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Local inter-faith groups speak for City's peace


The Inter-religious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP) convened its regular members and affiliated partnerinstitutions last April 21, 2012 at AZENITH ROYAL Hotel, Governor Camins,Zamboanga City to discuss relevant peace and conflicts concerns that hit thecity for the past months.

Evidently, with the killing ofthe our  Honorary member, the LatePresident of Universidad de Zamboanga, Dr. Arturo Ammar Eustaquio III (Peace BeUpon Him), the IRSMP called for immediate action and collaborations for allentities to resolve the many isolated cases of killings that had hit ZamboangaCity peace and order.

The IRSMP, serving as theleading interfaith group in the city and affiliated with the strongest peacenetwork in the country-Mindanao Peace Weavers oriented the members with itsvarious line of actions to include the ongoing peace and public diplomacytrainings, Mindanao peoples peace agenda forum which is a regional conventionof peace advocates from Zamboanga peninsula, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi,Summer Peace building Course set on may 21-23 at Euntes Asian center, Sinunuccatering local Barangay officials, religious leaders and community leaders.

The meeting was hosted by theGolden Crescent Consortium of Peace Builders and Affiliates (GCCPBA), MuslimConvener group of the movement headed by its President and Muslim Convener Prof.Ali T. Yacub, Al-Hj. 

The President disclosed gratefulness to its members for the wonderful journey for the past many yearsto include its registration with the Security and Exchange Commission, Accreditationwith the Sangguniang Panglungsod and the historic event of the Convener beingwith the Christian clergy during the Thanksgiving Mass for Dr. Milabel Ho, Western Mindanao State University Newly-Elected President.

One of the highlights of themeeting is the Induction of Officers of the GCCPBA.  Hon. Atty. Melchor Rey K. Sadain, GoldenCrescent Achievement Award for Leadership Awardee from Zamboanga City HighSchool-Main and now City Councilor of District 1 of Zamboanga City was the Administering Officer.

During his message, he shared his personal view on the local peace and governance situation. He recalled theprestigious moment of receiving the peace award by the Golden Crescent- IRSMPuntil he connected it with his present works as a City legislator. As a publicservant, the interest of the community as an important stakeholder must betaken as top priority in which security and social services must be addressed.

The City legislator wasformally endorsed as Honorary Member of the Consortium and IRSMP. He wasinducted by the Lead Convener of IRSMP, Fr. Angel C. Calvo, CMF. Cognizant oftheir responsibility as peace advocates in Zamboanga City, Atty. Mel Sadain alongwith the newly-inducted officers committed themselves to draw strength fromtheir traditions of one’s respective faiths and firmly believe in God and placethem at the service of the region.

Furthermore, they committed tocreate harmonious relationship within and among individuals, groups,institutions or organizations from various sectors and levels in the community:Muslims, Christians and Other Indigenous Peoples.

The IRSMP highlighted the engagements of the movement partnering with institutions to include local faithgroups, academe, and institutions as partners in the quests for peace.  The Lead convener shared the journey for thepast months to include the campaign of the Young peace weavers and GoldenCrescent Awardees in cooperation with the Schools Division of ZamboangaCity-Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education, the PeaceCovenant Signing spearheaded by the SALAAM Police Center with the SALAAMcivilian Volunteers of the Philippines in Barangay Mampang, The RegionalConference of the Sama Badjao spearheaded by the National Sama Badjao Movement,the Peace Forum: The Real Score speaking of the Dynamics of the Peace Processspearheaded by the Young Moro Professionals Network and other various effortsof the movement in the communities are instances that the Local Inter-faithgroup speaks of the City’s Peace.

The efforts and campaigns ofthe IRSMP with Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) and Zamboanga Basilan Integrated Development Alliance (ZABIDA) as support groups have mainstream peace and humansecurity for sustainable development as a tool for improving the peace andsecurity of Zamboanga City.
The enormous success of thegroup is now being contemplated by other organizations leading partnerships andcollaborations to include the possible hosting of an International Peace Forumthis June. This engagement is geared developing more awareness on the fasttract of Peace Process between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and theGovernment of the Philippines.

The IRSMP will sustain its efforts until the Celebration of the Mindanao Week of Peace 2012. It still envisions strengthening the campaign involving peace education with the 98Barangays to resolve more peace and conflicts at the grassroots communities. Eventually, this will not just empower them but provide comforts to the daily struggles of our stakeholders - COMMUNITIES.

by Aldrin Bucoy-Abdurahim

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