The Municipal Government of Kumalarang, Zamboanga del Sur together with Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) and Kumalarang PNP on November 28 initiated the conduct of Peace Building Forum and Islamic Symposium to empower the Tri-People of Kumalarang and strengthen the relationship between and among them as a vehicle for conflict resolution.
Anchored in winning and achieving sustainable peace, the Symposium focused on the proactive involvement of the Tri-People in coflict resolution, Tri-People empowerment, preventing and countering violent extremism, and peace building and peace sustainment.
The Tri-People depicts the peoples of Mindanao —the Christians, Muslims, and the indigenous peoples (IPs) or Lumads. The relationship among these three makes religion and religious identity a potential foundation and mechanism for inter-religious dialogue.
In his message, Kumalarang mayor Hon. Ruel Molina encouraged the tri-people of Kumalarang to not just preach peace, but also live with it.
53rd IB Commanding Officer also said that in order to win and sustain peace, everyone must “work as one,” emphasizing on the role of everyone in the implementation of Executive Order 70—the institutionalization of “Whole-of-Nation” approach—signed by President Duterte.
The symposium also espoused on the different perspectives on peace and development.
During the peace building forum, Army’s 1st Infantry Division Chaplain Maj. Mujib Ladjabuan gave a lecture and espoused what it is to be a Muslim—the foundation of which is anchored on pleasing and yearning for the love of Allah.
Vice President for Administration and Finance in Cotabato City State Polytechnic College Professor Teng A. Alim also taught about the true meaning of Jihad¯ contrary to what the mainstream people perceive as ‘holy war,’ while the Vice Chairman for DA’WAH & Masjid Affairs of Bandar Kutawato Uztads Ismael M Ibrahim , taught about the Pillars of Islam.