PGCot, Balay Mindanaw strengthen peace through barangay leaders


AMAS, Kidapawan City (Mar 13) – “Choose peace always, and in every opportunity that we have, we have to talk and listen to each other, and make peace everyone’s business”, are the emerging highlights in the gathering recently of barangay officials  based in the Municipality of Aleosan dubbed as “Hisgutanay”.

Spearheaded by the Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc., the assembly which took place at the rooftop of Aleosan Municipal Hall, focused on community peace conversation aimed to hear from barangay leaders and stakeholders, share their thoughts, issues and concerns especially on the framework of peace process between the government and rebel groups.

Ernesto “Caloy” Anasarias, Founding Director of Balay Mindanaw said barangay chairmen and council members are key people in securing peace, particularly in conflict-affected areas and consequently can initiate dialogues.

He also maintained that dialogue is always the best platform to listen to grievances and in looking for answers to end disputes. “As leaders, the barangay chairmen play important role in keeping peace and harmony and in this aspect they can help in resolving the problem”, said Anasarias as he reaffirmed the support of the foundation to many villages in Aleosan.

Anasarias also said he is much aware and appreciative of the peace initiatives of the Provincial Government of Cotabato in settling land and armed conflicts, rido or family feuds and other circumstances detrimental to peace. “We wanted to reaffirm the efforts of the provincial leadership in terms of peace building and quest for genuine peace”, he added.

Gov Emmylou “Lala” J. Taliṅo-Mendoza, in her inspirational message, elaborated on the significance of consensus building among barangay leaders that intends to have a common understanding of the situation and create a unified action is important in addressing peace and conflict issues.

“We have to built common trust through dialogue as we listen to each other’s sentiments” said the governor. She said the sentiments along with other issues such as land conflict, rido, boundary disputes need to be addressed and that this is important especially in a town like Aleosan where some villages are affected by conflict in the recent past to include Tapudok, Pagangan, Bagolibas, Lawili, and Dungguan

The governor also stressed that people have different points of view and ideas and in different circumstances but when it comes to the quest for peace they must work together for the sake of the community. The barangay officials, in return, said they believe that genuine peace must now prevail for the sake of their children and their children’s children and expressed their support to Gov Talino-Mendoza’s call for peace.

Rochelle Y. Mordeno, Executive Director of Balay Mindanaw, highlighted that the role of barangay leaders goes beyond their duties and responsibilities. It is also their noble task to ensure that the community gain from harmonious relationships among its stakeholders.

“We are in fact strengthening dialogues as an instrument to promote and sustain long-lasting peace and in this case the grassroots must be actively involved”, said Moderno.

The participants were able to ask the resource persons and other provincial and municipal officials present during the open forum. Gov Taliṅo-Mendoza, Aleosan Municipal Mayor Vicente Sorupia, 1st District of Cotabato Board Member Rosalie Cabaya, former BM Loreto Cabaya answered some questions on vital issues such as federalism form of government, peace and security and other  matters relevant to the GPH-MILF and the GRPpeace process

All of them urged the participants to always choose peace over conflict and retain harmonious relation among groups of people and let development take its course. They also appealed for everyone to fill in and bridge any gap arising from misunderstanding and conflict.

Meanwhile, the provincial government continues to put up priority infrastructure projects in conflict-affected villages in Aleosan the latest of which are the covered courts worth P1.7M each turned over by Gov Taliṅo-Mendoza to Brgy. Pagangan and Brgy Bagolibas on March 8, 2017. (JIMMY STA. CRUZ-PGO Media Center/Photo by JSC)

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