103rd Brigade to launch special programs for Maute-IS returnees

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Col. Romeo Brwner, Jr., 103rd Brigade commander. (PCOO Photo)
MARAWI CITY: As the number of Maute-IS returnees increases, the 103rd Haribon Brigade of the Philippine Army based in Kampo Ranao here will launch a special program for the returnees reintegration to the mainstream society. 

CPT Ron Villarosa, acting Haribon Public Affairs Officer said the flux of Maute-IS returning to the fold of the law now numbering to more than a hundred already prompted the brigade to initiate a special program to cater for the returnees.
103rd Brigade commander Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. told the media that the program will start with a comprehensive profiling of returnees to know their background, identify their needs and vulnerabilities. It also includes interviews as to why they joined the movement.
He said the program will serve as a basis on projects that will be implemented to vulnerable communities and prevent them to be dragged to violent extremism.
“We will use the data as a definitive reference to give us an access on the psychological of local Maute-IS returnees. So far, we have been adapting foreign literature on how to combat violent extremism, and it may not necessarily apply to our country due to cultural differences,” Brawner added.
More and more Maute-IS remnants surrendered to the military in the past months due to intense military operations to hunt and neutralize them.
Brawner said, “Certain conditions indicate that the enemy’s recruitment has significantly slowed down following the surrender of Maute-IS remnants.”
Brawner added, “The surrenderers said most of the remnants have been isolated and have lost their will to fight following the series of military operations conducted by the 103rd Brigade in Lanao del Sur.”
He said security forces are postured to thwart a possible attack by the Maute-IS remnants to protect communities.
Going after the Maute-IS remanants was among Col Brawner’s stated priorities when he took over 103rd Brigade in December 2018.
“We will employ an arsenal of both lethal and non-lethal means to dissuade our enemies to fight. The lesser engagements we have, the better if they chose to resist, then they will at the lethal and of-our focused military operations”
Brawner said they are giving them a chance to live a peaceful life. “We are calling on the remaining Maute-IS fighters to surrender peacefully to the nearest military installation before the next combat operations fall into their doorsteps. Take this offer now before it is too late,” the commander of the 103rd Brigade stressed.
Villarosa said the launching of the APF reintegration program for the Maute-IS returnees is tentatively scheduled on February 26. (MASIDING NOOR YAHYA/RSP)

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