Maguindanao unveils peace monument, courtesy of Korean peace advocates

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BULUAN, Maguindanao (MindaNews / 26 May) – While most city and municipal halls or plazas have the statue of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, Maguindanao province opted not to put a hero or a certain personality for its monument.

Instead, it has a big white dove perched on a globe spreading its wings – called the Mindanao Peace Monument – as the people’s way of expressing their quest for a lasting peace in the region.

It was donated by the advocacy group Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) led by South Korea peace activist Man Hee Lee, and the Schincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple.

The unveiling of the monument was one of the highlights during Monday’s Peace Summit.

Lee’s group has been one with the Mindanao Bishops-Ulama Conference, in his group’s attempt to help various religious groups come to an understanding as far as peace is concerned.

Lee, in his speech, stressed that 80 percent of armed conflicts around the world is rooted on religious differences.

“If we all believe in one God, then religion is not the problem,” he stressed during a translated speech at the peace summit.

Lee said the efforts and stand of Maguindanao province and its people calling for peace and supporting the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) are a way forward into achieving the dream of every peace-loving individual.

During the event, Maguindanao province and Lee’s group agreed to celebrate every 24th of January as international day of peace or HWPL day where they signed a peace covenant.

Before the monument unveiling, participants first had a peace march from the Buluan Gym going to the Rajah Buayan Peace Center. Also participating were children and the security sectors waving flaglets and placards containing peace messages.

Among those present at the peace summit and delivered their messages of support were Sheik Khalifa Nando of the Shariah Supreme Court of the MILF Central Committee, Bishop Antonio Ledesma of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, and retired Marine commanding general Benjamin Dolorfino, who was dubbed as “peace warrior” because of his distinct approach at dealing with the Mindanao insurgency.

The three highlighted the aspiration of the Moro people to achieve peace in Mindanao, and expressed their belief that the BBL will play a crucial role in attaining peace and stability in the island.

Sixteen-year-old Narimbai Utto, who represented the youth sector, expressed that she could not bear watching young boys forced to stop going to school to work as “padyak” drivers or to work in the farms to help their families make both ends meet.

Utto was the class valedictorian of Tukanalipao National High School, in the same village where the Mamasapano encounter took place last January. Sixty-four people died during the clash, including 44 from the police’s Special Action Force, 17 from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and three civilians.

Utto said the war has made them even poorer because displacements continue to hamper their livelihoods and worsened their living conditions.

She appealed for the passage of the BBL and to stop the war, and instead address the welfare and education of Mindanao’s youth.

Dr. Alicia Manandog, of the Sultan Kudarat State University, in her speech representing the women sector, pushed for equality among tribes and religions, and not to treat women as second class citizens should the BBL be enacted into law.

Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu, who is vocal in his campaign for the BBL, has appealed to all sectors to work together to achieve peace and give no chance for violence to happen again.

The governor recalled that during his youth, while helping her mother earn extra income with their ice candy store, armed men affiliated with rebel groups would come with pistols tucked in their waists.

“I don’t want the children anymore to grow in the culture of violence,” he said.

North Upi, Maguindanao Mayor Ramon Piang said that since the BBL is being supported by majority stakeholders of Mindanao, then the Mindanaons should decide for their own and not be dictated by outsiders.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. About “Shinchonji”

    The Christian Council of Korea labelled “Shinchonji” as a cult.

    A newly-risen religion called Shinchonji was founded by Man Hee Lee in 1984, who is from Cheongdo in Gyeongbuk province in South Korea.

    He introduced himself as the Savior whom Jesus sent and the members of the Shinchonji cult regard him as the Ruler of all things, Counselor, Prophet, Savior and the existence of immortality.

    If Shinchonji reaches the number of 144,000 people, they believe that they can be immortal with Man Hee Lee and can rule over the earth following Shinchonji’s creed.

    People who became involved in the Shinchongji cult experienced many social problems such as divorce, family troubles, abandonment of school work, self-injury, threatening, job desertion, suicide, murder, and so on.

    In addition, many Shinchongi cult members ran away from home and gave up their studies and careers.

    To hide their real identity, Shinchonji does kidnap and assault people who reveal Shinchonji’s false creed, camouflaged organizations and illegal acts.

    What is worse, a fanatic carried out an arson attack and was arrested on several charges. At this very moment, many victimized families are moaning in distress.

    Mr. Man Hee Lee, the chairman of HWPL and Ms. Nam Hee Kim, the chairwoman of IWPG are just making ill use of your organization “ICD” to prevent leaving of their believers and deceive your organization “ICD” by not telling the truth what their real purpose is.

    Man Hee Lee acts as if he were an apostle of peace in abroad but
    actually he disturbs a lot of peace of families in Korea.
    Man Hee Lee is a mere religious imposter in Korea.

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