Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Philippines – Pakigdait Inc., an interfaith grassroots peace builder here has commemorated the International Day of Peace together with the local and international peace maker and by several local stakeholders.
Musa Mohamad Sanguila, the Director of Pakigdait in a short program Tuesday night lauded the presence of the International Monitoring Team for the peace talk between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, headed by Colonel Giuma Maraash from Libya of the Team Site 2 based in Iligan City.
Sanguila said, the gathering initiated by Pakigdait was purposely to have both formal and informal sharing in bridging the gap between the community leaders and development partners referring to the government instrumentalities and non-government organizations.
“This gathering is a continuing process of talk to achieve peace that will start in our hearts and minds that hopefully will influence to others that may bridge the gap of miscommunications, misunderstanding and other problems”, Sanguila stressed.
Local and international peace keepers graced the affair with the participation of the United States Military Advisory Group both assigned in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur headed by Capt. James Upson and Non-Violent Peace Force an international peace keeper headed by Catherine Lally.
Also with the affair were the Armed Forces of the Philippines through the 601st Brigade Commander of the Philippine Army Col. Cresente Ferrer and his several senior officers with soldiers, and local government units in Lanao del Norte represented by Board Member Tawantawan Cauntongan.
The civil society organizations forum for peace was also present headed by its chairman of the Board Jane Bernardo and other non government organizations.
Sultan Suod Guinal vice chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front in Lanao del Norte was also present and shared their outlook on peace that not just the absence of war but the presence of justice and daily needs of their constituents.
Col. Ferrer lauded the new administration of President Benigno Aquino’s commitment to talk on peace bringing the warring parties into the table of negotiation and not focusing in military action.
Achieving peace could not be done by military action alone but also doing negotiations, talk and dialogue to iron out some issues and causes of the problems so that could be properly addressed and bring it into a real solution, Ferrer said.
He said, much better if the Moro Islamic Liberation Front now headed by Alhaj Muraj and the and the Moro National Liberation Front headed Nur Misuari, so that their vision for Moro people would be put into one.
If the Philippine Government and the MILF would come up an acceptable agreement and signed the agreement, hoping that no other group from Muslims that would come out challenge the government also set another demands.
Pastor Reu Monticillo of Evangelical Church and Chairman of the Mindanao People’s Caucus and board of trustee member in Pakigdait has called all faiths to remain calm and should not follow the extreme action by burning holly qur’an.
He lauded all faiths which joined the International Day of Peace commemoration here yesterday that brings together of the same dreams for peace.
For the symbol of unity to peace from various races and nations, represented by various nations and race, they jointly sliced the cake and shared for the cause of peace. .
In 1981, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution no. 36/67 declaring an international day of peace.
But in the year 2001, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a new resolution 55/282 declaring September 21 of each year as the International Day of Peace
For the Philippines, September 21 was a dark days when former Ferdinand Marcos regime, declared martial law then banded those organization and arrested individuals which critical to his administration.
But now, this has been also commemorated with the International Day of Peace that the dark days has been transformed into liberation and democratic space.