Project reducing illegal weapons in Bangsamoro launched

Philippine Tribune
Philippine Tribune

By SUNDY LOCUS, GMA Integrated News

The Marcos administration launched a program to manage and reduce illegal weapons in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro said the Assistance for Security, Peace, Integration and Recovery for Advancing Human Security (ASPIRE) Project aims to promote the decommissioning and normalization of the Bangsamoro peace process by reducing small arms and light weapons in the region and by providing livelihood to former combatants and members of private armed groups.

The ASPIRE Project was launched Thursday in Basilan, Isabela.

“I thank the BARMM for being proactive in engaging with the national government to solidify our processes of governance so that the threats to national security are eliminated,” said Teodoro.

The ASPIRE Project started in September 2022 through a P285 million grant from Japan.

It is being implemented by the United Nations Development Program, in consultation with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity; the Moro Islamic Liberation Front; and the Joint Normalization Committee,

“Japan and the Philippines, alongside other like-minded nations, enforce the rule of international law and rules-based global international orders,” Teodoro said.

Other officials present at the project launch were Special Assistant to the President Secretary Antonio Lagdameo Jr.; Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos; Presidential Adviser on Peace Reconciliation and Unity Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.; Interim Chief Minister of the BARMM Honorable Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim; Governor of Basilan Jim Hataman-Salliman; Colonel Michio Suda (Ret), First Secretary, Political Section, Embassy of Japan in the Philippines; Dr. Srinivas Kumar, from the UNDP Philippines; Honorable Akmad Brahim and Mr. Ariel Hernandez, co-chairpersons of the JNC. — DVM, GMA Integrated News

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