More rubber seedlings for MILF members from Maguindanao gov PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 March 2014 10:58

The provincial government of Maguindanao dispersed 9,000 more rubber tree seedlings to members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in separate activities in the Iranon area and in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in the province.

The continuing distribution for free of rubber tree and palm oil seedlings, in a “plant now, pay never” scheme of the office of Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, started three years ago, meant to convert the province into a Lynette Estandarte, chief provincial budget officer, said their two activities started with the distribution early this week of 4,000 rubber tree seedlings to MILF members in Barangay Sibutu and surrounding areas in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in the first district of Maguindanao.

Barangay Sibutu, which has a mountainous terrain suitable to propagation of rubber trees, is a stronghold of the MILF’s 104th Base Command.

The Army’s 603rd Brigade and the provincial government also facilitated, after the Datu Odin Sinsuat seedling distribution activity, the orientation of hundreds of Moro farmers in Camp Abubakar, majority of them MILF members, on rubber tree propagation and the market potentials of processed rubber sap.

Camp Abubakar, established by the MILF’s founding chairman, the late Egyptian-trained cleric Salamat Hashim in  the 1980s, is also known now as Camp Iranon, which hosts the command headquarters of the 603rd Brigade.

The 15,000-hectare former MILF bastion Camp Abubakar, now a “peace zone,” is a hinterland located at the tri-boundary of Maguindanao’s adjoining Matanog. Buldon and Barira towns.

Soldiers and employees of Mangudadatu’s office led the distribution of rubber tree seedlings to farmers in Camp Abubakar that attended the orientation.

Col. Noli Orense, commanding officer of the Army’s 603rd Brigade, said it is important for local government units to help in accelerating the realization of the normalization objective of the government and the MILF for guerillas after the signing of a final peace deal that may be crafted by the rebel group and the government within the  month.

“We should not just leave everything to the government and the MILF panels. What the provincial government of Maguindanao is doing now is very important because if helps us achieve that goal,” Orense said.