All set for Maguindanao’s April 6 ‘peace kanduli’ PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 04 April 2014 11:15

A thousand more applicants shall be added to the list of more than 4,000 college scholars of the Maguindanao provincial government to cap off the April 6 “kanduli” to celebrate the March 27 signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro.

The kanduli gathering is a centuries-old Maguindanaon tradition, where folks gather to pray and partake of a banquet tendered in honor of a guest, or to celebrate special events, or in seeking divine blessing for community activities.

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu told Daily Zamboanga Times his office has invited the government’s chief negotiator, Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, and her counterpart in the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Muhaquer Iqbal, to grace the kanduli.

The provincial government’s kanduli, dubbed  “Peace-tahan Para sa Kapayapaan” and to be held at the town proper of Buluan in the second district of the province,  is meant to showcase the support of local executives, traditional and religious leaders to the bilateral government-MILF peace efforts.

Mangudadatu said Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, now Mindanao’s highest Catholic church leader, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles, and members of the MILF-led Bangsamoro Transition Commission, had also been invited to attend the kanduli.

“This is not an ordinary thanksgiving kanduli gathering just meant to celebrate the signing of the CAB. We shall also disperse farm animals and Tilapia fingerlings to farmers during the event,” Mangudadatu said.

He said a thousand more applicants to the provincial government’s Maguindanao Program for Educational Assistance and Community Empowerment (MagPEACE) shall be taken in during the affair.

Employees of the provincial government will also disperse 20 water buffaloes, a thousand ducklings, 5,000 oil palm seedlings, and 10,000 rubber tree seedlings to farmers as one of the highlights of the thanksgiving rite.

The provincial government has also earmarked the distribution of 1.2 million Tilapia fingerlings to Moro and Christian inland fish growers.

“This is to complement the socio-economic objectives of all the agreements signed by the government and the MILF, particularly the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro and the Compherensive Agreement on Bangsamoro,” Mangudadatu said.

The provincial government started its MagPEACE with only more than 700 scholars a year after Mangudadatu’s assumption to office following his first election as provincial governor in 2010.

Almost all of the 1,000 incoming MagPEACE beneficiaries are either children, or relatives of active members of the MILF, according to Mangudadatu.

“Some of them are relatives of members of the Moro National Liberation Front. This expansion of the MagPEACE is in support of the efforts of the government and the MILF to foster normalcy in areas devastated by conflicts,” Mangudadatu said.

Lynette Estandarte, chief provincial budget officer, said the festivities on April 6 will start with a “fun run,” the “Takbo Para Sa Kapayapaan,” to be participated by employees of the Maguindanao local government, the police and military, and representatives of various sectors from the province.

“We are also expecting some members of the MILF to join the fun run,” Estandarte said. — Felix Ostrea