From the Manila Bulletin (Jun 11): MILF: No space for extremists in Bangsamoro
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) assured participants at a public forum here over the weekend that the proposed Bangsamoro government will have no room for extremists.
“The Bangsamoro authority and leaders will not allow anybody, anyone, or any groups to destroy peace within the Bangsamoro territory,” Vice Chairman for Political Affairs Ghazali Jaafar said, amid resounding applause among hundreds of mixed audience from Muslim, Christian, and Lumad sectors.
“The Bangsamoro government is a democratic government where the rights of the people are guaranteed and everybody can enjoy religious freedom,” he added.
Jaafar’s assurance followed a warning aired by Orlando Cardinal Quevedo a day earlier at an international interfaith dialogue in Cotabato City that extremism, if not addressed squarely, could “hijack” the intents and visions under the Bangsamoro entity.
Quevedo, the archbishop of Cotabato and the first cardinal appointed by the Vatican from Mindanao, bared his sad experiences with extremist elements during his stint in the Sulu archipelago.
The prelate, described by government and MILF authorities as “the Cardinal for Peace,” has been actively campaigning for the transformation of the Muslim Mindanao regional autonomy to people’s higher degree of self-determination under the Bangsamoro political entity.
On May 29-31, 2014, forty three male participants from line agencies of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) representing various regions in the Bangsamoro attended a three- day activity with the theme: “Empowering Bangsamoro Potential Leaders & Communities” held at the BLMI Training Center at Crossing Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.
Sheikh Mahmod S. Ahmad, BLMI Executive Director welcomed the participants and appealed for their support for the general welfare of the Bangsamoro People.
Prof. Esmael Abdula, BLMI Training Unit Officer together with Salik Abdullah facilitated the program. Abdula shared his experiences and expertise on community engagements.
Dr. Tarhata Guiamalon, lectured on internationally accepted work etiquettes and other related topics that every Bangsamoro leaders and managers must be acquainted with especially when interacting with foreigners.
Dr. Ruth T. Diang lectured on international protocol and diplomacy that need to be instilled to Bangsamoro future leaders.
On June 3-5, 2014, the Training for Trainers (TOT) for Community Leaders was also held at BLMI with similar number of participants. Officials of the MILF-BIAF from different areas in Mindanao were among the participants.
The topics include advocacy and strategies in community engagements as a way of preparing them for the challenges that lay ahead once Bangsamoro is in place.
Dr. Abdul S. Pagayao touched on the ministerial form of government. Dr. Tarhata Guiamalon once again delved on work etiquettes and international protocol; underlining its essential contributions for the success of Bangsamoro. On the last day, Dr. Taugan Kikay, Bangsamoro Sajahatra official touched on the prospective Bangsamoro governance that includes political party formation and electoral system under a ministerial form of government.
The participants also engaged in cordial discussions, sharing of views and concerns with the speakers.
In the closing program the participants expressed their appreciations and gratitude to BLMI Management, speakers; The Asia Foundation (TAF) -Aus – Aid for their continuing support to BLMI, the peace process and the envisioned Bangsamoro Region.