By Wilnard Bacelonia

MARAWI CITY, Jan. 28 (PIA-ICCC) – More than 1,000 participants attended the two-day collaborative event held at International Convention Center of the Mindanao State University (MSU-Marawi) by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) in partnership with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to address violent extremism among Muslim Filipino youth.

According to NCMF Bureau of External Affairs Director Jun Alonto Datu Ramos Jr., the event, which started Sunday, Jan. 27, featured various speakers tackling the issues like the importance of providing quality education through a disciplinary approach in the MSU system as shared by MSU officer-in-charge Atty. Jamaloden Basar.

Basar highlighted the role of education in addressing violent extremism. 

Datu Ramos also shared that the President of the National League of Ulama in the Philippines, Aleem Dariday Mimbalawag, underscored the significance of peace in Islam while lawyer Ramayana Diamond Saidamen-Basman cited the important the role of the youth in nation building.

Present in said event are the new peace ambassadors, daughter of the renowned “balik-Islam” action star Robin Padilla, Quennie, and Angelo Carreon Mamay who were introduced by NCMF Bureau of Peace Conflict and Resolution (BPCR) Acting Director Cosaine Derogongan.

Both excitedly accepted the challenge to become role models and inspiration for Muslim Filipino youth and expressed their intent to learn more about the stories of their struggles and emotional growth.

Government personalities also gave messages for the youth of Lanao del Sur.

Police Chief Supt. Madid Paitao, Police Regional Office (PRO-ARMM) Deputy Regional Director of ARMM for administration, shared his experience serving as unit commander when Secretary Pangarungan was still the Lanao del Sur governor and asserted that security and protection of all citizens is a basic human right.

The NCMF officials also talked on the collaborative efforts between the agency, UNDP, and the Japan government. 

The workshop entitled, “The Role of the Youth in Nation Building” was facilitated by Dr. Potre Derampatun Diampuan.

Aside from the talks and workshops, there was a 15-minute audiovisual presentation about the Marawi siege and the current situation of the residents at ground zero.

Secretary Saidamen B. Pangarungan cited the dynamics between the government’s efforts, international assistance, and the role of the Muslim Filipino youth in addressing violent extremism in the Philippines. 

“Let us all help the government and keep in mind that we should BUILD BUILD BUILD Peace! The NCMF would like to thank all the organizers, guests, and participants for a successful event, as well as to the PNP and AFP for the security support they provided. We hope that the future of the Muslim Filipinos will slowly improve with collaborations such as this. All for the glory of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala!” Pangarungan said.

He also condemned in the strongest of terms the twin bombings of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu.

“On behalf of the Muslim Filipinos, we express our profound sadness and unity with the peace-loving people of Sulu as we offer our sympathies and condolences to the families and relatives of the victims,” the NCMF top official added. (WLBacelonia/PIA-ICCC)