THE Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will observe the 7th year of the Bangsamoro Week of Peace (BWP) simultaneously with the commemoration of the 50th year of the Jabidah Massacre on Monday, March 12.
The BWP is held annually on the second week of March, in remembrance of the Jabidah Massacre which is considered a pivotal point in the Bangsamoro struggle.
This year’s week of peace recognizes the shared commitment of the Bangsamoro people for a just and lasting peace.
“We will trace our region’s history from its humble beginnings, honoring those who came before us and celebrating our shared victories as we look forward to a stronger Bangsamoro -- one that is truly representative of our shared hopes and aspirations, and one that upholds a genuine autonomy that truly empowers our people,” ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said on Saturday.
The BWP 2018 will also feature a Moro Youth Peace Camp from March 17 to 18, in recognition of the youth's role in the Bangsamoro struggle, at a time when the Moro narrative is constantly challenged, if not denied, as the Bangsamoro asserts its right to self-determination.
“Jabidah is something that I used to only hear from our elders, but coming to Corregidor and visiting the site of the massacre gave me a deeper appreciation and understanding of our struggle. It reminded me of who we are, what our shared history is, and why we are fighting for peace and justice,” a student, who took part in the BWP two years ago, said.
Hataman said this year's BWP will mark the beginning of a year-long celebration of the ARMM’s legacy within the past three decades.
He said that leaders and representatives from different groups such as the security sector, women, indigenous peoples, and the youth will be invited to share messages of peace on the opening ceremony.
Among the activities lined up for the annual event are: launching of the 2018 Pakaradjaan sa ARMM; introduction of the ARMM tribal villages; forum on autonomy and federalism; lakbay kultura; sports festival; peace concert; women’s summit; motorcade for peace; medical mission; and, Moro Youth Camp.
The series of activities will be held in Cotabato City, ARMM provinces, Manila, and Corregidor, Bataan.
This year’s BWP is anchored on the theme “Hope and Solidarity in Struggle.”