From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 19): Village execs urged to help stop illegal drugs, extremism
RAJAH BUAYAN, Maguindanao – Military and local officials in Maguindanao on Monday called on newly-elected village leaders of this town to help the Duterte government stop illegal drugs and extremism in their communities.
The challenge was raised by Rajah Buayan Mayor Zamzamin Ampatuan, Brigadier Gen. Diosdado Carreon, 601st Army Brigade commander and Lieutenant Col. Edgar Catu, chief of Army’s 40th Infantry Battalion during the oath-taking ceremonies of newly elected barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials at the town’s covered court here.
The newly-elected village officials took their oath before the mayor who challenged them to work with unity in order to reach one common goal that will result in better barangay governance.
“Stand as one to protect your communities,” Ampatuan said.
Carreon, for his part, urged the officials “to help the local government and the military get rid their communities of lawless elements, illegal drugs, and extremists.”
Catu, meanwhile, said the Army welcomes cooperation and coordinating from elected officials so lawless elements could not disrupt peace and tranquility in their barangays. He asked them to report suspicious individuals in their midst so any atrocities can be avoided.
Rajah Buayan borders the adjoining towns of Shariff Aguak, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Datu Salibo and Mamasapano, aptly labeled by the military as the “SPMS Box”, all conflict-affected towns in Maguindanao where the IS-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters operate.
After the oath-taking, Ampatuan, Carreon, and Catu led the distribution of schools supplies and sports facilities to officials of Rajah Buayan’s 11 barangays.