Zamboanga City- Bangsamoro Community Leaders and Peace Advocates in this City of Flowers were elated and welcomed a statement of President Rodrigo Duterte made during his inaugural address at Rizal Hall of Malacañan Palace on June 30 that he will implement signed peace agreements and international treaties. Duterte is the country’s 16th President and the first head of state from Mindanao.
In a meeting at Barangay Tulungatung, Zamboanga City on July 7, the community leaders expressed optimism upon hearing the pronouncement of Pres, Duterte that “change is coming” in the country.
The group also hosted simple “Eidl Fitr” celebration after a month of fasting and offered collective prayer during the death anniversary of late Brother Bhab Jumadil, (May Allah has mercy on him) who passed away a year ago. While alive, Jumadil was a Peace Advocate and a Bangsamoro Community leader in Zamboanga City.
Tirso Tahir, Officer of Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) together with the Director of Zamboanga Information Committee and Brother “Phix”, Regional Coordinator for Western Mindanao of United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) were invited as resource persons who gave updates on the GPH-MILF Peace process and other related issues.
The resource persons also thanked and appreciated the community leaders and peace advocates in their feasible initiatives for exerting continuous efforts in conducting various activities related to capacity-building and peace advocacy. They also pledged that similar endeavors shall be sustained and made inclusive by reaching out to every Moro and non-Moro Communities.
Before reaching out to the general public, you must first equip yourselves with an adequate, necessary and appropriate knowledge especially when articulating the “Bangsamoro Narrative” one of the resource persons said.
Lots of people still do not know the worthiness and the legitimacy of the Bangsamoro struggle towards Right to Self-Determination. Prejudice and misconception of some people must be consistently addressed during our advocacies before we get through, Tahir stressed.
The community leaders and peace advocates in Zamboanga City have been conducting various peace-building activities and undertaking different seminars on capacity-building facilitated by BLMI, BDA, UNYPAD and other local and International Non- Government Organizations who share common aspiration with the Bangsamoro people in their pursuit for genuine and long lasting Peace and development in Mindanao.