Ateneo de Davao University boosts peace education (Philippines)

(Reposted from: Atenews.  November 26, 2022)

By Felia Ross Sichon

In celebration of the Mindanao Peace Week, Ateneo de Davao University promoted peace education, human fraternity, and unity for a more stable and peaceful Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in Mindanao through an open dialogue activity.

Speakers Sec. Carlito G. Galvez Jr. (The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity OPAPRU), Member of Parliament Froilyn Mendoza, and AdDU professor Roawie Quimba discussed comprehensive implementations and insights on human fraternity and peace through the lens of Non-Moro indigenous peoples situated in BARMM.

“It is anchored on this document that we listen this afternoon to how our guests were able to really espouse Human Fraternity,” AdDU University Community Engagement & Advocacy Council (UCEAC) Director Mark Samante said, solidifying the event’s aim to amplify voices through unified actions—leading to a much more peaceful Mindanao.

In the lens of the Non-Moro Indigenous People (IP), Mendoza discussed human fraternity from the perspective of culture, traditions, and principles practiced in the IP communities situated in BARMM.

Meanwhile, Galvez opened his speech by presenting an outline of OPAPRU’s goals and initiatives, such as promoting to establish and strengthen peace education in BARMM.

Moreover, to strengthen the institutionalization of peace education, OPAPRU also released Executive Order No. 158, s. 2021 on Peace Education, such as providing mandatory establishment of a center for peace education/institute of peace studies in all public and private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

Aside from promoting peace through peace education, Galvez also pointed out the critical role of youth in attaining peace in BARMM.

“We can witness the magic, from..mga bata…the empowerment of youth is very important in the society. Kasi parang kayo ‘yung ano eh…kaming mga matatanda, malalapit ang puso naming sa mga bata. The youth is a very powerful instrument in building peace.”

The youth is a very powerful instrument in building peace.

In the eyes of faith

Quimba opened a new insight into the human fraternity, discussing the inclusivity of different religions, such as Christianity and Islam, further unifying the essence of being brothers and sisters, equal in worth and dignity, in the eyes of God.

“In the same way God granted us human freedom…and so must we…embrace the truth, that people who are different to us…still have that inherent worth in dignity.”

Questioning the right to discriminate, Quimba pointed out, “Remember in the book of Genesis, God breathed in the nostril of the first human beings…It did not say only to the Muslims, only to the Catholics, or Christians; it strictly said all human beings.”

Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Identities and Dialogue in Southeast Asia member Sue Palad acknowledged and gratified Quimba’s document, agreeing that peace and understanding go beyond differences and religious arrogance.

“This is the one that should be spread to all, so that there would be mutual understanding and appreciation of each other. Doesn’t have to do anything with culture…religion, it has something to do with being a human being.”

Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU), Al Qalam Institute of the Ateneo de Davao University (AQI), AdDU UCEAC, and Madaris Volunteer Program (MVP) in partnership with Samahan ng mga Mag-aaral ng Agham Pampulitika ng Ateneo (SAMAPULA) organized the AdDU F.O.C.U.S – Forging Onwards as a Catholic University in Service, tackling insights on documents of human fraternity and boost peace education implementation in BARMM.

The open dialogue was held on November 24, 2022, Bapa Benny Tudtud Auditorium and live-streamed on Ateneo de Davao University’s Facebook page.

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