Three batches of young people from Lanao del Norte and Iligan City, Lanao del Sur and Marawi City, and Panabo City, Paquibato and Lasang in Davao City numbering more than a hundred in each group gathered in youth peace camps to learn how not to be enticed and radicalized by the Abu Sayyap Group (ASG) and the New People’s Army (NPA). Those areas are considered easily frequented by terrorists and insurgents.
Co-sponsored by Bishops-Ulama Conference (BUC) and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) the first All-Catholic peace camp from Lanao del Norte and Iligan City under the guidance of Sr. Maricel Carcillar DSA was held in Midway Beach Resort, Initao, Misamis Oriental, on 6-8 April 2017. The All-Muslim youth peace camp took place in the same resort on 21-23 April 2017, and the 2nd All-Catholic peace camp guided by Sr. Kandy Sanchez DSA was held in the RMPC beach resort in Samal Island just across Davao City on 28-30 April 2017.
There were camp activities on prayer, reflection, physical fitness, team building, and cultural group presentations. The resource speakers for the Muslim youth peace camp were Ulama League of the Philipines Chairman and Sharia Judge Abu Ali Cali, Mindanao State University professor Dr. Hamid A. Barra, BUC board chair Archbishop Emeritus Fernando R. Capalla, OPAPP officer Mr. Bong Jovita, Ms. Nor Asiah Adilao and Fr. Larry Sabud, SM both from Silsilah Davao Center. The speakers for the Catholic group were Archbishop Capalla, BUC Sec. Ms. Lou Q.Solijon and two young personnel from OPAPP.
Topics discussed and reflected were holistic understanding of peace and development, rebellion and insurgency, change and transformation through interfaith dialogue and life in dialogue, solidarity and sustainability.