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    » 12/04/2009, 00.00

    PHILIPPINES

    Week of Peace in Mindanao: Dialogue between the MILF and the government, stop the killing

    Santosh Digal

    From 26 November to 2 December in the southern archipelago Christians and Muslims united for peace. Prayers for the victims of the massacre in Maguindanao and for a final agreement between Manila and Muslim rebels. Catholic priest: we must protect our "common homeland".

    Zamboanga City (AsiaNews) - A thought for the victims of the massacre in Maguindanao and renewed hope for dialogue between the Philippine government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), after 16 months of deadlock. With these hopes Mindanao celebrated the "Week of Peace 2009", scheduled from 26 November to 2 December in the southern archipelago.  

    Fr. Angel Calvo, a Claretian missionary and guide the association Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ), points out that the closing ceremony "renewed" a "vision" and a "common passion for peace" in our common homeland".  The priest recalls the "suffering" that has long marked Mindanao, but also adds that there is a common desire to "bring young people and children a dream of peace and harmony."  

    Mayor of Zamboanga City, Celso L. Lobregat, adds that understanding the different facets in Mindanao is the key to true harmony in society. "We must not only respect each other - he explains - but try to understand respective cultures and traditions". Even before Christians or Muslims, the mayor points out that "we are all Filipinos, regardless of the faith we profess."  

    During the Week of Peace prayers were said for the victims of Maguindanao, in which 57 people were massacred in a power struggle between rival clans. The faithful also hope for a serious path to peace, on the eve of talks between the MILF and the Philippine Government on 8 December in Malaysia. For over16 months peace talks between Manila and Muslim rebels have been deadlocked: MILF claims the birth of an autonomous majority Muslim state in Mindanao (Armm) a request which has always been rejected by the central government.  
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    See also

    30/11/2006 PHILIPPINES
    Mindanao: Christians, Muslims march for peace

    The ninth "Week of Peace" opened yesterday in Zamboanga, urging the government and separatist rebels of the Islamic Front to put an end to hostilities in the southern archipelago.



    20/02/2012 PHILIPPINES
    Manila open to Muslim rebels peace proposal
    It provides for greater autonomy in the autonomous region of Mindanao, with the birth of a parliament and a government inspired by the Malaysian system. Kuala Lumpur hosts peace talks, which resumed in March with a new round of meetings. North Cotabato: a prison attacked, three dead and 15 wounded.

    30/07/2008 PHILIPPINES
    Mindanao: four Christians killed, a fifth missing
    Yesterday an armed group ambushed a bus in Lanao del Sur, stronghold of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The group robbed passengers and then shot the men. The Philippine Church urges an accord between the government and MILF to avoid an escalation in violent attacks.

    18/08/2009 PHILIPPINES
    Dialogue between ethnic and religious groups only path for peace in Mindanao, Filipino priest says
    For Fr Leo S Pepito, building up “interpersonal relations” must go hand in hand with political efforts and socio-economic development. The promotion of a “dialogue for life” is part of the Catholic Church’s mission.

    12/08/2008 PHILIPPINES
    Bishops and Islamic leaders appeal for resumption of negotiations
    The army is advancing, but more than 160,000 people have fled from their homes, leaving everything behind. Catholic bishops and Islamic leaders ask the government and rebels to resume talks.



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