Photo courtesy of the AFP

AFP Chief Gapay meets with NCR Muslim leaders

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gilbert Gapay met with the Mufti, Imams and Madaris officials of the National Capital Region on Monday (Oct 26) at Camp Aguinaldo. In a report posted at the AFP portal, Gapay stated, ““I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the Muftis and Imams based in NCR for gracing us with their presence on this great opportunity for an extensive dialogue between our organizations in order to fortify our efforts in fighting against lawless elements that threaten our fellow Filipinos,”
Gapay earlier sought dialogue with Muslim leaders to further clarify the issue on his statement that the military considers looking into Madaris which could have been infiltrated by extremists.

Muslim leaders present during the meeting included NCR Grand Mufti Dr. Al-Sheikh Abdeljabar M. Macarimbor of the Filipino-Arab Alliance and united Muslim Ummah Federation for Socio-Economic and Peace Development, Grand Imam Alem Maguid A. Tahir, Aleem Ahmad Kudarat; Aleem Abubacar Talib Manamping, Datu Umbria P. Mama, Aleem Hanip Sarip; Aleem Aliasgar Abolais, Mohammad Alioden Manalinding and Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman.

“There is a need for better collaboration between our groups and the AFP. We are happy that this meeting is a promising start to have a more lasting partnership with the AFP to further improve our Madaris and sustain this as a pillar and institution of peace. Everything happens for a reason and that this may be Allah’s way for the government to further look into and act on the many challenges of the Madaris throughout the country”, Al-Sheikh Macarimbor said.

Gapay said he was honored and privileged having been accorded the opportunity to gain knowledge and insights from highly educated Muslim scholars and experts.
The military chief further affirmed that the dialogue was just an initial meeting and that there will be sustained and future interaction that will involve other stakeholders from both the government and other institutions in strengthening partnership with the Madaris.

The AFP has ongoing partnerships with Imams and Muslim organizations in preventing and countering violent extremism (PCVE), and programs that give emphasis on stakeholder engagements and local government participation. (Source  AFP)