THE AUTONOMOUS Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) government launched in Basilan on Tuesday a program providing various interventions to former members of rebel groups. The Program Against Violent Extremism (PAVE) initially covers former Abu Sayyaf Group members who have surrendered to the government, and their families. It will also cater to returnees from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). ARMM Governor Mujiv S. Hataman, in a statement, said the program is recognized by the National Peace and Order Council, and will officially be part of the national government’s Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP), which is aimed at achieving permanent and peaceful closure of all armed conflicts and help fight terrorism. Mr. Hataman said through PAVE, the returnees would be able to “live as normal and productive citizens in their communities, and they will be the advocates for peace against violent extremism.” PAVE will also be rolled out in the island provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, where there are currently 61 and 23 returnees, respectively. — Mindanao Bureau