A family displaced by last year’s Zamboanga Siege and still being sheltered in the city’s sports complex received gifts from sectoral groups and the Interreligious Solidarity for Peace (ISP) during latter’s “Day of Solidarity” celebration yesterday Sunday evening, December 21.
The 60-plus individual and organizational members of ISP annually holds the event to mark its year’s achievements and set the tone for the coming new year’s undertakings. Representatives of selected barangays, police and military commands, urban poor association, religious and civil society communities, internally displaced persons, persons with disability, youths and public schools attended the gathering.
Fr. Angel Calvo, CMF challenged the ISP and its partner organizations and associates to continue to extend material and moral support to the city’s IDPs of whom some 1,400 more families are still living in evacuation centers, more than a year after the MNLF attack. This is our kind of solidarity with the war’s victims, he said. He said the ISP through its “Re-UNIDOS” program will also continue to reach out to other sectors to heal their woundedness caused by the war.
In his message as Muslim convenor of the ISP, Prof. Ali Yacub said: “As we prepare for the coming of the head in January 2015, we join in fraternal exaltation and rejoice for the coming of His Holiness Pope Francis… May his visit strengthen the relation of Christians, Muslims and other faith traditions in this country”.
Christian evangelicals deputy convenor Rev. Palbo Palis said the 75 pastor members of the Zamboanga Ministers Fellowship supports the solidarity movement of ISP. We evangelicals deeply live out the peace teachings Jesus, who gives us comfort and wisdom to follow his ways, he said.
The other members and guests who gave messages were Amilpasa Bandaying representing the indiegenous peoples, Antonio Onrubia for the city mayor’s office, Lt. Col. Tahandrin Ampatuan for the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command, Juanita Cagubatan for the urban poor aggrupation, Josephine Bello of Sinunuc barrio on behalf of the barangays, PWD Teddy Kahil for the Department of Social Welfare and Development regional office, Soraya Sali for the IDPs, and Abdul-Jafar Ghaffair Lintas for the homeless children sheltered in Akay Kalinga of the Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance, Inc. (ZABIDA).
The thanksgiving celebration was capped by the signing by ISP members and guests of Solidarity Commitment covenant. It in parts said: “We pursue the mission of helping realize that vision (of peace and unity of all), participating in any and all undertakings that shall contribute to the healing of our divided communities.. .We acknowledge that the basis of our unity is our belief in a living, compassionate God who constantly gives us the gift of peace.”
Cultural and entertainment numbers were performed by the IDPs and youths who belong to ZABIDA’S USAID-funded Mindanao Youth for Development project.