The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Philippines conducted a series of high profile dialogue with various sectoral groups including Ulama and academicians.
The forum “Faith-based Leaders Engagements for the Promotion of Peaceful Engagement and Resilience to Violence” was held at Seda Hotel, Cagayan De Oro City on Wednesday
The Ulama and Muslim academicians were represented by the United Imams of the Philippines Incorporated (UIPI) and King Faisal Center for Islamic, Arabic and Asian Studies.
Thanks to the UIPI for inviting me to participate in such UNDP important event for the first time.
The event was part of the UNDP efforts to bring together government officials, religious personalities and academicians for a common goal that would bring peace, understanding and development to the communities.
Anti-terrorism Law and Covid-19 were among the subject matters being discussed during the forum.
Top officials from the Philippines National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines were also presents.
The great concerns of Imams being delivered by UIPI Grand Imam and President, Saad ibrahim Amate, included the group’s fear and worries that such law could target the peaceful sermons and activities of the Ulama.
The law could be abused by politicians against opponents or those against incumbent LGU officials.
“In order to do a balance verification of information independent and reputable Ulama should be involved in the process, said the Imams group head.
The authorities should not limit its verifications and reach out to the ruling LGU own Ulama only in order to get balanced and true information when it comes to investigate a case, he added.
The religious group also strongly suggested that a venue of relevant consultation conducted by PNP or AFP should be held in a neutral place to avoid possible influence of LGU that would negatively affect the outcomes of such findings.
The PNP chief in the Lanao Del Sur, Police Colonel Rex Derilo, the newly designated Provincial Director in LDS has echoed the same sentiments and insisted that check and balance should be applied before conducting or suspecting somebody.
He assured the participants that the Law should not be used or influenced by politicians once it is implemented, he observed
“We are also under the law and subject to any punishment as result of mishandling a case” he noted.
He said, we are asking your cooperation in serving and handling these issues fairly and smoothly by your ideas and suggestions, the official said.
Expressing our suggestions I proposed to the UNDP officials that poverty should be addressed as root of the conflict of any country. Providing of livelihood is the effective solution that would sustain peace and order.
I told the participants that Islam or teaching of Islam is part of the solution. We are products of Madrasah and never taught of any indiscipline manner. Life of a human being is paramount and should be treated with all respect and honor. (AHMT)