Google map of Talipao town, Sulu.

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Army’s 6th Special Forces Company (6SFC) is building another learning center to strengthen its promotion of peace through education in a remote area of Sulu.

Capt. Ron Villarosa, 6SFC commander, said Tuesday the learning center to be established in Barangay Upper Sinumaan in Talipao town will cater to about 170 learners from the community and will serve as a venue to promote peace.

Barangay Upper Sinumaan is previously influenced by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), Villarosa said, adding the area lacks even a primary school.

He said they took control of the area in January this year, although a small part of the village is still frequented by ASG bandits who have relatives in the area.

Villarosa said the learning center will primarily serve "children displaced by conflict. Its purpose is to promote peace through education."

He noted that the young ones are commonly vulnerable to ASG recruitment if not guided by education.

“We could at least provide an interim solution to prevent children from joining the ASG. We can achieve this by engaging them in peaceful activities through the learning center,” he said in an interview.

Once completed, the peace and learning center in Barangay Upper Sinumaan is the second in Talipao town. The first was in Sitio Larang, Barangay Bud Bunga, in the same municipality.

Villarosa said the establishment of peace and learning centers form part of the Mass Base Operations (MBO) and Community Support Program (CSP) initiatives of the 2nd Special Forces Battalion, the mother unit of 6SFC, in partnership with several stakeholders.

The learning centers can be converted into a madrasah (Muslim schools) once the Department of Education opens schools in Barangays Bug Bunga and Upper Sinumaan, the Army official said. (PNA)