On February 12, 2015 at the new Community Tower, an open forum entitled “Hear Mindanao: Requite Evil With Good. Conversations with Father Joel Tabora, SJ”.
The forum, which started at 2PM, was attended by different members of the Ateneo community including teachers, faculty and students. Also in attendance were invited guests from different organizations as well as some representatives from the Bangsamoro community.
During the discussion, those who were present were invited to share their views, thoughts and feelings about the Mamasapano incident and the peace process.
Issues and topics raised ranged from dialogue, the Moro Islamic Liberation Fron (MILF), the reaching out to the Muslim community, how to have students more involved, the media’s portrayal of the events, and personal sentiments and objectivity with regards to views.
At the end of the forum, Fr. Joel Tabora gave the following statement:
“The aim was to discuss the current developments in the nation, relevant to the peace process due to the Mamasapano incident. Many have been concerned that Mindanao’s voice has not been heard and because of this, we have crafted a statement and we will be raising the statement to the board, and we wish through the approval of the board that it become a university statement. So for the first time in history we will be issuing a formal university statement on the basis of the conversation that took place today. So it was a very rich discussion because we have heard many views, many people stated objectively their views, but in the end, I think that there was an enmity that we should push with the statement.”