A FAITH leader is praying that no conflicts, similar to what is happening in Israel and Palestine, would happen in the Philippines.
"Hinaot unta na di maabot sa atoa. Nagpasalamat ta na nakatindog ta diri samtang ang atong igsoon [sa Palestine] nagkalisod. Di unta maabot sa ato diri nga murag nahitabo sa ilaha. Ato lang pag ampo nga di maabot diri sa atoa ang mga provocations ug mga trials kay lisod kaayo kay basin di ta ka kuan," Shaykh Mohammad Pasigan of the Mufti Darul Ifta Davao Region said on Wednesday, Novemner 29, during the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian people at Freedom Park on Roxas Avenue, Davao City.
(We hope that the war won’t reach our motherland. We are thankful that we are still standing here while our fellow brothers and sisters in Palestine are struggling to survive the ongoing war. We hope that scenario won’t happen here. What we can do is pray that those provocations and trials won’t reach our country because we might not survive if that day comes.)
A multisectoral and interfaith gathering was staged to call for the end of violence and declaration of an unconditional ceasefire in Palestine.
In 1977, the United Nations General Assembly called for an annual observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People every 29th of November.
Pasigan said the situation in Palestine is already morbid and it is evident on news online and in the mainstream media.
The Muslim leader said that Dabawenyos should pray for them.
"Didto man sa ila ang problema, kita pud nga diri nga hayahay ang pagtulog, ang pagkaon, tanan paglakaw-lakaw pagpasyal (They are suffering much while we are living in comfort. We get to sleep, eat, and walk around freely)," he said.
He added, "Atong buhaton pud na mag ampo ta ug magpadayag sa atong gusto na unta na ang giyera mahunong ug ihatag ang justice sa Palestine (We should pray and express our desire that the war should end and that justice would be bestowed upon Palestine)."
Pasigan said there is no peace without justice.
Resolution 181 or the United Nations (UN) Partition Plan for Palestine advocates for the partition of Palestine into two States: one Arab and one Jewish.
The UN urged immediate action in an effort to grant Palestinians sovereignty and independence from the Israeli occupation. As the international community commemorates this day the Solidarity with Palestine, it continues to call on Israel to provide Palestinians with their human rights according to the UN General Assembly.
The General Assembly emphasizes its support of the Palestinians' right to return to their homes, as they were displaced since 1948 following the creation of the State of Israel, where more than 760,000 Palestinians became refugees.
Pasigan said Israel fails to honor this resolution.
"Wala kini masunod kay naggiyera man dayon (This was not honored and instead launched war)," he said.
He also said that the issue no longer just involves Muslim, but other denominations. Aside from infrastructures such as buildings and hotels, Christian churches were also destroyed, and non-Muslim civilians have also become victims of the ongoing conflict.
"Kami sa Darul Ifta, naga-condemn mi sa (We from Darul Ifta condemn any form of) aggression and oppression. Dili lang sa Islam, bisan ubang religion dapat mag-condemn sa di maayong gibuhat sa Israel (It’s not only Islam, but other religion should also condemn the acts of Israel)," he said.
Event co-convenor Rexall Kaalim also appealed to the public to unite in sympathizing with Palestine.
“Naa kita kanya-kanyang (We have our own) grupo, denomination, religion ug (and) affiliation. Pero karong adlawa ako kamo gihangyo nga ato sa na hubaron na gibitbit na grupo o denomination. Naa ta diri nagtapok ug nagsyagit usa ka miyembro sa humanity. Di needed na kita maging Muslim o Kristiyano para muhatag simpatiya sa Palestine (But today, we are encouraging everyone to settle aside our differences and unite. We are gathering here to shout as one member of humanity. We don’t have to be a Muslim or Christian to sympathize with Palestine),” Kaalim said.
Rev. Daniel Luis Pantoja of Mennonite, a faith stream within Christianity, hopes more Christians would gather in the multi-sectoral interfaith gatherings.
"Ang pagkaapi at paghihirap ng ating mga kapatid na mga Palestino ay hindi lang problema ng Muslim na Palestino kundi problema din ng mga Palestinong Kristiyano (The oppresion and suffering of our Palestinian brothers and sisters is not only a concern of Muslims residing in Palestine but even the Christians),” he said, adding that Christians living in Palestine are also considered "second class citizens in Israel."
The City Government of Davao, early in November, also staged a similar event.
The war between Israel and Hamas has entered its more than 60th day and still has no signs of stopping, thus rallies for peace are being held, not only in Davao City but across the globe.
Nearly two months since the war broke out in the Middle East, over 300 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Israel have been successfully repatriated by the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).
Data provided by the DMW show that there are now 335 OFWs repatriated from the war-torn state.
Noralyn Babadilla, A Filipino-Israeli, arrived in Israel after being released by Hamas Tuesday night, November 28, 2023, as part of a group of 12 hostages, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced on social media early Wednesday, November 29, 2023.
Babadilla was the second of two Filipinos released from captivity in Gaza during the truce in the Israel-Hamas war. On November 24, Filipino national Gelienor “Jimmy” Pacheco was also freed by the Hamas.
With Babadilla’s release, “all Filipinos affected by the war have been accounted for,” wrote Marcos. With reports from SunStar Philippines