Philippines Holds Mindanao Tribal Leaders Peace Summit

Philippines Holds Mindanao Tribal Leaders Peace Summit
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The Universal Peace Federation Philippines together with the Provincial Government of Sultan Kudarat, hosted the 1-Day Mindanao Tribal Leaders Peace Summit with the theme “Toward Peace, Security and Human Development in Mindanao”, held at the King’s Hall of the Provincial Capitol Building last November 13, 2016. It was truly a very historical and colorful event gathering around 250 leaders and royal families coming from 16 different indigenous tribes all throughout Mindanao known as “Lumads”.

The event was attended by some distinguished local government leaders, headed by Honorable Sultan Pax Mangudadatu, the Governor of the Province of Sultan Kudarat, who gave the Inspirational Message. Present in the program were the Vice Governor, Hon. Raden Sakaluran, several Provincial Board Members, Representative from the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) Region 12, Atty. Adolf Ryan Lantion and several Department Heads from the province. The Opening Program started with an Interfaith Prayer led by Faith Leaders representing Christianity, Islam and Indigenous religion. Provincial Board Member Ortiz welcomed all the delegates warmly and then the first lecture started. Vice President of UPF Philippines, Prof. Celestino Jose Navalta, Jr. gave the lecture entitled, “Towards a New Paradigm for Sustainable Peace and Development in Mindanao” where he introduced the key principles of peace being taught by the UPF Founders, Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. After the first session, Governor Sultan Pax Mangudadatu delivered an inspirational message where he repeatedly testified about the greatness of True Parents and the vision of UPF for the sake of humanity. He was sorry that the venue was overflowing with people as the actual attendees exceeded what was projected. The governor said, “next year we need to do this tribal summit again and we should use the bigger gymnasium so that more tribal leaders from Mindanao can attend. He said, that the Tribal Summit organized by UPF will become officially part of the Provincial Annual Festival called “Kalimudan Festival”. The delegates were so impressed with the full support of the provincial governor.

After the speech of the governor, awarding of Ambassadors for Peace was held for some high-level leaders including one Municipal Mayor, a military commander in Mindanao, a Tribal leader and a Department Head in the province.

In the afternoon, some presentations were made by Dr. Rahim Mirshahi, Family and Peace Education Lecturer of UPF Philippines with the topic, “Building a Roadmap for Sustainable Peace in Mindanao” and Atty. Adolf Ryan Lantion from the National Commission on Indigenous who shared about the topic, “Peace and Development: The Role of the Indigenous People”. Then, a presentation on “The Founders’ Legacy-World Peace through True Love” was given by Dr. Julius Malicdem, Chairman of UPF Philippines and National President of FFWPU Philippines. Many of the participants appreciated and inspired as they learned about the great life, legacy and vision of True Parents. The last presentation was given by Dr. Jaime Vergara, FFWPU Philippines Vice President on the Significance of the Blessing entitled, “Strengthening Families, Rebuilding Nations, Creating a World of Lasting Peace”. Then a simple ceremony to re-dedicate marriage and support the building of ideal families and communities, was conducted.

To conclude the ceremony, Vice Governor, Hon. Raden Sakaluran delivered a Congratulatory and Closing Message where he once again lauded the efforts of UPF to bring about unity and harmony among various religions, traditions and cultures as important element in realizing true and lasting peace. The Peace Summit was victoriously concluded with cheers of victory.

As the delegates went down of the Provincial Capitol Building for a group photo at the façade of the building, there were lots of exchanges of excitement and smiles even long after the program has ended. One of the delegates said, “Now I could catch the vision of UPF and its Founders. I need to work in the local level in our tribe and to help conduct the Interfaith Peace Blessing Festival.”

 

 

By:  Dr. Julius Malicdem

 

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