By: Abdullah Bin Ahmad
Civil Society Organizations of Davao Oriental (CSOs) conducted a peace advocacy forum inviting Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Bangsamoro People and some Local government officials.
MILF Peace Panel members who were present namely: Brother Mohagher Iqbal, Prof. Abhoud Syed Lingga, Maulana Bobby Alonto, Brother Antonio Kinoc and Brother Abdullah Camlian.
Not in the forum was Atty. Michael Mastura.
Also present were Atty. Abdullah Dataya – AHJAG Chief, Brother Syed Sheikh – CCCH Chief and Brother Jun Mantawil Head – MILF Secretariat.
MILF Local leadership were also present – Brother Roy Lopez - Chairman Eastern Davao Political Committee, BIAF 111th Base Command Chief Brother Sonny Davao and other MILF Local Leaders.
Local government leaders who were also present were: Hon. Michelle N. Rabat – Mayor of Mati City; Atty Remlane Tambuang – COMELEC Regional Chairman; newly appointed Commissioner on National Commission for Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) – Brother Salem Demuna; 2nd District Board Member Justina Yu and Gov. Corazon Malanyaon who was in Manila sent Board Member Ronald Lara as her representative.
Four thousand people attended the forum.
It was the Second time that the Peace Panel came to Davao Oriental for a peace forum. The first was last year 2011 in Lupon.
Brother Iqbal in his short message cited the Qur’anic verse that says “ There is no compulsion in religion” as evident by Datu Antonio Kinoc who has been an active member of the MILF Peace Panel but still remains an IP belonging to B’Laan Tribe.
“With the on-going GPH – MILF Peace Talks”, Iqbal stressed “70% of the framework elements has been achieved but the remaining part towards the signing of the agreement will only depend on the government political will and sincerity; that is if the “MATUWID NA DAAN” (straight path) is really true.
He further stressed that everyone has room in Mindanao. Every one of us will benefit if genuine peace is achieved and this present stage of negotiations is very important to all of us. So we must support it.”
Mayor Michelle Rabat in her message cited that one of the first burst of rebellion in Mindanao was in Tarragona in 1973. Rabat further said that she’s grateful that from war, it is now for peace. She was also thankful to the MILF thru brother Iqbal for fighting for a cause and now a Bangsamoro Peace Warriors in Mindanao towards Self – Determination.
On the latter part of the program a declaration of MANIFESTO of Unity for the support of the on-going GPH-MILF Peace Talks was made for a genuine solution on the aged-old Moro Question.