OlymPeace 2013 set April 23-25 in Sarangani

DAVAO CITY, April 23 (PNA) – Government forces will battle it out with the former rebels including the Moro combatants for three days in a different venue in the Sarangani Province.

But they will be playing in the 4th OlymPeace Basketball Tournament set on April 23 to 25 at the provincial gym of Sarangani Provincial capitol grounds.

Slated to see action are the nine teams from the Armed Forces of the Phils. (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), former Moro combatants, former rebels, Madaris and the PTCA (Parents, Teachers and Community Association), Media, GPH (government of the Philippines), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) International and Local Monitoring Teams.

“This will provide a space for healthy engagement of different peace workers regardless of their organizational affiliations, beliefs and principles. Moreover, the momentous gathering will send a message that we can give peace a chance by opening oneself to give way for the possibility of working together,” Governor Miguel Dominguez said.

The basketball league is now integrated in the Provincial Musabaqah -– an athletic and literary competition participated in by the pupils from 47 Madaris Centers in the six towns of the province.

The OlymPeace 2013, under the theme “Paligsahan Para sa Kapayapaan” will be the finale grand musabaqah under the administration of Dominguez.

“Our purpose is to strengthen the camaraderie and unity in pursuing genuine peace and harmonious co-existence,” said Dominguez, adding that “it will also send a message that we can engage our partners who are perceived to be ‘ideologically rivals’ to have a fight not in the battle ground but instead (now) in the hardcourt.”

He said that “it will also provide venue for new friendships and stronger relations in working for peace in the province. This is also one of our acts to show our support to the national government’s effort towards the achievement of a participative and inclusive peace (process)”.

Madaris or Islamic Schools in Sarangani has been existing for several decades already as private learning institutions offering informal education. It is where young Muslims acquire Arabic literacy, learn good values and understand the Holy Qur’an as guidance in economic, social, and spiritual aspects in their daily life.

The Sarangani PLGU, through the Madaris for Peace (MaP) project has been assisting the operation of Madaris through provision of honoraria to the Asatidz, school materials and regular teaching enhancement trainings. The project works to promote peace through mainstreaming the Muslim population through provision of relevant Arabic Education and promotion of cultural practices. Among these cultural practices is the conduct of Provincial Musabaqah which is geared towards the appreciation of the Moro culture.

“This is also one way of motivating the pupils to strive both in curricular and extra- curricular activities through engaging them into sports and literary contests,” said program manager Jocelyln Lambac-Kanda,

She said that the activities will be an opportunity to develop the character or sportsmanship, physical well-being, self confidence, and will also entice the young Muslims of Sarangani to strive more both in curricular and extra-curricular engagements.

Sarangani had been holding Provincial Musabaqahs since 2006. The OlymPeace and Musabaqah will be facilitated by PGO-Kalinaw Sarangani Unit and to be assisted by the Asatidz.

The support of the provincial government to this activity will be a significant instrument of successfully integrating the Moro constituents of the province into the mainstream of governance and promoting camaraderie among peace stakeholders. (PNA)
FPV/ASA/LOLITO T. DELOS REYES/LDP

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