GenSan Muslims help ensure peaceful cemeteries

More than 200 volunteers were deployed by various Muslim groups based in this city to the city's four main cemeteries and other public places to augment the security operations of the city police office and the Army-led Task Force GenSan.


Rajamuda Alimudin Hassan, a leader of the city's Muslim Council of Elders and head of the Sugoda Buayan Royal House (SBRH), said in a press statement that they dispatched monitoring teams since early Wednesday morning to the Uhaw public cemetery in barangay Fatima, Forest Lake Memorial Park and the Chinese cemetery in barangay Apopong and the barangay Tinagacan cemetery.


He said they sent some volunteers to secure various Christian-dominated communities and the city's central business district against possible incursions by criminal elements and terror groups.


Hassan said they decided to launch such move to prevent any disruption to the two-day celebrations, considered as one of the most important Christian holidays.


He said such unique involvement of local Muslims in the purely Christian holidays is their way of "paying back" the overwhelming support extended by the Christians to the successful unified Eid'l Fitr celebrations here last Octo. 23.


Hassan said the city government, through acting City Mayor Florentina Congson, provided logistical support to their activity.


The volunteers were mostly members of the Maranaw Small Businessmen Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MSBC) under Sultan Mike Mariano, the Moro National Liberation Front-Joint Monitoring Committee (MNLF-JMC) chaired by Anwar Mohamad, and the Sulu Basilan Tawi-tawi Tumpukan Ha Gensan Association (SUBATAGEN) led by Abdulmutalib Esmael.


The SBRH team assigned at the Uhaw cemetery is led by Datu Mackey Akmad while another group led by Jover Lambac was sent to the Tinagacan cemetery.


The group activated monitoring cells in barangays Labangal and Buayan.


The MSBC sent its owns teams to secure the downtown area, the public market, the Uhaw cemetery and the Forest Lake Memorial Park.


The MNLF-JMC maintained its presence at the Uhaw cemetery, Forest Lake Memorial Park on top of their routine observation duties at the government center area and the city's central business district.


On the other hand, SUBATAGEN volunteered to secure the city's shorelines, from Purok Kulasi in barangay Labangal to Badjao Village in barangay Bawing.