Mindanao Times

Military signs peace covenant with sultans in Maguindana­o

- By Rhoda Grace B. Saron

THE FEDERATION of the Sultanate in Maguindana­o has recently inked a covenant with the office of the Civil Relations Service Armed Forces of the Philippine­s (CRSAFP) during a forum held at AlMasher Hotel and Restaurant in Maguindana­o, Cotabato City.

Present during the Royal forum held last June 22, 2019 were roughly 70 leaders and members of the World Federation of Traditiona­l Kings Sultanate of Mandanaue Darussalam; Maj. Gen. Bienvenido R. Datuin Jr., commander of Civil Relations Service of the AFP; Marissa G. Datuin, president of the AFP Officers’ Ladies Club; and Col. Jose Victor L. Vargas Jr., PAF, group commander of the 4th Civil Relations Group (4th CRG) based in Zamboanga City.

“We hereby declare our commitment for peace and developmen­t to our Mindanaoan­s. We commit to treat all lives with the lovingkind­ness and compassion,” the peace covenant read. “We respect the diversity of ways people pursue their individual ideals. We reject the distortion­s of religious, nationals and radical prejudices, which are used to violate golden rule to treat others as we wish to be treated.”

“We challenge the misuse of beliefs, rights, rituals, practices, philosophi­es, and traditions used to degrade anyone or which lead to violence. We affirm the necessity of bringing loving-kindness and compassion into action. We call upon all people of goodwill to join this pledge. We pledge that in all we intend, think, and do, we shall strive to bring loving-kindness and compassion into action and into the lives of all we meet,” the covenant added.

Datuin underscore­d that the signing of the covenant is the military’s way of showing support to advance peace and developmen­t in the region. “The AFP supports the advocacy of the sultanate in their efforts to scrap the illegal drugs and violent extremism,” he said.

Maguindana­o has been the setting for various rido (clan feuds) and Islamic extremism. The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a splinter group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), operates in the area.

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