Kidapawan Bishop, marchers pray for peaceful BOL on Monday
KIDAPAWAN CITY—Kidapawan Diocese Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo led hundreds of church workers, members of the academe and the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) and private individuals in a three-kilometer walk, calling for lasting peace in Mindanao.
Holding placards and tarpaulins printed with peace signs and quotes, marchers called on motorists and people passing along the Cotabato-Kidapawan-Davao highway to pray for a peaceful conduct of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite slated on Monday, January 21.
“Let us unite in praying that the conduct of the plebiscite on Monday will be peaceful and orderly,” Bagaforo told the Inquirer in an interview.
The Bishop urged everyone to pray for peace based on respect for each person, respect for the law and the common good as well as respect for the environment.
Bagaforo also echoed the letter of Pope Francis, which says, “most of all, peace entails a conversion of heart and soul.”
The Bishop also prayed for those who would administer the BOL plebiscite and the safekeeping forces who would secure the historic event in the lives of the Bangsamoro people.
“Let us also include in our prayers the voters, that they be guided by the Holy Spirit, and decide for their common good,” Bishop Bagaforo said.
Participants lit hundreds of candles to serve as shining light for the success of the conduct of peaceful and orderly plebiscite in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
At the same time, some 7,000 Moro people converged at the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) in Kabacan town in North Cotabato to support for the BOL plebiscite.
Clad in green clothes, Moro people flooded the main campus of the university and pledge their support to vote “Yes” in the plebiscite scheduled on Monday.
North Cotabato First District Board Member Datu Kelly Antao said the Bangsamoro people had long wanted peace in their land for a long time.
Present in the gathering at the USM-Kabacan were key Moro leaders such as North Cotabato local MILF monitoring team leader Jabib Guiabar, former Cotabato City Mayor Muslimim Sema, MILF Vice Chairman Gadzali Jaafar, MILF Chairman Alhajj Murad Ibrahim and Office of the Presidential Peace Process (OPPAP) Asst Sec. Dickson Hermoso.
The previous week, more than 10, 000 Moro people also converged at the provincial gymnasium of the Cotabato Provincial Capitol in Barangay Amas here and vowed to support the BOL by voting “yes” on Monday. /jpv
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