Cotabato City—The first Mindanao Peace and Security Summit recently wrapped up at the Cotabato City State Polytechnic College, highlighted by the presence of Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, representing President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
Terrorism, violent extremism, illegal drugs, criminality, and the menace of corruption in our country were discussed the focus of the Duterte administration.
“Liberating our society from this problem requires concerted efforts from various stakeholders. These problems are so inter-connected that discussing one will lead to the need to understand the others,” Lorenzana said.
The activity bannered the theme “Grasping the Role of the Academe on the War Against Illegal Drugs, Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in the Pursuit of Peace and Development in Southern Philippines.”
The Joint Task Force Central and the Cotabato City State Polytechnic College recognized the imperative to engage all stakeholders by giving priority to the youth sector, being the most prone and vulnerable to radicalization.
As she welcomed the peace advocates, Cotabato City Mayor Atty. Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi said: “Others say that Cotabato would be the next Marawi and I said no, because we the leaders and the people will not allow it to happen. We need to work with you and help each other specially the youth. The people of Cotabato deserve more than what they are enjoying now.”
The initiative of Cotabato City State Polytechnic in organizing the Peace and Security Summit 2018 is a welcome development because it demonstrates the eagerness of the academe to perform their role.
In this endeavor the traditional and religious leaders have been tapped, being the most influential segment of the society in Central Mindanao.
The new commander of the Western Mindanao Command, Lt. Gen. Arnel B. Dela Vega, said: “There is a need to institutionalize the program on countering violent extremism, combating illegal drugs and corruption in all academic institutions, not only in Central Mindanao, but also all over the country.”
“I cannot overly emphasize the importance of the academe’s role in countering the threats posed by terrorism and violent extremism. The military will continue to work closely with you to sustain what you have started and advocate for the program to be emulated in other academic institutions,” Dela Vega.
After the three-day Peace and Security forum last February 2018, the convenors came up a module on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism that can be offered not only for CCSPC but also to all other schools, colleges, and universities all over the country was formulated and tested.
Lorenzana conveyed the President’s message by saying: “The important role of education in preventing violent extremism is recognized by the Unesco and member states, likewise the sustainable development goals emphasizes that education the potential a culture of peace and non-violence.”
The signing of pledge of support and commitment to peace and security proved that all participants appreciated the conduct of the Security and Peace Summit 2018.