This August 2, 2021 photo shows 59 new emergency responders who are to serve in their respective barangays in Cotabato City and in Maguindanao.

Former members of terror group join BARMM search and rescue unit

COTABATO CITY (August 3, 2021)— Fifty-nine people, including five former members of a local terror group, finished Monday a week-long training on water search and rescue maneuvers essential to emergency and disaster response operations.

Five of the 59 graduates of the training facilitated by the Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence, or READi, and the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, used to be affiliated with the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

They bolted from the BIFF and returned to mainstream society more than a year ago through the intercession of the 6th ID and the regional government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The Bangsamoro READi, operating under the supervision of Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo, is composed of teams well-versed in offshore and collapsed structure rescue, flood and road accident response and relief interventions for conflict-hit communities.

The 59 volunteers from Maguindanao province and Cotabato City studied basic calamity and disaster response for seven days at 6th ID’s Division Training School in Barangay Semba in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

They underwent a series of WASAR workshops in seaside barangays  in Datu Odin Sinsuat, handled by Army instructors from the 6th ID’s training school.

The commander of 6th ID, Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, is a staunch supporter of the capability-building programs of the BARMM government, according to Sinarimbo.

"The regional government, the READi and the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government are thankful to the 6th ID and the training staff of the Division Training School for helping us in capability-building this program," Sinarimbo, also regional spokesperson, said Tuesday.
The Bangsamoro READi is a partner of the regional health ministry in furthering the BARMM government’s war on COVID-19.