ARMM opens ‘Bangsamoro Week of Peace’

COTABATO CITY — Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on Monday reminded the Bangsamoro people not to forget the bloodshed and sacrifices made by their forebears in the quest for genuine peace in Mindanao.

Hataman made the call as he led the opening today of the Bangsamoro Week of Peace (BWP) at the ARMM compound here.

Now on its sixth year, BWP’s opening program was participated in by representatives and major stakeholders in the struggle for peace in the ARMM.

This year’s theme is “Bangsamoro: Revisiting the Past, Continuing the Cause.”

Hataman said it is only through remembering the previous struggles of the Bangsamoro that today’s generation can be empowered to continue the cause to achieve lasting peace in this part of the country.

“Mahalaga na alalahanin natin at ipagpatuloy natin ito hanggang sa magkaroon ng ganap ng kapayapaan (It is important to remember the struggle of our forefathers and we must continue it until peace is achieved),” Hataman said.

Speaking before an audience also made up of military and police officers, members of Moro rebel groups, indigenous peoples representatives and peace advocates, 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 since he became governor.

He said the tri-people of the Bangsamoro must also continue the fight against poverty and terrorism.

Amir Mawallil, executive director of the Bangsamoro Youth Affairs (BYA), said that teaching the youth the history of the Bangsamoro is crucial in developing their consciousness.

“Aside from that, an awareness of Bangsamoro history is also crucial to the success of the long-standing peace efforts involving the Bangsamoro,” Mawallil said.

He called on the younger generation to play major roles in peace building, citing they can be an instrument for peace by knowing history.

“Their every action must be rooted in something bigger than themselves, they should know the Bangsamoro history,” he said.

The week-long celebration will highlight photo exhibit, stage plays, fora and conferences to be held in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

The BWP is celebrated every second week of March to commemorate the Jabidah Massacre, the pivotal point of Bangsamoro struggle.

The Jabidah Massacre refers to Moro recruits trained to fight for the reclamation of Borneo but massacred in Bataan.