Bangsamoro leaders powered up the HWPL-Mindanao Peace Agreement Day
By Marilie Bomediano
Photos by:HWPL Philippines and Marilie Bomediano
Videos by: HWPL & Marilie Bomediano
Manila: Bangsamoro leaders resonated at the first Peace Forum themed “Engaging the World in Creating the Structure of Peace” hosted by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) Chairman Man Hee Lee, that united pinoys together to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of “January 24 Mindanao Peace Agreement Day” at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
It’s the inaugural day when HWPL successfully had the Mindanao Peace Agreement Peace signed between representatives of the Catholic Church and Islamics in Mindanao on January 24, 2014 by the local citizens to build cooperation for efforts of peace building-understanding the differences in religion and ethnicity based on respect.
This peace conference was also held to support the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) which was proclaimed last March 14, 2016 and bring it into a legally binding document by presenting to the international organizations. The declaration consisting of 10 articles and 38 clauses, includes prohibition of the threat or use of force, freedom of religion, and spreading a culture of peace.
About 170 participants attended the event including Senate representatives, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process representatives, Officials of the Department of Education, University faculty, leaders of National Federation of Women's Clubs (NFWC), youth group leaders, religious leaders and media agencies including PTV4 , ABS-CBN, AK NewsMedia and Munting Nayon (MN) News Magazine.
Amidst the conflicts in Mindanao caused by deep-rooted prejudices against a minority Muslim and indigenous population, recent developments have seen an historic breakthrough in the form of a comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Government of the Philippines. This is a major milestone for settling decades of armed conflict by creating a new self-governing region called the Bangsamoro.
HWPL Philippines’ inaugurative peace conference was attended by Bangsamoro leaders joined by Catholic, IP minority and various political-religious leaders supported by the National Federation of Women’s Club with the media celebrating the day that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) erected the second HWPL Peace Monument in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao Province. Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim of MILF also decided to designate January 24th of every year as ‘HWPL Day’.
It was remembering the day when youth organizations, government representatives and local religious leaders from both Catholic and Islam pledged their support for the same goal – peace in Mindanao. Projects and activities by HWPL to establish peace as a culture including peace walks, seminars, peace monuments and academic assistance have been on progress.
Mindanao has been known as a region of conflicts caused by multiple discords such as different religions, political stances, thoughts and ideologies thus the HWPL peace movements were explained by the forum speakers.
Forum speakers Mr Nasser Marohomsalic, former Human Rights Commissioneralong with Mr. Usman Gapor Alhaj, the deputy Mayor of Maranao Tribe, PSupt Nonito Asdai (Police Tetuan District) of Subanon Ethnic IPs and Mr. Adzar Madjid of the Peace Initiatives from Mindanao, Estrelita Ruiz adviser of the National Federation of Womens Club and member of the media Elizabeth Cachin, News Department of PTV with the WARP religious leaders explained the “Law for Peace” through religious and socio-political harmony, the footsteps towards peace in the Philippines
Speakers Catholic Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of Cagayan de Oro joined Sr. Francia Volante Sister of Donum Dei Missionary Family, Pr. Marcel Tanguilan, Administrative Pastor of Knox United Methodist witnessed and joined by the Philippine and Australian media, as they all delivered their region’s peace messages.
Forum speaker Mr Nasser Marohomsalic, former Human Rights Commissioner spoke of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) towards strengthening the global structure of peace, dissecting the flawed structure of peace throughout history touching global historical topics and the politics of cold war and hegemony, the dictatorship as Anathema to Peace.
“The South Korean people through HWPL have come and organized this peace conference in the Philippines to show us how best to deal with war by abolishing it in the books. They have spearheaded the drafting of a document called the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) with the end in view of propagating its wisdom and virtues and convince the United Nations to enact it as an international convention on peace.
“It is, as explained, a better document than any international convention on peace. The DPCW, as suggested by the theme of our conference, “Engaging the World in Creating the Structure, aims the flesh out of global system or structure of peace.
“In Article 6, the DPCW mandates the submission of country to the instruments of peace, including the settlement of conflict through arbitration without reservation.
“Freedom of Religion as an inalienable right of the people is given ample emphasis and importance in the document to impress in people its sacrosanct place among the internationally recognized human rights standards. Article 8 and 9 of the document provide, thus:
“States should unite to strengthen international efforts to foster a global dialogue for the promotion of culture of tolerance and peace at all levels, based on respect for human rights and diversity of religions and beliefs. (Section 1, Article 8),
Mr Marohomsalic also further explained the significance of Article 8’s Section 2, that States should recognize that in order to preserve a lasting culture of peace, public awareness of the need for, and value of, peace should be created, Section 3: Heads of State and heads of government should acknowledge that they are uniquely well placed to encourage a culture of peace, and should act to support this declaration to bring about the cessation of war.
“Islam arrived in Mindanao in the 14th century, 200 years before the colonial Spanish Catholics, and a number of Sultanates were able to resist attempts of external dominance until the US took over as the colonial power in 1898. The US (and later the newly independent Government in Manila) promoted the settlement of Christians from the rest of the Philippines to the fertile lands of Mindanao. This displaced local populations (Muslim and non-Islamic indigenous peoples). By the 1960s the local population was in a minority in their own homeland.”
“This peace conference was held to support the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) which was proclaimed last March 14, 2016 and bring it into a legally binding document by presenting to the international organizations including the United Nations. About 170 participants attended the event including Senate representatives, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process representatives, Officials of the Department of Education, University faculty, leaders of National Federation of Women's Clubs (NFWC), youth group leaders, religious leaders and media agencies including PTV4 and ABS-CBN.
The declaration, with its 10 articles and 38 clauses, was written by international law experts under the HWPL International Law Peace Committee. The DPCW includes prohibition of the threat or use of force, freedom of religion, and spreading a culture of peace, Mr. Marohomsalic concluded.
Mr. Adzar Madjid, a Muslim founder of Muslim Youth Council in Cagayan de Oro and of the Peace Initiatives from Mindanao also mentioned that Peace Zone Philippines Initiative (PZPI), that gathered 30,000 signatories since Sept 21, 2015 in Mindanao. The objective of the peace project in five phases: firstly, the Peace Declaration secondly: to Establish Peace Symbols thirdly, to utilize online and print media platform and finally conduct activities including garnering signatories in support of DPCW.
The next move shall focus on advocating DPCW in Mindanao, particularly in the Southern tip. Our strategy is to conduct forum-type and Training for Trainers as Peace Advocacy Community on DPCW. Materials and necessary Awareness or Orientation Programs on the ground, stressing the salient point of DPCW.
PSuperintendent Nonito Asdai, Chief of Police of Tetuan District and ZC Eastern Eagles Club President also spoke on the security and order of the Mindanao region.
“As a result of the Zamboanga 2013 siege, we were able to see how families, communities and nations embraced PEACE not WAR. Regardless of religious affiliations, tribe or the origin ot the background. There is no better way for humanity to achieve in life but to live in peace and harmony, makes one worth living.
“The Police work not only matters to security and order but expanded to genuine rights and welfare of the people known as TAO.. That means human is sacred and must enjoy the benefit that life can offer. In my own humble way, these memories cannot just pass by, so last January 14 2017 as ZC Eastern Eagles Club President, my calling to initita a 5 KM Fun-Run 2017 for unity and peace which proceeds went to the Masepla Transitory Sites, the temporary shelter of the victims of the siege.
H.E. Most. Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, the Archbishop of Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro delivered his congratulatory message during the conference saying,“ This is a movement to invite all peace advocates to come together, to work for peace through international legislation, through solidarity messages, and coming together in solidarity for working for peace.” Also, during the conference, Mr. Brian Poe Llamanzares, a political consultant in the office of Senator Grace Poe, attended and expressed, “This is a good start for the Philippine society which is been trying to find peace for a longest time. Also, signature campaign that is currently on-going is a wonderful advert.”
see attached: H.E. Most. Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, the Archbishop of Archdiocese of CDO’s…. HWPL congratulatory message mp4: 20170124_180827.mp4 https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9GV0Y0k8Gpyek5zdVNCVEpMNHM/view?usp=drive_web
After the event, HWPL Publicity Ambassador Alem Jamal S. Munib, the Executive Director of Madrasah Comprehensive Development and Promotion Program said “we should not stop in engaging peace, because with this Advocacy of HWPL I think everyone of us the torch of peace is in our hearts, but we must be the vanguard of Peace. If we accept each and every one as a vanguard of peace, then we can see the peace in the end of the tunnel.” All participants shared their plans of supporting the peace activities which aim to bring the DPCW to the UN, building a peace network for further cooperation.
In congruence to the DPCW, HWPL has been doing various peace activities in the Philippines under sectors of Education, Culture, Religion and Media with the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), the affiliated body of HWPL. In addition, the International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG), the support group of HWPL, has been developing peace activities for orphanages and welfare centers linked to the Philippine community.
Ms. Elizabeth C. Cachin, News Department of PTV Philippines who has been involved with HWPL peace movement since 2013, congratulated HWPL and Chairman Man Hee Lee for initiating the peace movement.
“My impression about HWPL for the past six months is that it has become more determined to reach its ultimate goal which is to have world peace. They never get tired of finding ways on how to ttain their endeavours, Ms. Cachin explained during her speech as she also pointed out the relevance of DPCW to her line of work:
“It made me assess a news story and see the positive angle that could be drawn from it. Saying No to Sensationalism, with only straight news to be written. It also inclines me to do or sign feature stories relating to peace and or the effects of war.
‘Nowadays, killings, drugs and wars become the top story and is being sensationalized in news programs. Which affects the mindset of the people and make them more interested in those kind of reports.
Regarding Cachin’s future plans in her capacity as an employee, she intends to do more stories regarding peace that can help change the mindset of the people to have hope that can be achieved to continuously support HWPL.
“Let’s support HWPL and live in a world were peace reigns.
She has a permanent message to the global Publicity Ambassadors:
“My message is that we be vigilant in our request for world peace and that we should encourage others to help in this advocacy.
I encourage everyone to please support all the endeavours and activities of HWPL, IPYG and IWPG. Be a messenger of peace, be a light of hope and spread world peace.
Currently the “Legislate Peace” Campaign for the implementation of the DPCW into an enforceable law is being held in the Philippines, Australia, Armenia, the Czech Republic, Palestine, South Africa, Indonesia, India and Nigeria and as of January 1st, 2017, about 700,000 people from 173 countries have signed for the fortification of the DPCW.
HWPL Director Joseph Kim delivered his farewell and thank you address to all the first forum attendees. It was in partnership with International Womens Peace Group (IWPG) and International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) with by AK NewsMedia (Australia) and Munting Nayon News Magazine (Netherlands).
see visuals: http://hwpl.kr http://hwpl.kr/newsletter/2017_january.html To understand more on HWPL legislation advocacy:https://youtu.be/R9o7MW3EdVE
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