Army Reservist Robin Padilla reaches out to Muslim youth in Sulu to promote peace

Actor and Army reservist Robin Padilla challenged the Muslim youth to denounce violent extremism during his visit at the Vicariate Gym and Sulu State College in Jolo, Sulu yesterday, August 9, 2019.

As part of the Philippine Army’s thrusts in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE), Padilla volunteered to appear before the people of Sulu as a Peace Ambassador to encourage the youth against false Islamic teachings.

“Ang tunay na jihad ay hindi giyera kundi ang pagbabago sa sarili. Dahil sa Islam, there is no compulsion in religion, walang pilitan. Islam is all about love,” expressed Padilla. “[Sa mga taga-Jolo] tayo ay mga Muslim. Kahit anong sabihin natin, kahit anong tribu man o kahit ano ka, Muslim tayo. Yung brotherhood, sisterhood ang purpose natin [is to] defend Islam. Kung sino yung mga taong sumisira sa Islam, yun dapat ang pinagtutulugan natin na maayos. Yun ang impact nito. Hindi pwedeng ang message ng Islam ay terrorism. Hindi tayo dapat pumayag noon. Hindi yun ang Islam eh.”

PCVE is part of the Community Support Program of the Army which aims to prevent recruitment and the radicalization of members of local communities, especially the youth. About 2200 youth were among the participants during the talk where Padilla discussed the essence of being a Muslim.

After his talk, Padilla also paid a visit to the Headquarters of the 11th Infantry “Alakdan” Division, whose troops are the frontliners in the fight against terrorist groups in Sulu.

“The Philippine Army is grateful to Mr. Robin Padilla for helping us in educating our youth about the real message of Islam. We agree with him that violence has no place in our society, just as we stress that the last thing that a soldier wants to do is to fight. We firmly believe that we can end violent extremism by protecting our youth from being radicalized, and the Army is fully committed to accomplish that at all costs,” Lt. Col. Ramon P. Zagala, Army Spokesperson. PHILIPPINE ARMY