ILIGAN CITY: A former leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who led attacks in Lanao del Norte’s Kauswagan town, said he no longer wants conflict and encouraged everyone to work together to bring lasting peace to Mindanao.
“Sumali po ako sa BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) kasi ayaw ko na po ng away. Wala namang naghahangad talaga ng away, Muslim man o Christian. Kailangan na pong magkaisa ng mga Muslim (I joined BARMM for I do not want conflict anymore. Nobody really wants conflict, Muslims or Christians. As Muslims, we now need to be united),” said Abdullah Goldiano Makapaar alias Kumander Bravo, during the 23rd Qur’an Reading Competition in Brgy. Delabayan, Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte on Dec. 28.
Macapaar, who was a Brigadier Commander of the MILF and now a member of BARMM Parliament, said the BARMM government seeks to help communities outside BARMM to promote lasting peace.
“Ang sabi po ng Chief Minister, ang BARMM government, hindi lang po para sa BARMM. Tutulungan din po ang outside ng BARMM para po sa kapayapaan ng Muslim at Kristiyano dito sa Mindanao, lalo na po dito sa Lanao del Norte (The Chief Minister said the BARMM government is not only for BARMM. It will also help communities outside BARMM to ensure peace between Muslims and Christians in Mindanao, especially here in Lanao del Norte),” he added.
Better Muslims-Christians relationship
He acknowledged the efforts of Kauswagan Mayor Rommel Arnado in restoring peace saying the lives of Muslims have improved and that there is now a better relationship between Christians and Muslims in Lanao del Norte.
“Masaya naman ang mga Muslims dito sa Lanao del Norte. Ngayon lang po kami nakaranas ng magandang pamumuhay dahil bumalik si Mayor Arnado. Nawala na po ang gulo. Nagkakaisa na ang mga Muslims at Christians. Iyon din po ang hinahanap namin, na mawala na ang gulo para maibalik na natin ang kapayapaan (The Muslims in Lanao del Norte are happy. We are now experiencing a better life because Mayor Arnado has come back to help us. The conflict has gone away. Muslims and Christians are now united. That is also what we are aiming for, for the conflict to go away so we could restore peace), he added.
He also urged other local government units (LGU) to contribute to the restoration of peace.
“Sana ang gobyerno at mga LGU, tumulong din sa mga Muslim at Christian dito sa community natin sa Lanao del Norte, sa pamamagitan ng pagtatayo at pag-aayos ng aming mga madrasah, mosque, at pagpapabuti ng edukasyon. Iangat natin ang edukasyon, palakihin natin ang sweldo ng mga Alim at Ustad. Gastusan ng gobyerno iyong mga batang hindi makapag-aral at iyong mga nag-aaral ng Arabic (I hope the government and LGU will also help the Muslims and Christians here in Lanao del Norte by building and improving madrasahs, our mosques, and education. Let’s improve the quality of education and increase the salaries of scholars and teachers. I hope the government will also fund scholarships for children who can’t afford school and those who are studying Arabic),” he said.
Education, he said, is important in ensuring a bright future for Muslim children.
“Maraming mga batang lumalaking magnanakaw at kriminal dahil hindi nakapag-aral. Kaya sana mapabuti pa ang edukasyon para sa kanilang kinabukasan (Many children grow up to become thieves and criminals due to the lack of education. That is why I hope we can improve education for the sake of their future),” he said.
Macapaar is one of the two MILF commanders who led the attacks in Kauswagan town in 2008 due to frustration over the Supreme Court halting of a peace deal with them. Earlier this year, he was one of the 41 MILF nominees to the Bangsamoro interim government, representing Lanao del Norte.
Along with Mayor Arnado, Macapaar was guest in the 23rd Qur’an Reading Competition in Kauswagan, where they both shared their desire for lasting peace in Mindanao. — PR/LGU Kauswagan
Categories: Lanao del Norte