By: E.U. Alderete
In an act of acknowledging the efforts done by the Provincial Government in dealing with violent extremism in the island province of Basilan, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has tapped Governor JIM S. HATAMAN SALLIMAN to be the Resource Person during the USAID-ENGAGE LGU Partner Meeting held on July 26-27, 2017 at the USAID-ENGAGE Project Management Office in Lanang, Davao City. The topic of the event centered on “exploring Peace and Order Council approaches and activities to address Violent Extremism” in Mindanao and elsewhere. Along this topic, the Governor presented the Anti-terrorism Campaign embarked by the Provincial Government beginning July, 2016 to present, in close collaboration with the ARMM Regional Government, City and Municipal LGUs of Basilan, the AFP, PNP, Religious Groups, CSOs and other concerned groups. Also highlighted in his presentation are the series of post-war interventions to both the ASG Surrenderers and the affected civilians in several war fronts — ranging from the provision of emergency relief assistance to civilians, medical and feeding missions, processing of ASG surrenderers, to providing development projects to the affected communities.

The opportunity for Governor Jim to present his Anti-terrorism Campaign to other Local Chief Executives in Mindanao and to the representatives from the US Embassy has been made possible through the invitation extended to him by Dr. David Pottebaum, Chief of Party of the USAID-ENGAGE.

In attendance to the two-day event are Mayor Hanie Bud of Maluso municipality, Basilan; Mayor Arcam Istarul of Tipo-Tipo municipality, Basilan; Vice Mayor Roderick Furigay of Lamitan City, Basilan; Jamju Rivera representing Isabela City, Basilan; Mayor Ramon Piang, Sr. of North Upi municipality, Maguindanao; Mayor Bobby Balicao of Wao municipality, Lanao del Sur; Mayor Abdulradzak Tomawis of Barira municipality, Maguindanao; Mayor Mohammad-Ali Guro of Matanog municipality, Maguindanao; Mayor Ibrahim Ibay of Parang municipality, Maguindanao; representatives from the municipalities of Buldon and Paglat, Maguindanao; and the City of Zamboanga as represented by Yah-ya Abdusalam, Jr., Executive Secretary. Also present are Teresa Grantham and Neil Pacamahan from the U.S. Embassy; Leslie Schaefer and Gerry Porta from the USAID (Manila); representative from the Mindanao Development Authority and two event speakers – Mr. Derkie Alfonso of the Asia Foundation and Mr. Kevin Casey of the Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI). In closing, Ms. Leslie Schafer, Team Leader for Democracy and Governance of the USAID, extended to Governor Jim S. Hataman Salliman the team’s heartfelt gratitude for sharing his own approaches and activities on Anti-terrorism Campaign: The Basilan Experience during the two-day event.