BETWEEN FRIENDS: All for peace PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 June 2014 11:15

Even good roads and an air-conditioned bus were simply no match against a 13-hour land trip from Zamboanga City to Cotabato City to attend an international conference. The distance was simply overwhelming for a land trip. But the trip was for the sake of Peace, something the whole country has long been in search of, especially Mindanao.

The international Conference was organized by the Community of Sant’ Egidio, based in Italy, the Muhammadiya, based in Indonesia, and the Archdiocese of Cotabato thru his Eminence, Cardinal Orlando B. Quevedo, Archbishop of Cotabato, and the participation of the European Union.

The theme of the conference was: Peace is Living Together – Religions and Cultures in Dialogue for Peace and Reconciliation in Mindanao.

Venue of the conference was the Notre Dame University of Cotabato. Opening sessions began on the evening of June 6, 2014. The sessions were attended by national and international, religious and civic luminaries working in pursuit of peace like:

TeresitaQuintos-Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

Abuhuraira Guiani, Mayor of Cotabato City

Orlando B. Quevedo, Archbishop of Cotabato

Edoardo Manfredini, delegation of the European Union in the Philippines

Massimo Roscigno, Ambassador of Italy in the Philippines

Sudibyo Markus, Vice Chair, Central Board of Muhammadiya, Indonesia

Alberto Quatrucci, Secretary General of Peoples and Religions, Community of


Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, Chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front

Antonio Ledesma, Head of the Episcopal Commission, Catholic Archbishop of

Cagayan de Oro City

Fr.SebastianoD’Ambra,PIME, Founder, Silsilah Dialogue Movement who led the biggest delegation of some 18 delegates from Zamboanga City, Basilan, Pagadian and Tawi-tawi.

Present on the second day were:

Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Chairperson of the MPH Panel at the Peace Talks

Mohagher Iqbal, Chairperson of the MILF at the Peace Talks

Absalom Cerveza, spokesman of NurMisuari, MNLF

Muslimin Sema, Moro National Liberation Front

Ismael Abubakar,Jr., President of IA International Business Corporation and several others who shared their religious experiences and NGO practices in Mindanao.

Presentors on Local Political Realities in Peace Building in Mindanao had speakers, among others, like,

Toto Mangudadatu, Governor of Maguindanao Province

Mujiv Hataman, Regional Governor of ARMM

Armin Luistro, Secretary of Education who spoke on Education and Culture of Peace: The Future of Mindanao.

The conference broke up late afternoon of June 7 with everyone feeling that while Peace continues to be elusive, something worthwhile and satisfying has been done. A step has been taken to achieve a long-desired objective and dream and hope has been nurtured that one day-soon-peace among different cultures and religions will be achieved through dialogue.