COTABATO CITY, January 15, 2019 – “Ito’y isang pagkakataon para sa atin para malaman ang nilalaman ng BOL lalo na sa ating mga Kristiyano (This is an opportunity for us Christians to understand what the Bangsamoro Organic Law is all about).”
This was the opening message of ICC Parish Pastor Rev. Father Gerard L. Fornan, DCC during the Peace and Security Forum for Christians in Cotabato City held on Sunday at the Notre Dame SAC Gymnasium, ICC Parish Compound, Cotabato City.
In his message, Cotabato City-born OPAPP Assistant Secretary Dickson P. Hermoso called out to his Christian brothers and sisters to go out and vote so their true voices will be heard.
“Now is the time for us to change the landscape… Tapos na ang giyera, susunod na ang (the war is over, what comes next is) peace and development… You cast your vote according to your conscience, according to your heart,” he said.
“If you ask me, because I saw this conflict for years, I will vote for ‘yes’… This is for our generation and for the next generations and the generations to come… The voice of the people is the voice of God,” he added.
Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) chief-of-staff Sammy Al-Mansour Gambar assured the crowd that the MILF will wholeheartedly accept the result of a clean and honest plebiscite election.
“Request lang namin na intindihin mabuti ang BOL. Yung desisyon ay nandyan na mismo sa inyo (We only ask that you understand the BOL well. The decision lies in you),” he said.
Other personalities in attendance were Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Deputy Governor on Christian Affairs Edgardo B. Ramirez, Regional Officer In Charge for Kidapawan-Marbel-Cotabato (KIDMACO) Knight of Columbus Sir Knight Allan P. Tan, lawyer Suharto Ambolodto, Assistant Diocesan Coordinator Sir Knight Francisco C. Boromeo, and Regional Secretary of R12 KofC Sir Knight Joel Roa Cadeliña.
The activity was jointly organized by the Knights of Columbus and the Christians for Peace Movement. It was attended by Christian communities from across the city composed of the Rosary Heights Parish, St. Joseph the Worker Parish, and Immaculate Conception Cathedral Parish, Evangelical Community Church , and the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Philippines.
The plebiscite will be held on two dates: January 21, 2019 for ARMM, Cotabato City, and Isabela City; and February 6, 2019 for Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato, and other areas with a total of 67 barangays whose petition for inclusion to the BARMM had been granted by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC). ###