US Army Captain Cristian Knutzen of the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines, who turned over the building, said the US-funded project was built in collaboration with the Philippine government “to help bring stability in the region."
The municipality of Kauswagan was the jump-off point of the government’s all-out military offensive against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2000. The town was attacked by MILF fighters in 2003 and on August 18 last year that led to the killing of civilians, damaged properties and soured relations.
“This is a town whose schools were burned during the attack,” said Col. Benito de Leon, commanding officer of the Army’s 104th Infantry Brigade.
De Leon said the local military and the local executives helped identify the projects for US funding.
The turnover of the keys to the classrooms was witnessed by representatives of the Department of Education, local government leaders and school children.
Gov. Khalid Mohammad Dimaporo, who attended the turnover, asked residents to “join hands for peace,” as he also thanked the soldiers “for their continued support to the province”. (Violeta M. Gloria/MindaNews)