The celebration of 2nd anniversary of the Moro-IP ReAffirmation of Kinship was held in Sungko, Lantapan, Bukidnon last March 8, 2014. The commemoration was a gesture of support of the organizers to the GPH-MILF Peace Process and the crafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
The celebration was aimed at strengthening and preserving the centuries-old kinship of the Bangsamoro and theindigenous peoples who are descendants of Apo Datu Mamalu and Apo Rajah Tabunaway who were living in the Island of Mindanao prior to the coming of the colonizers.
Datu Migketay Vic Saway, a Talaandig tribe leader in Bukidnon said that the event was a cultural initiative to support the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) in the finalization of the BBL and its consequent enactment by the Philippine Congress.
“The participation and appearance of key leaders in this historic event will strengthen the pillars of unity and peace in Mindanao and hasten our success.” Saway said.
“The event was an immense aid in achieving a genuine and lasting peace because Moro and the IPs belong to same roots, and if there is a problem or misunderstanding among members of a family, there is a need to talk and dialogue because they are the best ways to resolve a misunderstanding”. “And kinship is peace.” he added.
In his speech Mr. Yahya Kasan, a representative from the Central committee of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front(MILF) expressed his gratitude for being a part of the affair.
“We are here to join you in this program and be one of the witnesses of the commemoration of this big event. We must strengthen our kinship. We must be united in order for us to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao that we have been aspiring for.” Kasan said.
“We must put in our minds that when there is no peace and unity; conflict and poverty shall continue to affect us and our communities.” he added.
Bapa Joe Akmad, from the Maguindanaon tribe who hails from Carmen, North Cotabato said that the event will bring back to memory the precious brotherhood of Apo Mamalu and Apo Tabunaway who separated merely by belief but their affinity being brothers still remain.
“We must maintain and uphold the immeasurable brotherhood of our ancestors. Keep on holding the tie that binds our relationship.” Akmad said.
Akmad firmly believes that Moro-IP kinship must be reaffirmed, preserved and strengthened for being brothers is divine and originated from the Almighty who created mankind.
“Our forefathers separated physically but their relationship as brothers had never been separated. And whoever attempts to separate or support the division of the Moro and the IPs kinship will be cursed by Almighty God.” Akmad said.
Akmad called on his brother Moros and IPs to fight the dissection being done by group of people whom he considered as opportunists and spoilers of peace.
“Those people who are bound to spoil the good relationship between the Moros and IP’s are obviously anti-peace and anti-development. Let us be vigilant and let peace prevail in our midst. Akmad pointed out.
In his speech Timuay Melanio Ulama, chairperson of the Organization of Teduray and Lambangian Conference (OTLAC), Inc. said that the primary objective of the gathering was to attain a just, comprehensive and lasting peace which we believed is the basic foundation for economic development and Bangsamoro prosperity.
“We, the descendants of Apo Mamalu and Apo Tabunaway must dream as one, speak as one and act as one, in order to achieve a just, comprehensive and lasting peace.” Timuay Ulama said.
Further replications of the Moro-IP kinship activities will take place in Iligan City, South Cotabato, Zamboanga City, Basilan and Sulu in coming months. (Mashod Salik)