Army, Maguindanao LGU build Madrasah for Moro children PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 29 June 2015 11:46

Villagers in Barangay Kulasi in Gen. S.K. Pendatun, Maguindanao see as providential the turnover to them on a Friday of a newly-built madrasah, just before their second jumu’ah prayer since the June 18 start of Ramadhan.

The jumu’ah prayer is the mandatory Islamic Friday congregational worship rite in mosques.

The newly-established Madrasah Tarbiya Al-Islamiya, an Islamic school, in Barangay Kulasi was turned over to barangay folks last Friday by Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu and Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division.

The school was built by soldiers from 6th ID’s component units — the 33rd Infantry Battalion and the 601st Brigade — using grants from the office of Mangudadatu.

“The barangay people are sure this school will provide their children a thick layer of protection from indoctrination by extremists,” Pangilinan said, citing feedback from optimistic community elders.

Pangilinan said villagers were elated with the turnover rite’s having been held on a Friday, the day they go to mosques to perform obligatory noontime prayers.

“And the June 26 jumu’ah prayer was something not ordinary because it’s Ramadhan,” Pangilinan said.

Muslims abstain from food and drinks at daytime during the Ramadhan, which last for one lunar cycle, about 28 to 29 days, both as a religious obligation and as atonement for wrongdoings. They focus on acts of piety during the period.

The involvement of soldiers in the construction of the madrasah corrected many bad notions about the military among villagers, according to community elder Mamison Akoy.

“We had always thought that soldiers are enemies of the Moro people. When they stayed in our barangay to build this school, we eventually learned that just like us, they want peace too and that they detest armed conflicts,” Akoy said.

Mangudadatu, in a brief huddle with Kulasi residents at the sideline of the Madrasah turn over program, again offered graduating high school students in the area to avail of his administration’s Maguindanao Program for Educational Assistance and Community Empowerment (MagPEACE).

The MagPEACE now bankrolls the schooling of more than 5,000 college scholars from far-flung areas in Maguindanao’s 36 towns.

“The easiest way to address religious extremism and build unity among the Muslim, Christian and lumad communities in Maguindanao is to provide children access to schools,” Mangudadatu said.

Friday’s school turnover event was capped off with the dispersal of hundreds of Peking duck pairs for breeding purposes to farmers in Barangay Kulasi by the provincial government’s chief budget officer, Lynette Estandarte, and her subordinates.