As part of an ongoing effort on bringing awareness on the dynamics of peace and conflict, a course module on social analysis towards a just and lasting peace was held at the Microtel Inn and Suites, Damosa Gateway, Lanang last June 4-7, 2018.
Students, socio-civic organizations, progressive groups, religious sectors and representatives from the minorities took part in this event, known as the Mindanao School of Peace.
With the Initiatives for Peace Mindanao (InPeace) as the event organizing group, Chairperson Bishop Felixberto Calang cited the rationale of the event.
“We share in the people’s optimism that the peace talks are being revived and could take place during the month of June as per the wishes of President Rodrigo Duterte. More than ever, we need to understand the dynamics of conflict and peace so that we can truly follow Christ. It is in this light that we are gathered in the Mindanao School of Peace,” Calang shared in his remarks.
Calang also added the nature of the Mindanao School of Peace.
“This is an alternative school. We are like a university under a mango tree. It is not all the time that we take place in air-conditioned rooms [but] what is important is that this is a school of many paradigms.”
Also mentioned was how InPeace is an organization that is connected to Lumad communities and Moro communities. Members are involved in protecting schools, defending rights and providing material aid to these communities.
Speakers of several sectors were invited to share their theoretical studies that revolved around social analysis towards just and lasting peace.
Nelson Benedicto Manigo, retired professor of Ateneo de Davao University and visiting teacher of a Lumad school, talked of how peace is an endless pursuit and guaranteed there is hope to achieve it.
“Peace is not simply an elimination of problems because problems [remain] everywhere. Peace is something that we pursue relentlessly. [Also] there is a guarantee to our hope for peace, and that guarantee is the people who are struggling for peace,” Manigo stressed.
Department of Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary for Institutional Development Group Mae Fe-Ancheta Templa expressed how she hoped that InPeace would continue its efforts in pursuing peace which includes reaching out to the Lumad and Moro communities.
“I hope na magpadayon ang mga partner sa InPeace, na kinse anyos na, apil na tung atong mga kaubanang mga relihiyoso ug uban pa na nahimong gabay para sa kalinaw—kalinaw na nakabase sa konsensiya. Unta pud ang mga batan-on apil sila sa mga union para sa peace ug di pud nila kalimtan ang mga kabatan-onan sa Moro communities,” Templa said.
During the 3-day module, a group of young adults formed the League of Youth for Peace (LYP).
Megue Zea Monteverde, one of the conveners of the organization, cited that the objectives of the group are to mobilize efforts and spread awareness on peace.
Members of the group included students from Ateneo de Davao University, Mindanao State University General Santos City, Cotabato City State Polytechnic College, University of the Philippines Mindanao, University of Southeastern Philippines, Holy Cross of Davao College and other socio-civic groups.
A peace forum inviting speakers from the government and the National Democratic Front will be held at Cagayan de Oro City on June 20-22, 2018.