Army Commander to Muslims: ‘We Should Avoid Conflict’

“We have the same God we serve and adore, and there is only one blood that runs in our body, so we should avoid conflict.”

Thus said Maj. Gen. Jon Aying, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Army, before hundreds of Muslims from Bacolod and other towns and cities in Negros Occidental yesterday.

The Muslims gathered at the Benjamin Hall at Lacson Street, Bacolod for the “Greet and Meet Activity” (GMA) of the Philippine Army.

“Wherever you go, you must think you are a Filipino,” Aying also said, as he recalled how the indifference between the Muslims and Christians started and reached up to this time.

He said, originally, only the Muslim faith existed in the Philippines, in the MIndanao region, but when the Spaniards came, they introduced Christianity, and established a government in Luzon, then to Visayas until Mindanao, that the Muslims opposed because they did not want to be under their leadership. That, he said, started the conflict between Muslims and Christians.

Aying said he considers the Muslims as special people “so there is no need to fight each other”.

Aying urged the Muslims to take part in being vigilant against security threats perpetrated by extremists.

The commander of the 3ID stressed during the event, that four major problems affect the country’s peace and order. which are, the continued communist insurgency, “although the CPP/NPA will not win but only burden the people”; the Mindanao based ISIS-linked violent extremists and terrorists; the proliferation of illegal drugs; and the highly vulnerable populace still in poverty “that makes people easily attracted to join terrorism and illegal drugs”.

Aying also said, although Negros is peaceful and no threat from IS-linked terrorists so far, “we should be vigilant against presence of threats in the communities”.* (Edith B. Colmo)



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