Monday Nov, 29 2021 04:45:08 AM

Blessings of peace: Into "enemy" heartland to sow seeds of peace

Mindanao Peace Process • 16:15 PM Wed Nov 17, 2021
Sec. Emmanuel Piñol
Photos were provided by SOTPh and 1st Marine Brigade

At 7 a.m. today, I and my team jumped off from Kidapawan City for a 3-hour trip to Barangay Karim, Buldon, Maguindanao, site of the main lair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Camp Abubakar.

Ten years ago, my visit to Camp Abubakar would have been unthinkable, if not an outright suicide.

For most of the years that I was Governor of Cotabato, I was considered Enemy No. 1 by the MILF but I survived several assassination attempts.

Today, things have changed and credit should go to President Rodrigo Duterte for personally handling the peace negotiations with the MILF.

This is his greatest legacy to the people of Mindanao.

In my trip to Buldon today, I will be joined by retired Marine Commandant Maj. Gen. Alvin Parreño and his wife, Anna, president of Support Our Troops, Phils., Inc.

Also joining me are representatives of four major seed companies - Seedworks, East-West, Kaneko and Condor/Allied Botanicals.

I brought with me 1,000 Giant Bamboo planting materials, the first batch of 1,200 breeders of Manok Pinoy, 100 Abuyog Sweet Langka seedlings and Mulberry and Trichantera planting materials.

These will be turned over to Brig. Gen. Jonas Lumawag of the 1st Marine Brigade as a joint project with SOTPh.

The Marines, on the other hand, will give these to the residents of Barangay Karim as part of their socio-civic assistance to the residents of the area.

The technical staff of the seed companies will also evaluate the suirability of the area for high-value vegetable production.

This will be followed by a Vegetable Demo Farming and Derby, similar to what was done in Pagalungan, Mahuindanao last week.

These efforts will serve as the Seeds of Peace in the former conflict area where hundreds of lives were lost in over 50 years of fighting.

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