Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. has committed to Muslim leaders on Tuesday night to bring peace in Mindanao as he assured the military’s full support to the rehabilitation of Marawi City.
Acting as guest of honor and speaker during an interfaith dinner hosted by the National Commission of Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) held in Camp Aguinaldo on Tuesday night, Galvez said his long-years in the battlefield in Mindanao helped him understand better the situation there.
Now as AFP chief, Galvez committed to exert efforts to bring peace in Mindanao.
Understanding achieves respect
“Being a soldier, sometimes you need to use force but in my years of experience, I believe that it is only through understanding that we can achieve respect, it is only through understanding that we can achieve trust, and it is only through understanding that we can love each other,” Galvez said.
“I will pledge to devote myself in bringing peace in Mindanao,” he added.
At the same time, the AFP vowed full support to the rehabilitation of Marawi City, considered as the most important Islamic City in Mindanao, which was ruined by the five-month siege laid by Islamic State-inspired terrorists last year.
“I will bring back very good military officers in Marawi who have hearts for the Maranaos,” said Galvez.
The interfaith dinner was attended by different religious organizations, government agencies and other groups that are all working for peace and are fighting violent extremism.
Director Kim Edres, of the NCMF, spearheaded the gathering in partnership with the Multi-Sectoral Advisory and Action Group (MCAAG) of the Joint Task Force National Capital Region, which serves as the guide of the Command towards good governance and performance excellence.
One of the sponsors of the Iftar and Interfaith Dinner is the Integrated Center for Development (ICAD) Foundation, a Fil-Turkish Group that promotes peace and understanding in communities.
Last year, ICAD Foundation also donated cows to internally displaced families located in different evacuation centers in Lanao del Sur as a result of the Marawi Siege.
Also present was Amina Rasul, president of the Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy.
“On behalf of all the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, i thank you for making the AFP a part of this celebration. We will always be ready to support and participate in peace endeavors such as this,” said Galvez.