Students in troubled school appeal for peace

Apr. 08, 2015

COTABATO CITY – Two students from Libutan High School in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao recently appealed for peace on behalf of the Muslim youth, who they said are going through another difficult episode in their schooling.

They wrote the letter that contained the appeal and sent it to the different agencies, government officials and other stakeholders for peace in Mindanao and the country.

In her letter, Sorayda Minandang appealed to lawmakers to enact the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) “for peace in Mindanao”.

“Masyadong nahihirapan ang mga kabataan na tulad namin sa di pagkakaroon ng kapayapaan (We the youth experience difficulties due to the absence of peace),” Sorayda said.

Sorayda is among the thousands of students in Maguindanao whose schoolings were troubled by the continuing wars and displacements.

She emphasized that BBL “will end the fighting and other forms of violence in Mindanao because it will pave the way for unity and understanding among the people”.

“We are truly longing for peace,” Sorayda said in her letter.

Another student, Jay Mark Ferenal, in a separate letter expressed his thoughts of the conflict and the recent commemoration of the Lenten season.

Saying that many of lawmakers and policy makers were believers that recollected the sufferings of Jesus in the cross, Jay also urged them “to honor the sacrifices of the people who worked for peace and to the innocent civilians whose lives were lost in the midst of armed confrontations”.

“Naway ating ipagdasal na mangibabaw ang kapayapaan sa ating kalooban at mawala ang galit at poot sa ating mga puso (We pray for peace to reign within ourselves and fade away the anger and rage in our hearts),” Jay stressed.

Understanding, he said, “will lead the people of Mindanao into their longed destiny – and that is Peace”.

The school of Minandang and Ferenal, as well as the other schools in Maguindanao province turned into evacuation centers as thousands of residents fled their homes due to armed confrontations since January 25.

The two students considered themselves “bakwits” or internally displaced persons.

Calls for peace in Mindanao and appeals for the passage of the BBL have been the focus of letters and papers of various sectors in the country.

Last month, a group of widows and wounded soldiers during the series of armed confrontations also aired their concerns and had asked the nation’s leaders to pass the BBL for the sake of peace.

Mothers from various evacuation centers in Maguindanao and North Cotabato also said they were already tired of running and pleaded to allow the peace negotiations to move on by enacting the BBL. (

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