Two weeks after a peace forum we have held at Bukidnon State University, the group that organized it is now reported to be under surveillance as tagged by the military to be an “MILF recruitment committee”.
This has been the most stupid and the narrowest split of sense I have heard of for 2009 so far.
This deserves condemnation. What supposedly is a “military intelligence report” as alleged appears to be lousy work without an iota of intelligence.
On 31 January 2009, an informal group my friends and I formed in Malaybalay City, Kanoy Bukidnon, successfully organized and held a peace forum on the Mindanao peace process and history.
We invited retired MSU prof. Rudy B. Rodil as lecturer and he gave a hearty and substantial presentation at the Student Activity Center of Bukidnon State University to an audience from Bukidnon’s multiu-sectoral groups.
Every body was invited to that forum, including the military, the police, and of course Malaybalay’s United Muslim Association. The academe was there with retired BSU Vice President Leony Eduave and BSU Social Science Department chair Dr. Beulah Torres.
The business community was there with Rey’s Grill entrepreneur Rueul Gallo, who also is the vice president of the U.P. Alumni Association Bukidnon Chapter.
Provincial board member Atty. Roland Deticio attended it also along with datus from Bukidnon alligned with the Provincial Consultative Body. Mayor Florencio T. Flores Jr was invited too.
Board member Atty. Oliver Owen Garcia, who heads the board’s peace and order committee helped fund the forum. We organized it in cooperation with BSU with funding assistance from Davao-based Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID).
There were also peace education students and social science faculty from BSU.
It was not a covert activity.
For us in Kanoy, it was a timely initiative now that Konsult Mindanaw is going around. (I hope they too won’t be branded as recruiters).
The intel report, if true, is absurd since it was an activity to help enlighten minds from a broad sector of the Bukidnon community.
It was an effort to uphold peace and understanding of Mindanao history not to side with any party but for the wider clamor for peace and unity.
We should not limit the peace talks to the armies that fight Mindanao’s ferocious battles!
In the end, the war affects every body so peace is every body’s concern.
As a journalist, I have a stake to the peace in Mindanao. That is why I allowed myself to be involved in Kanoy Bukidnon which promotes a community dialogue series in the province of Bukidnon.
We want to push a new community culture of peace –one that encourages into a dilogue a wider sector of people, not just the government leaders and the military, but everyone.
To the detractors of peace, we pray for your close minds to open up to a healthy and progressive world of open mindedness, cooperation, mutual respect and harmony.
The dungeons of your dark havens are too outdated in a modern world of intelligent and socially acceptable paradigms.
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