By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – The Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) and the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde) met with the Muslim leaders here early this week to strengthen their partnership against terrorism.
The meeting participated by Muslim community leaders led by Amin Sultan of Salaam Police Advisory Group (SPAG) was held at the Patnubay Hall of the BCPO last Tuesday, following the bombing at Mindanao State University gymnasium in Marawi City that killed four people while they were attending a Catholic mass on December 3.
This is part of the joint counter-terrorism measures being implemented by the security forces to prevent the occurrence of similar terror attack here and other areas in Negros Occidental.
Police Colonel Noel Aliño, BCPO director, said that the discussion focuses on strengthening coordination to combat terrorism and other forms of crime and violence in this city.
According to the 3rd Infantry Division (ID), the meeting aimed to foster understanding and cooperation amidst security challenges, with the shared objective of safeguarding and maintaining peace and stability in Negros Island.
Brigadier General Orlando Edralin, 303rd IBde commander, expressed his satisfaction on the strong support and cooperation of the Muslim leaders in this collaborative effort to thwart acts of terrorism in the city.
“We are pleased with this exemplary display of trust and confidence from our Muslim brothers and sisters here in Bacolod City to join us in our efforts to prevent the possible entry of terrorist groups into the city and the entire island of Negros,” Edralin said in a statement, as he thanked the Muslim community for their willingness to cooperate and to assist them, especially in monitoring and preventing the entry of potential perpetrators.
Meanwhile, Major General Marion Sison, 3ID commander, lauded the 303rd IBde and the BCPO for their initiative to reach out with the Muslim leaders.
Sison, in a statement, said that this collaborative effort not only cultivates improved relationships and facilitates open communication with the Muslim communities, but most importantly, it eliminates the stigma and rectifies the misconceptions surrounding their alleged affiliations and support to potential perpetrators of terror attacks.
Rectifying this misconception is essential for building trust and unity among our Muslim brothers peacefully living in Christian-dominated areas, the Army said.
“With this mechanism put in place, I am more confident that potential terrorists would find a hard time to carry out terror attacks as everyone is already on their toes monitoring and looking for them,” Sison said.
Also present during the meeting was Police Lieutenant Colonel Mark Evan Salvo, chief of the Provincial Intelligence Unit (PIU).