Lanao Young leaders commemorate youth contributions to Bangsamoro Peace Processes

COTABATO CITY - The United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) Ranao region has observed the 14 years of chapter existence since it was organized in 2005, a year after the inception of UNYPAD in 2004 through commemorating the gains of their contributions on peace building in troubled Southern Philippines. 

The UNYPAD Ranao Region marks the 13th day of July their "Ivory Anniversary" as they gathered their chapters from Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, and Lanao Del Norte in a team-building held at Timoga, Iligan City on Saturday. 

Ansary Diamaoden, Vice President for External Affairs of the UNYPAD said that this activity aimed at strengthening further the brotherhood and sisterhood of officers and members of the organization. 

"We came from different places in Lanao and many of our newly organized chapters didn't know our colleagues in other areas, so this is the day to strengthen our camaraderie," Diamaoden said. 

Diamaoden remembered the time when he was not yet part of the organization, that, his only role every time there was a meeting by UNYPAD is to become a messenger in buying food for meal.

 "I am not expecting that I could be part of UNYPAD who is one of the Bangsamoro youth thinking for better life of fellow Bangsamoro," he stressed. 

Diamaoden announced during the program the appointment of the new chapter chairman of Lanao Coastal Provincial chapter. 

The Vice President for Internal Affairs Tu Alid Alfonso who graced the activity said "If you will be chosen as leader of your chapter, do your best to perform your duties and responsibility because we will be surely rewarded by Allah on every effort that we contribute.

Alfonso said, “Leadership is 'amanah' (trust). It is who Allah who gives this to whom He may want to become a leader. "It is amazing that once you become a leader because of that trust you will be followed and respected by your colleagues without reservation, and you can enjoy that one here in UNYPAD," Alfonso said. 

However, if someone becomes leader it must be coupled by responsibility and accountability, he said. 

Alfonso acknowledged the contributions of UNYPAD Ranao region to the development and achievements of the whole UNYPAD. 

Alfonso thanked the Meranaw youth despite of the devastation of their communities from wars, they are still resilient to its negative effect both on the lives of Meranaw people and their socioeconomic condition. 

Dr. Anwar Saluwang, UNYPAD Deputy Secretary-General emphasized that the Bangsamoro struggle is not yet over. "We have only achieved 75% of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the remaining 15% of that agreement is our responsibility on how it will be observed and be implemented." 

The BARMM is only a small portion of the whole pie that the Bangsamoro people has achieved for our Right to self-determination, Saluwang said. 

"Let us protect the gains of the peace process, let us work, unite towards achieving long lasting peace in BARMM region," Saluwang appealed. 

The UNYPAD is monitoring and observing the implementation of all agreements between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) through the Third Party Monitoring Team (TPMT).