NORTH COTABATO—North Cotabato Governor Emmylou “Lala” J. Talino Mendoza sponsored an Islamic symposium with the theme: “Ramadhan Lalan sa Kalilintad” (Path towards Peace) on July 3, 2015 at Salipada K. Pendatun Building, Institute of Middle East and Asian Studies (IMEAS), University of Southern Mindanao (USM), Kabacan, North Cotabato.
Her co-sponsors were Kabacan Mayor Herlo P. Guzman, Jr.; Kabacan Police Senior Inspector Ronnie B. Cordero; Kabacan Sangguniang Bayan member Datu Masla Mantawil; and the USM Halal Development Center.
Packages of food were distributed for the “iftar” (breaking of fast at sunset) to each participants. The affair was facilitated by Deputy Governor for Muslim Affairs Edris P. Gandalibo and his closed-in-aide Nasser Ali. Students, both Muslims and Christians, and some parents participated in the occasion.
Short introductory program prelude the activities. The sponsors’ representative Mr. Benjie Abdul Ali Caballero opened the program commending the sponsors and the audience for their unity during this blessed month of Ramadhan as path for peace in North Cotabato.
Prof. Badrodin S. Abdulkadir, IMEAS Dean exalted the group for selecting the Institute as venue for the symposium. He said, “our mandate in accordance with Islam is not only spiritual but as well as on economic, social, cultural and political. Director Margie B. Galang, representing the University President said, it is hard to be representative but nevertheless, she was happy to be part of the activity after having been required by the President just the night before.
Kabacan Deputy Chief of Police Arvin John B. Cambang, representing his immediate boss said, “He is supportive of any peace effort by the group in the Municipality of Kabacan”. He was accompanied by a lady police, PO2 Amie Lou H. Bacanto.
First speaker Ustadz Abdulgani Tumalao spoke on “peace” in Islam. He said, “There is no peace in injustice. So, peace means not only absence of trouble or war but also absence of injustice”.
Mr. Muhammad Abdullah Alferez shared the story of his conversion from Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) as the sect’s president to Islam and a preacher. He said, the real religion of Jesus Christ is Islam.
The second resource person was a lady named Alema Aida Saheed. She dealt on the role of women in the society. She explained that there are 2 responsibilities of a single woman and 4 for a married woman.
On the first, she said: responsibilities to God and to herself. Second: to God, to herself, to her husband and to her children.
Woman civic leader Zainab Afdal Ampatuan talked on women organizing. Other important personalities in the group were Sangguniang Bayan member Datu Masla Mantawil, Sheikh Abdulrasid L. Salikh, and Dr. Abubakar Murray.
Gov. Lala Talino-Mendoza in her late afternoon message gave pieces of advice to the students. She said: study first before boyfriend and girlfriend. Be a good citizen, such as future teachers, doctors, engineers, etc. and do not be violators of the law.