COTABATO CITY — Peace advocates here launched on Wednesday the book “Peace Is For Everyone” that depicts the Bangsamoro people stories of hope, survival and resilience pertaining to the decades-old Mindanao conflict.
The book jointly published by the Institute for Bangsamoro Studies and The Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, is a collection of personal testimonies by survivors of wars, massacres and similar atrocities perpetrated during armed fierce encounters between state forces and Moro rebels fighting for self-determination in the island – region.
Some of the survivors and their families became internally displaced persons, driven ito extremely precarious living conditions, a touching part of the book’s foreword noted.
A United Nations report said more than 150,000 people had so far died in the conflict spanning over forty years to date.
Prof. Abhoud Syed Lingga, book project coordinator, said that a continuing comprehensive peace agreement hammered by government and Moro negotiators over the last 17 years has tremendously reduced the encounters leading to the publication of this book.
“These are the survivors talking in this book. This is a must – read,” he said during the book launching at EM Manor Hotel Complex here.
He said it would be much better if the book could be translated I different Filipino – Muslim dialects so that various tribes, particularly in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), could fully understand the intricacies brought by war.
Translating the book, however, would entail added cost, Lingga said.
Lawyer Laisa Alamia, ARMM executive secretary, said the book made her cry when she read its first few parts.
“It is a very good book and I cannot help but cry because this is a reflection of every Bangsamoro for the cycle of violence to stop,” she said.
Alamia said she hopes that the book opens the “floodgate to reconciliation” even as she urged many to write books on peace and unity rather than engage in violence.
“As the saying goes, the pen is mightier than the sword,” she stressed. (PNA)