ARMM governor backs Duterte’s offer to Abu Sayyaf
ZAMBOANGA CITY — A member of President Duterte’s Cabinet and the governor of the only Muslim autonomous region in the country sided with Mr. Duterte’s strategy to wean some members of the Abu Sayyaf away from the terror group by offering them incentives.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Mr. Duterte simply wanted peace in Western Mindanao and other areas where the homegrown terror group operated.
Gov. Mujiv Hataman, of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said the strategy was actually successful in weakening Abu Sayyaf in Basilan province.
“No village now is under control of Abu Sayyaf,” Hataman said on Thursday during a presentation of the National Peace and Order Council presided over by Año.
The implementation of the government’s program against violent extremism paved the way for the success of the campaign against Abu Sayyaf in Basilan.
“It’s not about temporary justice,” said Año. “We need to move forward,” he added.
Mr. Duterte had offered financial packages and housing for Abu Sayyaf members who would turn themselves over to authorities. —Julie Alipala
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