Statement of Silsilah on CAB PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 May 2014 11:28

In solidarity with the people of Mindanao and in the spirit of the continuing concern of Silsilah for dialogue and peace I take this occasion to share Silsilah’s position on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

We are often asked “What is the position of Silsilah about the CAB?” More than a position Silsilah shares its “voice of peace”.

The CAB has become a sensitive and vital issue in Mindanao, not only among Christians and Indigenous People but also among the Muslims. The issue has become even more sensitive because there are those who try to use cultural and religious differences to divide the people instead of helping them to work together for the common good.

Silsilah always appreciates genuine peace agreements because these are signs of hope. In this spirit we welcomed the CAB, an agreement that is still in progress.

To be consistent with the spirit of the Movement, Silsilah wishes to remain a voice to guide people to make a spiritual rather than a political reflection on the issue. At the same time we respect the position of those who take their own stand with sincerity and freedom.

We reaffirm our mission to be a   “link” (Silsilah) among peoples,   convinced that all belong to the same human family created by the same God. Thus, we are brothers and sisters and we have to respect each other in our culture, religion and aspiration, guided by the principle to live together promoting the common good.

We reaffirm our   determination and mission to work in dialogue with others for peace,   proposing   points of reflection taken from the HARMONY PRAYER which starts:

O Lord,  I cry for peace - Purify my eyes to  see peace – purify my mind to understand peace – purify my  heart to love peace  - purify my memory to  work  for peace – the peace that  comes  from  your love and  compassion.”

Yes, the peace process also needs a process of purification and not only agreements stated in official documents. We wish to contribute on this specific aspect of “purification” to rebuild trust and   hope.   The issue of CAB is becoming a very complicated issue, especially in some areas because there are emerging many cultural   and religious elements that need to be “purified”.

What can be done in this situation?   I propose to continue to inform the people,   with appropriate action,   about this on- going process. At  the same time  anyone  connected with Silsilah  is free to  participate, as an individual,  in  any sincere  effort  and stand  promoted by other   groups and institutions.

The CAB issue will become more sensitive in the coming months and during the plebiscite. We invite those  in government and others who have power in this process  to  be sensitive and  listen  to reasonable  requests  that  help to  remove  clouds of  doubts and fears.

Silsilah  will   continue to  help  all to  share in the spirit of dialogue and  peace, at  the same time avoiding  to be used  by any one group because we hope to remain  “A VOICE OF THE CONSCIENCE” that cannot be bought or  be sold to any group for their own objective. The contribution of Silsilah in this stage of the peace process is to move in the spirit of active-harmony.  I hope that this position will help many to reflect  and act properly to move with sincere mind and heart  in  building  the future  peace in Mindanao. — Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, PIME, Founder, Silsilah Dialogue Movement