Multi-Sectoral Group Conducts Interfaith Dialogue in the Context of BOL

Tubod, Lanao del Norte - The Interfaith and Multi-Sectoral Forum Dialogue organized by the Philippine Children's Ministries Network (PCMN) with the participation of the Joint Working Group of Religious Leaders for Peace (JWGRLP) held at Mindanao Civic Center, this town on October 10, 2018 with the theme, "Child Protection in the Context of Bangsamoro Organic Law" 

Rev Dr. Aldrin Penamora, Executive Director for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation of Evangelical Churches of the Philippines presented and discussed "Religion, Nation-Building and the Bangsamoro Organic Law." - towards a peaceful Bangsamoro Homeland. 

He explained that a key concept for just peace in Mindanao is when all people have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. 

“Changing the paradigm from single nation or single identity approach by the government to one that recognizes plurality identities and the right to self-determination of the Bangsamoro creates the necessary democratic space for self-governance which embodied in the Bangsamoro Organic Law,” Dr. Penamora said.

“By giving respect and recognizing their identity is a symbol to end prejudices and biases among Filipinos especially between religious groups. We are neighbors of this land so we must recognize co-existence,” he stressed.  

Joining Dr. Penamora in the event is his JWGRLP fellow co-convenor Sheikh Abdulhadie Butuan Gumander III, Chairman of Da'wah Committee of Bandar Kutawato, Sheikh Marhan Burhan, and Ms. Fayediah Samanodi Akmad, member of Women's Organizations Movement of the Bangsamoro (WOMB) who was invited as panel reactor of the said forum. 

The forum dialogue focused on how Organic Law ensures the protection of children and their quality of education in the context of Bangsamoro Organic Law. 

The panelists from the JWGRLP gave their insights on the basis of Islamic perspective, and in accordance with the enacted law.

A woman panelist, Ms. Akmad briefly touched on Article 9- Basic Rights, Sec. 14. The Rights of Children, and Sec. 16- Integration of Quality Education. 

Ms. Akmad stressed that the said law shall be fully implemented not just on the protection of children from exploitation, abuses, or discrimination. It shall also ensure the education and development of the children both physical and mental. 

Formulating a policy by the Parliament in securing the lives of children including the youths and women in all diverse communities shall be priority of the future governance.

Sheikh Gumander III said that in Islam it is necessary to give protection and good education for our children because it is not merely a basic responsibility but an obligation. 

Sheikh Burhan supported his statement by saying that they are also conducting programs all over Mindanao in partnership with the UNICEF together with WOMB. 

“We formulate modules for education of our children as our basis to counter violent extremism and ensuring their good learning. The ten (10) modules enshrined the basic education for children that will make them a responsible individual at their own. That they need to prevent themselves from any harmful acts that will destroy their future. 

The organizers are also contemplating to conduct another forum to present the efforts and works of different stakeholders collaboratively under the spirit of volunteerism.

Along with leading networks of peace institutions, about four thousand (4,000) children have been served during their operations at the aftermath of typhoon Vinta where they have suffered a lot. 

The PCMN Executive Director Fe Adul Foronda awarded Dr. Aldrin Penamora a Certificate of Appreciation for his invaluable support to Bangsamoro Organic Law as substantive basis in achieving genuine peace in Mindanao.

Sheikh Gumander, Sheikh Burhan and Ms. Akmad were also awarded similar Certificate of Appreciation.