TF Salaam Federation is Army’s “Outstanding NGO”

Arthur Tariman, the federation’s chief executive officer, said in a mobile phone interview that his organization has been conferred as the Philippine Army’s “Outstanding NGO of the Year.”
Tariman, with deputy Celimont L. Montaner, received the commendation from Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro and Lt. Gen. Alexander B. Yano, Army chief, during the PA’s 111th anniversary celebration at its General Headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo last Friday.
TFSF-GenSan is composed of members who volunteer in peace-keeping efforts in the city. Their presence is visible during holidays and celebrations in the city, like the Kalilangan and Tuna festivals, Pasko sa GenSan, and during the lengthen season.
In consonance with its name (“Salaam,” in the Arabic language, means peace), TFSF-GenSan has Muslim, Christian and Lumad members adhering to their common objective, helping authorities maintain peace and order in the city.
Members of TFSF-GenSan assist authorities in intelligence data gathering. Tariman said that it should not only be their members, but the whole citizenry as well, who will be vigilant in monitoring individuals who are suspected in sowing terror.
“During big events in the city, our members immerse in the crowd to monitor if there are people who possess deadly weapons and report such to the police,” he said.
Tariman said that members of the task force can also exercise “citizen’s arrest,” which is apprehending anybody who has just committed, or is committing, or about to commit a crime and then turn over the suspect to authorities.
He said the federation has been spearheading trainings in conflict prevention, capability building, and intelligence data gathering to “peace volunteers.”
Tariman said they have 200 members from Barangays Dadiangas South, Apopong, Labangal, Fatima, Buayan, Tinagakan and Tambler.
Through linkaging, TFSF-GenSan won the support of other groups who became their affiliates, among them the Smagun Riders Team, Rose Riders Team, PEACE Riders Association, and Alpha Kappa Rho Sorority and Fraternity.
For the past seven years, several explosions rocked the city, killing and wounding many civilians. Last January, an improvised explosive device exploded at the Philbest Canning Corporation in Tambler while a grenade exploded at the back of city hall during the eve of the Kalilangan celebration towards the end of February.
Fr. Angel Buenavides, president of the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster sa Pilipinas-Socsargen Chapter, was delighted with the achievement of TFSF-GenSan and hoped that the recognition “would strengthen their efforts to work for peace.” (Gandhi C. Kinjiyo / MindaNews)