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PIA Press Release

Young Muslims call for peace and unity

by Apipa P. Bagumbaran

Islamic City of Marawi (23 September) -- The young members of the Bangsamoro Civil Society have called on leaders to set aside partisan politics and political interests and promote the interests of the Moro people instead.

In a joint statement, the group expressed disappointment with the recent fighting over government positions stressing the negative impact of divisive politics.

The group believes that the way forward is to focus efforts and work for the Moro people through masuwara or consensus-building, public-private partnership and supporting a Moro agenda.

"Unity and peace prompted us to write in public because we cannot remain silent in the presence of the deafening noise of politics brought about by the privilege speech of Representative Tupay Loong of Sulu questioning the process of appointment in the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF)," the group said.

"While we support Loong's assertion for preferential appointments of Moros in the national government with recommendations from politicians as provided in the Organic Act creating the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), we are also aware that Muslim appointees in Cabinet must bear the trust and confidence of the President," the group further said.

The said statement also reiterated that Moros with proven competence, education, merit and experience should be appointed and that an Islamic leadership background is advantageous in the NCMF because of its administrative management in the conduct of religious obligations of Hajj (pilgrimage), Umrah, among others.

They further believed that the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) is ably administered by a Secretary who has a strong background in civil society and a deep concern for Muslim Mindanao.

And as an institution under the Office of the President, OPAPP should be given the same opportunity to recommend the said appointment in the NCMF.

The group also welcomed the new appointment of the chairperson in the NCMF which completed the GRP peace panel saying it is the last act to put the peace process in motion.

They also hoped for the development of mechanisms for the consultation of Muslim Filipinos in the selection of the commissioners of the NCMF.

The statement also demanded the Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao government, the Regional Legislative Assembly to attend to the pressing needs of the people and to address good governance, development and anti-corruption among other issues.

The joint statement was signed by Engr. Don Loong, President, Movement for Economic Development in Sulu; Councilor Jehanne Mutin, Jamiatul Shabbatil Mutaalimat; Atty. Algamar Latiph, Bangsamoro Circle; Tambas Yahya, Former Coordinator, Aksyon Demokratiko; Jolly Lais, Secretary General, AMANAH; Mohammad Matarul, MARADEKA; Pendatun Disimban, National President, Assalam Bangsamoro People's Association, former NYC Commissioner; Engr. Abdullah Datucala, Muslim Students Union; Ranao Council; Prof. Alber Husin, Ateneo de Zamboanga University; and Atty. Maisara C. Dandamun-Latiph, Private Integrated Madaris Forum convenor.

The said statement was made in line with the observance of the International Day of Peace.

The United Nations designated September 21 as the International of Peace urging all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities for the day and inviting all its member-nations to commemorate the day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace. (PIA Marawi) [top]

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