COTABATO CITY – Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao led the commemoration of the Bangsamoro Week of Peace in Cotabato City.
The theme of the commemoration, now on its 6th year, is “Bangsamoro: Revisiting the Past, Continuing the Cause.”
Hataman said it is only through remembering the previous struggles of the Bangsamoro can today’s generation be empowered to continue the cause and achieve lasting peace in this part of the country. “Mahalaga na alalahanin natin at ipagpatuloy natin ito hanggang sa magkaroon ng ganap ng kapayapaan,” the ARMM governor said. Hataman also called for unity and cooperation among the different sectors in the region to continue the reforms and changes that the regional government has introduced and implemented during his years of governance. The tri-people of the Bangsamoro must continue the fight against poverty and terrorism, Gov. Hataman added. “Wala man tayo sa gitna ng giyera ngayon, hindi ibig sabihin na hindi na tayo nakikibaka. Patuloy ang ating pakikibaka laban sa kahirapan at terorismo,” he said. The regional governor also pointed out how technology is a double-edged sword, with the youth becoming more vulnerable to misinformation as they gain access to the internet.
Amir Mawallil, Executive Director of the Bangsamoro Youth Affairs (BYA), also echoed the government’s point, and said that ensuring the youth learns about the history of the Bangsamoro is crucial in developing the youth’s consciousness. Aside from this, an awareness of Bangsamoro history is also crucial to the success of the long-standing peace efforts involving the Bangsamoro.
This is why, Mawallil said, the regional government will exert efforts on mainstreaming the discussion of Bangsamoro history among youth in the region through the OBYA. “We have to look at different platforms and exhaust all means. Our approach must succeed in being pervasive, ‘yung kahit saan sila lumingon nandoon ang narrative ng Bangsamoro” said Director Mawallil.
He added that the youth can be an instrument of peace simply by knowing their history. “Their every action must be rooted in something bigger than themselves; dapat may hugot, at sana nakaugat ‘yun sa pagkilala nila sa tunay na kasaysayan ng Bangsamoro,” he said. Among the activities lined up for this week’s commemoration are a photo exhibit, a stage play, and a range of conferences and panel discussions including a forum on the Bangsamoro history conducted simultaneously in all provinces of the ARMM. The Bangsamoro Week of Peace is celebrated every second week of March to commemorate the Jabidah Massacre which is considered a pivotal point of the Bangsamoro struggle. “Alam kong masakit sa ating lahat na ito’y alalahanin, ngunit ito ang nag-udyok sa atin na ipaglaban ang ating mga karapatan at ipaglaban ang ating identihiya,” Hataman said, referring to the said massacre. (Bureau of Public Information)