GENERAL SANTOS City (October 7, 2013) – Close to fifty students and youth leaders participated in the restructuring of the South Cotabato, Sarangani, and General Santos (SocSarGen) provincial and university chapters of the United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) held at the Muslim Students Association (MUSA) Park in Mindanao State University (MSU), General Santos City on September 29, 2013.
Tu Alfonso, National Vice President for Internal Affairs of the UNYPAD, disclosed that the MSU – General Santos is the seat for UNYPAD school-based chapters in this province.
“This SocSarGen provincial chapter of the organization covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sarangani and the City of General Santos,” he added.
Dats Magon, gave the updates on the status of the GPH – MILF negotiations and UNYPAD’s role in monitoring the GPH – MILF peace process.
“Inclusion of Samsudin Amella, UNYPAD former Secretary – General, as one of the observers representing Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) in the 40th Exploratory Talks in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia is an example of the roles played by the organization, Magon said.”
“His presence there is a milestone achieved by the organization, and it is considered to be very important as he could help in informing the communities about the development of the talks”, he added.
In his presentation, Anwar Upahm, UNYPAD National Vice President for External Affairs, explained the need for having a strong youth organization in SocSarGen areas.
“In the past Moro controlled over these areas especially General Santos but now Bangsamoro in the city have been becoming powerless, and multi-national corporations continue to enrich themselves to the extent of grabbing Moro and IP properties but no reactions against them were made,” Upahm lamented.
“These conditions would prove that Moro voice in the city is weak, not heard and it should be changed,” he further added.
Yusoph Lumambas, UNYPAD Secretary-General, centered his message on the importance of education, which motivated much the youth to maximize their time in seeking knowledge.
“You have to enrich yourselves with knowledge as it would contribute a lot in the future Bangsamoro Government,” he stressed.
“As you continue to walk down the street in the search for genuine peace in the region and freedom of the Bangsamoro, your knowledge will be more enriched as you will be gaining vast experiences for they are your best teachers”, he added.
“Organizing communities is a challenging task for us, but we have to be committed and determined in doing it given the difficulty of the situations currently faced by the Muslims especially youth in these areas,” said Gringo Maquiling, newly installed MSU General Santos chapter president.
Akmad Hasim, the outgoing Maguindanao cluster-1 provincial chapter president delivered the closing remarks and invocation. (UNYPAD News)