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UNYPAD joins in Mindanao Multi-Sectoral Peace Rally calling for Justice for Kabacan massacre victims

By: Rahim M. Lasak

KABACAN, COTABATO PROVINCE (September 6, 2020) –  “Justice for Kabacan Massacre,” “Fair and correct investigation for Kabacan Massacre,” “No to Violence, Yes to Peace,” “No to Revenge, Yes to Justice.” 

These were among the pieces of callings of hundreds of individual who attended the Peace Rally on Saturday (Sept 5) calling for justice for the 9 Moro individuals who were massacred last August 29, 2020 at Kabacan. 

The peace rally with the theme “Lives Matter” held was held at Mahad Kayaga, Kabacan, Cotabato Province.

Organizers said it was conducted to call and appeal to authorities to fast track of investigation to give justice to the victims.

The brutal killings of nine (9) fallen innocent civilians on Kabacan Massacre happened in the provincial road inside the compound University of Southern Mindanao.

The gathering further aimed to foster Unity to strengthen peace and order wherein Muslims, Christian and Lumad existed.

“This event is to resolve the problem as any war ends with peaceful resolutions. “Kung gaano kahalaga ang buhay ninyong mga Kristiyano, ay ganoon din kahalaga ang buhay naming mga Bangsamoro,” said Ustadz Montasir Manco, representing the Muslim sector.

“Past experiences lead us to search for peace. Isinagawa ang peace rally na ito upang mabigyan ng justice ang mga biktima ng massacre, Hindi kami gumaganti dahil bawal ito sa aming relihiyon,” the religious leader emphasised.

Christian Religious sector representative Pastor Solomon said, “Nangimbal tayo sa mga nangyayari, kahit ako na pastor ay natatakot. Let justice be given to the victims, as for now, we could not conclude if whoever the perpetrators are but rest assured the Almighty know who it is and they will pay for their wrong doings.”

“Let just give peace to others as for sure with the presence of peace we can love our enemy. And in behalf of my Christian brothers I am asking apologies for whatever lacking we may not give to you my Muslims brothers. Let just give forgiveness to one another,” Pastor Solomon added.

Farmer sector representative, Mr. Marco Mamaluba, also gave support message calling everyone to keep calm and allow the authorities to handle the investigation. 

Yvone V. Saliling, women sector representative, expressed their utmost sympathy on the incident and made a call for the justice for the fallen nine (9) innocent victims. 

“I am also deeply saddened of that incident which happened in the parameter of USM campus. This is very ironic to the beliefs of the founder, Bai Matabai Plang, in  establishing  the University,” she expressed.

“I hope that the message of this peace rally will bring peace and justice to all, Saliling underscored.

Engr. Fatma Guiabar of youth sector, expressed their highest condemnation to the killing. She also called to stop the spreading fake news and false accusation that could lead to chaos and fears to the people living in the Kabacan. 

Datuan Magon, representing the civil society organizations particularly the United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) a large group of youth organizations, condemned into the highest scale the brutal killings of the fallen nine innocent civilians.

The groups of Moro Fronts also gave their messages of support. From Political Committee of Kapalawan Province, Jack Manampan also called for the justice. 

“We should not put into our hands the justice let the person in the authorities handle the investigation. Let’s just give space for the persons in the authorities. We are also calling the witnesses to come out to help the investigation team,” he added.

Pol Com. North Cotabato represented by Vice Chairman Nasser Mustafa also gave a message of sympathy emphasising that the lives of Bangsamoro matters most.  

Members of Parliament (BARMM) were also present in the rally.

Eastern Mindanao front commander Jack Abbas said his presence iswaa form of a Taajiya to the families of the nine (9) innocent  victims. He further reminisced the good relationship of  the Muslim and Christian in the areas of Kabacan.

Hon. Abas emphasized how important for the Muslims and Christians to understand the situation. 

He further called the attention of probing team to conduct proper investigation. “With a very fair investigation, we can come up with the correct decision,” he said.

Also present to give message of support was Hon. Jabib M. Jabar,  BARMM’s Area Coordinator for seven Baranggay of Kabacan. 

He mentioned that supposedly the gatherings was to call the attention of some others  municipalities who give sympathy on the incidents  not only in Kabacan however the plan was not implemented due to the existing health protocols.

Jabar further emphasized that the conduct of peace rally is not to organize a revenge but to have a unity to give justice for the innocent victims. 

Mr. Jabar also thanked the presence of some leaders of the BARMM which justified their sympathy and concern to their constituents. 

Moreover he also prayed that the unity of Muslim, Christian and Lumad in Kabacan will not destroy by spoilers of peace in the area.

Dr. Abubakar Murray, in lieu of USM president Fransisco M. Garcia, committed that USM would like to declare their full support in the speedy investigation of the incident. 

Cotabato SGA Administrator Muhammad U. Antao emphasised that the incident will serve as the wake up call to everyone to serve and prevail justice on a very fastest way. 

BARMM official and BIAF chief of Staff, Hon. Abdulraof  A. Macacua, reiterated that event was aimed to seek Justice for the fallen nine innocent civilian.

He urged everyone to exercise restraint and patience and wait for the result of the investigations. He related that even the Congress is committing to involve in the investigation process. 

“What we are asking for you, especially the witnesses, to cooperate,” he added. 

The Multi-Sectoral Peace Rally was sponsored by Mindanao Alliance of Peace (MAP)  and was assisted by Bangsamoro Communications Network (BCN), Inc.