SORSOGON CITY, Mar. 27 (PNA) -- Members of the Muslim community here are hopeful that peace will soon start to reign in Mindanao after the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro Thusday afternoon.
Annas Damiano, president of the Sorsogon Muslim Community Association, said they were happy that the government and the MILF have already reached an agreement which would pave the way for a better Mindanao.
“Hopefully, it will usher in a new era for our Muslim brothers and give them a taste of peace and progress,” Damiano said in Filipino.
He said Mindanao had suffered a lot and it was about time for peace to reign in the Moroland and progress and development start to change the lives of the Muslims.
Muslims, mostly Maranaws who came from Marawi City and Lanao del Norte, started to live here in the mid-80s.
Damiano said they were forced to abandon their lands in Mindanao for fear of the intense fighting between government forces and Muslim rebels at the time.
Abdul Wahid Labuan, the local imam, said the signing of the agreement would hopefully silence the guns in Mindanao and let the sounds of engines of development pervade.
Mindanao is so rich in natural resources and culture but has remained the poorest region because of the wars that have bathed its land with blood, he stressed.
The Muslim community here has grown to about 700 individuals now, and most of them are engaged in various kinds of business, especially in retail trade.
Damiano, however, said that despite the agreement they have no plan just yet to return to Lanao, saying they have found a new life here.
“My children were been born here and though they are Muslims they are not familiar with the life in Mindanao,” he explained.
All of the Muslims who were present during the interview agreed with Damiano, saying they are already contented with their lives here. (PNA) CTB/FGS/BQL/CBD/UTB