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Basilan town 'crime-free' in 2023

COTABATO CITY— There is a municipality in Basilan that was virtually crime-free in 2023, a feat that the police and military attribute to the extensive domestic peace initiatives of residents and their local government unit.

Col. Carlos Madronio, director of the Basilan Provincial Police, and Bangsamoro regional police director Brig. Gen. Allan Nobleza confirmed in separate statements released Thursday that there was not even a single petty crime incident recorded by the local police and the barangay governments in Tabuan Lasa town since January last year.

Tabuan Lasa is one of the 11 municipalities in Basilan, that also covers two cities, Lamitan and Isabela, now both markedly booming economy-wise.

“Tabuan Lasa would not have achieved this zero crime situation in all of its barangays since January 2023 if not for the anti-crime prevention of efforts of its local government unit, the local Islamic religious sector and all barangay captains there,” Basilan Gov. Hadjiman Salliman told reporters via text message on Thursday.

Nobleza, who is a member of the multi-sector, inter-agency BARMM Regional Peace and Order Council, said they are contemplating on providing the LGU of Tabuan Lasa a commendation for having been in the forefront of efforts to maintain law and order in the municipality.

Officials in Basilan of two Bangsamoro agencies, the education and the health ministries, told reporters on Thursday that they are proud of Tabuan Lasa being known now as the most peaceful among the 116 towns in the autonomous region.

Tabuan Lasa is home to mixed Tausug and Sama communities, with a number of Yakan families in the area.

Residents of Tabuan Lasa, whose mayor is Moner Manisan, rely mainly on deep sea fishing as means of livelihood and trading of commercial goods supplied by merchants in trading sites in mainland Basilan, one of the six provinces in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.