Cotabato City – Officials and employees of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (ARMM) different line agencies and offices participated in a parade here on Monday, March 12, to formally start the celebration of this year’s Bangsamoro Week of Peace.
‘Hope and Solidarity in Struggle’, the celebration’s theme, recognizes the Bangsamoro’s ongoing struggle for self-determination, which is driven by shared aspirations and strengthened by the diversity of its people.
As part of the celebration, the ARMM has prepared several activities in the different areas of ARMM that aims at raising awareness and consciousness on the Bangsamoro’s narrative. Included in the activities are as follows:
• Forum on Autonomy and Federalism in Cotabato City (March 12-13);
• Sports Peace in Maguindanao and Tawi-Tawi (March 12-17);
• Lakbay Kultura in the region’s five provinces (March 12-18);
• Libreng Sakay and Photo Exhibits at the ports of Lamitan in Basilan, Jolo in Sulu, and Bongao in Tawi-Tawi (March 12-18);
• Peace Concert in Cotabato City (March 13);
• Pagbabalik-Tanaw (Historical Seminar and Workshop) in Quezon City and Valenzuela City (March 14);
• Medical Mission in Metro Manila (March 14-15);
• Bangsamoro Women’s Summit in Cotabato City (March 17-18); and
• Moro Youth Camp on Corregidor Island (March 18).
Amir Mawallil, executive director of the Bureau of Public Information-ARMM, said these activities are geared towards educating the youth about the history and struggle of the Bangsamoro. He said that Bangsamoro Week of Peace is about commemorating the 50th year of Jabidah massacre.
Along with this is the anticipation on the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which is considered one of the legislative breakthroughs for the Bangsamoro People.
Aside from the regular observance that ARMM would usually do on Corregidor Island, a Moro Youth Camp will be conducted on the island where 35 youth delegates from different areas of ARMM are to participate with a purpose of learning on the history of the Bangsamoro struggle and to share with them the essence of remembering the Jabidah Massacre.
“It’s a challenge for us, especially the Bangsamoro, to continuously educate the public about the history and the struggle of the Bangsamoro people,” Director Mawallil added.
Meanwhile, Nizam Pabil, executive director of the Office of the Bangsamoro Youth Affairs-ARMM, gave emphasis on the significance of the role of the Bangsamoro youth in upholding peace in Mindanao. He said that in the celebration of the Bangsamoro Week of Peace, the Moro youth joins in the call for peace.
Director Pabil relayed his message to the Bangsamoro youth: “Nawa’y patuloy nating aralin ang kasaysayan ng ating pakikibaka… Nawa’y patuloy na isaisip, isapuso, at isagawa ang tunay na kahalagahan ng tunay na kapayapaan.”
The Bangsamoro Week of Peace is held annually, every second week of March, in commemoration of the Jabidah Massacre. On March 18, 1968, young Moro soldier-trainees were killed by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Corregidor Island in Manila Bay. (Bureau of Public Information)