Friday, 13 January 2012 00:00
The Zamboanga City-based influential dialogue movement has lauded the first steps of caretaker regional governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Mujiv Hataman towards reform in the autonomous region.
"Observing your first moves as ARMM OIC I sense that you are doing you best," Fr. Sebastiano D'Ambra, PIME, founder of Silsilah Dialogue Movement, said in an open letter, dated 2nd Week - January 11, 2012, emailed yesterday to Zamboanga Today.
“Padayon!” (Move on!) This is the word of encouragement that you still remember for sure from the Silsilah experience."
D'Ambra became a friend and mentor of Hataman when he joined the Silsilah Summer Course held at Silsilah's House of Peace Harmony Village in Pitogo, Barangay Sinunuc, Zamboanga City, several years ago.
"It is not the first time that a Muslim or Christian alumnus of Silsilah has occupied an important position in Philippine society in one of the institutions or universities," he said.
D'Ambra further said Hataman is now in one of the most difficult and challenging positions in the country. "It is a position that can facilitate the peace process or continue the situation of violence and corruption in Mindanao."
He is confident that the ARMM OIC can legitimately take pride in the notable achievements which are part of his “heritage” as a Muslim and a Mindanawon.
However, he said that this same heritage also has negative elements which includes violence that reached its highest level on the occasion of the Maguindanao Massacre.
"Most of the time people believe that if we have more security structures and more money we can solve the problem of peace in Mindanao. This is only partially right," D'Ambra went on.
"How much money has been given to ARMM over the years and how many thousands of soldiers have been assigned in Mindanao. But what have been the results?" he asked.
He believe that the National Government and the ARMM have to improve the “truth and sincerity” in their relations and make it the real foundation of peace and development.
Meanwhile, Fr. D'Ambra expressed support to Hataman in all the wise moves he will make to help the central government realize that only a real and genuine autonomy, or a similar form of governance, can be made as an example in Mindanao and hopefully applied in other regions as an appropriate form of “federalism” or similar system in the Philippines.
"You (Hataman) have the challenge to convince the people of ARMM to claim what is right, but with a realistic attitude that considers the real development of Mindanao, where the indigenous people and others who have reached Mindanao from other areas have rights too."
The Silsilah movement founder said he knows Hataman has courage and determination.
"Use all your gifts and talents to become a model of a leader who is in the front line for the 'common good' and not the 'common corruption and violence' that bring more poverty," D'Ambra advised Hataman.
He also reminded Hataman of the Silsilah commitment to promote the Culture of Dialogue, Path to Peace based on personal and social transformation.
"People around you have to learn how to be good Muslims or good Christians, living and promoting love and compassion. How many times we find hypocritical leaders who act as though they are good Muslims or good Christians, but their hearts are still full of hatred, violence and corruption. We need righteous people in society starting with the leaders. I hope and pray that you will be one model in Mindanao."
D'Amba furthered that he is sure Hataman will continue to do the best. He suggested that from 1977, the year he arrived in Mindanao, up to now he has seen the struggle of many good Muslims and Christians to overcome historical conflicts, mnew prejudices and forms of mistrust, among the two faith communities, including the lumads in Mindanao.
"But so far the results have been limited because many of them are part of the 'silent majority' who are afraid to share their feelings on anomalies carried out by some leaders of sectors of society; illegal businesses; corruption, etc.," he said.
He said doing it in this way violence allows more violence and fear , which continue to perpetuate the 'culture of silence and fear'.
We have to overcome this critical situation in all possible ways."
"One way to start can be to follow the encouragement coming from the United Nations to celebrate the first week of February every year as the World Interfaith Harmony Week."
This move of the United Nations was inspired by the open letter of 138 Muslim scholars of the world to Pope Benedict XVI and other Christians leaders of the world to work together for peace, starting from the message of the love of God and the love of neighbor in Islam and Christianity as it is found in the teaching of the Holy Bible and the Holy Qur’an."
"We in Zamboanga City and in the ZAMBASULTA sub-region are moving in this direction in partnership with the National Ulama Conference of the Philippines which is the lead group of this special Interfaith Harmony Week Celebration. I hope you will spread this celebration in the ARMM region as a good starting point to celebrate Harmony as the answer to the future peace of Mindanao," concluded Fr. D’Ambra.
By Hader Glang
- 13/01/2012 00:00 - Councilor Lilia Nuno to prioritize GAD ordinance
- 13/01/2012 00:00 - Police probe man alleging he was hit by bullet while sleeping
- 13/01/2012 00:00 - Philippines, MILF end peace talks; to meet again next month in KL
- 13/01/2012 00:00 - City Council long recess affects trike registration
- 13/01/2012 00:00 - City to open up closed waterways
- 13/01/2012 00:00 - ARMM education system faces overhaul
- 12/01/2012 12:41 - Cabato wants mandatory installation of CCTVs in business establishments
- 12/01/2012 12:40 - Lobregat vows more projects for Taluksangay
- 12/01/2012 12:40 - Amman says Lilia prepared for Congress
- 12/01/2012 12:39 - DENR to monitor National Greening Program in ARMM