosphere conducive to the region’s residents and investors,” Gov. Hataman said after enumerating some corresponding recommendations.
On the emergence of extremism in some parts of ARMM, Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu renewed his suggestion for government sanction on all madaris (Arabic and Islamic schools) by way of through screening and accreditation processes.
He said all teachers in the madaris system should also be profiled to insure that their lectures would not include ways that encourage extremist ideology en route to jihadist or terror actions.
Sueno said the synchronized meeting was aimed at harmonizing measures on how to restrain criminality, or any issue that affects the peace and order situation in Mindanao.