SHAFAQNA – As predominantly Catholic Philippines and the rest of the Christian world observe the Holy Week, peace advocates like the Young Muslim Professionals Network (YMPN) are appealing to Filipinos of various creeds and persuasion to embrace the universal message of kindness, love and peace. The group issued the call as peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front teeter due to the Mamasapano incident where members of the rebel group killed 44 police commandos on a mission to arrest high value terrorists.
“There is more to peace than war, cooperation than conflict and tolerance than bigotry,” said Yasmira Moner, Women’s Committee Convener of the YMPN.
YMPN is one of the groups pushing for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
“Mamasapano and BBL have become closely associated and interchangeable in the masa’s mind. Informing and educating the people of the facts and historical context of the Mindanao armed struggle are necessary in changing their opinion and worldviews,” Moner said.
Another civil society group, the Mindanao Solidarity Network (MSN), said it hopes that the people will rise above hate and bigotry and learn to work together for peace.
“May we resurrect from all our prejudices and biases and unite to work for peace. Let us open our heart that the available option is BBL. BBL is not only for the Moro people but for every Filipino,” said Liza Ugay of the MSN.
“As Christians, we should reflect upon Christ’s death on the cross and rejoice with his victory over death in his resurrection. He promised peace to all, even to the people who hurt him,” Ugay said.
In Bacolod City, Bishop Vicente Navarra and Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. called on Negrenses to “pray for peace” and “be close to God” as the Christian world observes the Holy Week.
“I enjoin all Negrenses to continually pray for lasting peace, not only in Negros island, but also in the entire country. This is also the best time to reach out to others, make amends and seek forgiveness from those we have offended,” Marañon said in a statement.– With Danny Dangcalan
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