By Tu Alid Alfonso
JOLO Sulu (October 7, 2014) – Two hundred participants from different sectors such as community leaders, government line agencies of Sulu, Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), youth, women and students participated in the symposium on Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) spearheaded by the Sulu Provincial Chapter of the United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) held at the Municipal Day Care Center, Jolo Sulu on September 28.
Jun Muha, the UNYPAD Sulu Chapter Provincial Chairman, disclosed that his office made a proper coordination with the Social Welfare Committee of Jolo, Sulu.
“Despite the difficulties in reaching communities in Island provinces, the UNYPAD, as peace and development institution, did its best to help disseminate information about the BBL,” he said.
“It is crucial if public who live in the inaccessible areas in Island provinces do not know the sweetness of the BBL because they might become passive,” Muha pointed out.
“We need to help each other to reach our target goals that when plebiscite will come, we, in the Island provinces, can vote for ‘yes’ in favour of the Bangsamoro government, and it will only happen if we will get educated about the content of BBL,” he stressed.
Muha explained that this is now the right time to exert collective efforts like providing any assistance, among others, to organizations that are having programs on advocating for GPH-MILF peace process in the grassroots level.
Anwar Saluwang, the Director of Development Management Center of the UNYPAD, also asked some peace partners to help fund the organization’s peace activities in the ground.
“…Because UNYPAD is a non-profit organization, we cannot lend full assistance to the request of our chapters in Luzon and Mindanao who are initiating peace advocacy work, I think we still need more support,” Saluwang said.
The speakers in the symposium were Hadji Nurl Tingkasan, an anchor person of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission radio program BTC on the Air, Judy Jaafar of the BTC Communication Group and other speakers were from the Information Committee of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Meantime, the UNYPAD Luzon Chapter headed by Kamim Macmod had organized a peaceful rally in front of the House of Representatives in Batasan Gate, Batasan Hills, Quezon City, Metro Manila on Sepember24, 2014 to show strong support to the first hearing of BBL in the lower and upper houses.
“Cagayan de Oro Representative, Rofus Rodrigues, talked to 500 peace advocates who staged peace rally and he gave his commitment to support the passage of BBL”, Mahdie Amella, Executive Director of the Mindanao Action for Peace and Development (MAPAD), disclosed.
The UNYPAD since its inception in 2004 had been organizing various peace and development activities both in the local, national and participating in the international peace initiatives in Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Australia, Switzerland, London, Vietnam and Japan.