Various OFWs organizations call for peace in Mindanao


Various OFWs organizations call for peace in Mindanao

Engr. Eli Mua (President-Union of Muslim Associations & Nat'l. Chair - United OFW)

Engr. Eli Mua ( President-Union of Muslim Associations)

 RIYADH – More than thirty community organizations including the United OFW and the Integrated Mindanao Economic Forum (IMEF) has organized a consultative gathering here recently dubbed “Mindanao: Island of peace loving people and the land of prosperity”. The forum which was aimed to call for peace and immediate ceasefire in Mindanao was attended by large community here.  The leaders of the said organizations expressed their deep concerns on the current situation in the second largest island in the Philippines . 

 
The fighting between Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) irrupted immediately after the issuance of the temporary restraining order (TRO) by the Philippine Supreme Court that lead to the cancellation of the scheduled signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA – AD) last August 5, 2008 in Malaysia.

The community leaders including officials of the various umbrellas organization here have strongly requested from their respective government to stop fighting in Mindanao for the sake of economy, peace and prosperity that Mindanao has witnessed during the peace talks.

IMEF Internal-Affairs Vice President, Saleh Ampaso Bucay expressed in his speech the negative effect of the situation in Mindanao especially on the economic aspect. “We just started implementing huge educational projects including scholarship, research and human development in the area, funded by well-known Saudi Prince and very worried that this will be affected by the ongoing problem” Bucay said.

The same concern has been raised by the National Chairman of the United OFW and President of the United Muslim Associations in Riyadh (UMA) Engineer Mohammad Elias Mua who asked for the immediate ceasefire of the ongoing fighting in the different Area in the Island . “This problem could be resolved economically” Mua said.  He requested all peace loving among OFW’s here to address the issue seriously to the Philippine authority by all means of communications. “We were about to witness upcoming economic developments in Mindanao through Saudis and Gulf investments who are eying the Island for its rich resources and Halal product industry but we saddened by this unwanted happening” he added.  

Engr. Mua in a separate meeting of the United OFW Mua called his compatriot OFWs and all OFW organizations worldwide to petition the President of the Republic of the Philippines, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, and all those concerned authorities to declare an immediate ceasefire to pave the way for deliveries of humanitarian aids; and immediate cessation of hostilities in respect to the sanctity of the Holy Month of Ramadan. He also asked for the immediate stop to the re-arming of civilian vigilantes on both sides to prevent escalation of hostilities; as well as the immediate disarming of the resurrected groups of Ilongo Land Grabbing Associations (ILAGA) whose killing spree before martial law spawned the emergence of the MNLF & MILF as counter forces. Finally he requests to urge both the opposition and the administration to agree on a common good for the final solution of the Mindanao problem.

“We all know and seen those intolerable sufferings of our families Muslims, Christians and Lumads in Mindanao as a result of the recent fighting” Mua elaborated. He said thousands of OFW dependents and relatives are in distress, and thousands of our brother OFWs is heavily affected. He goes on saying that not only is that but our national economy going down the drain again with a billion daily expenses in military operation and humanitarian activities. “Let us all unite our voices; this is one painful national crisis affecting the OFWs where we can show our solidarity” he said

Most of the participants expressed their worry about their family and properties in the effected areas and alarmed the gravity of revival of the settler-civilians vigilante group better known ILAGA which is allegedly arming themselves with the support of some powerful politicians and opposition in the Philippine senate.

The participants addressed their worried about this act “This will be a direct resumption of the civil war between Muslims and Christians in the same area and foreign investments will likely suffer heavily” one of the speaker said.

The gathering were attended by leading organizations Union of Muslim Associations (UMA) Federation of Maranao Associations in Saudi (FEMAS), Basak Consultative and Development Council (BCDC) and various community associations such as ALNAO, AMSUDA International, APO – Ranao, ASPIA, Big Water Royal, Diwan International, Ewaton International, Imarantaon International, Maging International, MAIDA, Makadarian, Malabang International, Malumbay International Masiu, Moriatao Diwan International, Pongamponga Balo-i Brotherhood Association (PBBA), Poonan International, Ranao – Alphans, Ranao Tennis Club (RTC), Saguiran International Shakba International, Tamparan Islamic Development Association (TAIDA), Tarakanians, Unayan International, Union of Ulama for Education and Information, West Unayan International  Young Moro Professionals Network (YMPN).

Abdul Hannan Faisal Tago/Arab News

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