Message of Chairman Romeo K. Sema
Before anything else ladies and gentlemen, allow me to greet everyone with our universal greeting of PEACE . . . Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuho(Peace be upon all of us).
Starting yesterday, March 12 onward is a Week of Peace for the Bangsamoro. And you may have asked yourselves what is there for me to celebrate or commemorate in this week of peace. How does this week differs with the other weeks of the different months of the year? And we called it a Bangsamoro week of Peace, when these dates come every 12th to 18th days of March of every year, and this year is the 6th year. For this year, we coined a “Theme: Bangsamoro, Revisiting the Past, Continuing the Cause.”
For a particular Bangsamoro or any other person for that matter, the theme of this event explains what this activity today is all about. This is about our long desire for Peace. Our theme suggests that we have to revisit or back track a little in our history in this part of the globe, carefully study it, recognize it for us to understand the current condition or situation, and in order for us to continue the right struggle towards a right direction for Peace. Hence, every year’s event of this kind would be a resolve and a peaceful expression of our long experiences of historical injustices.
It is only by revisiting and recognizing the past or our history that we may be able to understand the present condition that we can move on to achieve lasting and genuine peace.
Our history tells us that injustices were committed against the Bangsamoro. And even without elaborating these various injustices committed against the Bangsamoro, these are already an established reality, verbally acknowledged and written in the history of our nation. But to give emphasis to some for us to remember it well and to have it recurring in our memory in the course of time, I will mention few among them.
The usurpation of our independence as a sovereign nation is a major injustice committed by an oppressor against us. The Jabiddah Massacre, and other massacres that triggered our assertion for freedom and the turning point of our struggle for our right to self-determination, the grabbing of our homelands and the deceptions done through imposition of policies against our will, culture and traditions are among the injustices that can never be forgotten. These sort of things only fuel our strong stance to continue the cause. Despite the ups and downs and the rugged roads to peace and freedom, the Bangsamoro have no choice but to continue cause for a noble objective for freedom to choose our political, economic and social status in the communities of nations.
What then is the significance of this week of peace for the Bangsamoro? When we reminisce our past, we’ve fully understood and known well the glory that our forefathers had experienced and enjoyed in this Bangsamoro homeland and nation. But ours was also a cloudy past of pain and injustices, which I earlier mentioned some. But our people of today’s generation have, more or less, understood more fully the complexities of Bangsamoro question and have in our midst a define direction for peace.
Our people and the world has already recognized the historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro. The present status or condition is the vigorous efforts of correcting that historical injustices through the continuing peace processes in two tracks. First is the Implementation of the gainst of Bangsamoro struggle, the Peace Agreements through the united moro fronts in the Convergence Approach of the peace process. Second is the looming attempt of this government under President Duterte to change the constitution as a solution to the Bangsamoro question through Federalism. The present administration is so vocal in recognizing the historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro. And this give us more enthusiasm to go on continuing our aspiration for freedom and assertion of our right to self-determination.In whatever tracks, the Bangsamoro could not have other choice but go to peace as the ultimate objective of every nation and the world. Peace is everybody’s dream. It is everyone’s concerns and responsibility. Let give peace a chance and let it be the language in every heart of the Bangsamoro. Long live Bangsamoro! Long live the martyrs. Insha Allah, WE WILL SUCCEED!. Let us continue the cause and end with PEACE in our hearts.
Happy Week of Peace. Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuho…