A Moro woman leader and peace advocate cited the importance of educating both the Bangsamoro and Filipino people on Bangsamoro history to gain massive support for the success of the peace process.
“It is important that majority of the people in the country should understand our history, sentiments and aspirations,” said Sittie Roaida Ismi, a delegate from Sulu who attended the Women Organization Movement in the Bangsamoro (WOMB) Strategic Planning Workshop held in General Santos City on April 8 and 9.
Thirty-two (32) Moro women leaders from different regions of Mindanao and island provinces who represented their respective organizations joined the activity.
The delegates learned the highlights of the Bangsamoro history from Professor Raby Angkal, a prominent lecturer and peace advocate from the academe.
In his presentation entitled “Understanding Bangsamoro History Undermines Prejudices,” Angkal related how the Bangsamoro people resisted and fought hard to defend their homeland from the intrusion of the Spaniards, Americans and Japanese.
He also tackled the highlights of the Bangsamoro peace process from past to present between the government of the Philippines and the two Moro fronts, the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Ismi disclosed it was her first time to hear the extent of the devastation and sufferings of Bangsamoro people. “Learning the facts of our own history really awaken us,” she said.
“We understand why we resisted,” she said and added “now we need to inform others of our struggle to have our own government.”
The woman leader is confident that non-Moros will become supportive to the Bangsamoro peace process “once they understand our sentiments.”
The workshop was supported by The Asia Foundation. It generally aims to lay down plan of action of the respective Bangsamoro women organization towards the realization of Bangsamoro aspirations through peaceful means.
WOMB is consortium of Bangsamoro women organizations mostly engaged in peace advocacy works.