Sarangani Province , Philippines 17 August 2017 (PNA)
Moro Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), academicians and peace advocates are currently working out the formation of an organization of Moro leaders in the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City (Socsksargen) that will serve as the “voice” of the Muslim constituents in the region and act on major concerns affecting the Muslims in the localities.
The proposition surfaced from some of the participants of the “Consultation-Dialogue on Peace, Human Rights and Security” held in General Santos City last July 13 where they tackled the status of the Bangsamoro Peace Process, Martial Law and Unity and Solidarity among the Bangsamoro people.
In their conversation over the social media, proponents of the group stressed the importance for Moro leaders to have an avenue where they can regularly discuss issues affecting their people and act accordingly to whatever concerns that require immediate attention or resolution.
Ustadz Abdulbayan T. Laguialam, an Islamic scholar and Project Manager of Madaris (Islamic schools) Project in Sarangani, said the creation of such group will demonstrate unity among the Bangsamoro in Socsksargen.
He said it is incumbent among Muslim leaders to look into the welfare of their people and protect their interests.
“This organization of Moro leaders shall issue statement to voice out our sentiments or reaction to whatever eventualities or situations involving the Muslims in our country,” said Aida Sedic, President of Muslim Women of General Santos City.
Professor Isnira Baguinda from Mindanao State University has volunteered to craft a proposal for the formal formation of the proposed organization and she suggests “Moro Leaders Council of Socsksragen” as its name.
She said the organization should be neutral and inclusive of all Moro tribes.
Jocelyn Lambac-Kanda, vice-president of the Young Moro Professionals Council, said among the issues that should be tackled are “discrimination, human rights violation if there are any during this martial law, and recruitment of Muslim youth by some radical groups.”
Ustadz Ebrahim Sandigan from the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS), which hosted the consultation-dialogue, said the proposed group of Moro leaders can engage with the CBCS and other development partners to realize whatever proposed activities that will benefit the Bangsamoro people in the region.