OFFICIALS of Tabuan-Lasa and Hadji Mohammad Ajul towns in Basilan province have signed a peace covenant vowing to ensure peaceful conduct of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) 2023 on October 30, 2023.
The signing of the peace covenant on Wednesday, October 11, highlighted by the surrender of 23 assorted high-powered loose firearms.
Brigadier General Alvin Luzon, 101st Infantry Brigade commander, said the signing of the peace covenant served as a beacon of peace for the constituents of the two towns and the Basileños in their pursuit of a free, honest, credible, safe and secure election.
During the covenant signing, Tabuan-Lasa Mayor Moner Manisan presented 12 assorted high-powered firearms to Luzon and Basilan Governor Hadjiman Hataman-Salliman.
The firearms presented by Manisan include three M16 rifles, one M14 rifle with scope, one KG9 assault rifle, one M203 Grenade Launcher, and six Garand rifles.
Hadji Mohammad Ajul Talib Pawaki turned over 11 high-powered firearms, composed of four M16 rifles, one M203 grenade launcher, one carbine, one rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and four Garand rifles.
The surrender of firearms was in line with the provincial government's campaign against loose firearms under the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) program.
Manisan expressed appreciation to all key stakeholders and distinguished guests who graced the historic event—the covenant signing and surrender of firearms.
“Our commitment to laying down our arms is a clear testament to our unwavering desire for a peaceful and prosperous Tabuan Lasa," he said.
In his remarks, Pawaki encouraged aspiring candidates to support the peace campaign of the government and avoid illegal activities that will trigger conflict and harassment during elections.
“We must abide by the law in everything we do, our actions today will reflect our sense of patriotism to our community,” Pawaki said.
Salliman commended the constituents of Tabuan-Lasa and Hadji Mohammad Ajul for their willingness to participate in the ‘peace covenant’ signing and eagerness to support the SALW program of the province.
“We are happy to see the aspiring candidates for BSKE 2023 participate in this initiative led by your respective Election Officer, AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), and PNP (Philippine National Police) counterparts. Your shown dedication and commitment today reflects your willingness and sincerity to serve the Basileños,” he added.
Luzon lauded Manisan and Pawaki for their sincere efforts to ensure a free, honest, credible, safe and peaceful election.
“It also challenged all the aspiring barangay captains and kagawads to be one with the military in the campaign against election fraud. Let there be fair and honest elections,” Luzon said. <b>(SunStar Zamboanga)</b>