Sat. May 25th, 2019

NCMF taps young celebrities on anti-violent extremism drive

COTABATO CITY – The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) has tapped two young celebrities as its youth ambassadors in pursing the government campaign against violent extremism, the agency’s Bureau of External Affairs (BEA) announced over the weekend.

Queenie Padilla, daughter of Filipino movie action star Robin Padilla, and actor Angelo Carreon Mamay had agreed to serve as youth ambassador for peace in negotiations by the NCMF’s Bureau of Peace and Conflict Resolution (BPCR) and Bureau of Muslim Settlements (BMS), BEA Director Jun Alonto-Datu Ramos said.

Padilla and Mamay’s would launch their official peace advocacy in a general consultative assembly of Muslim youth jointly sponsored by the NCMF and the United Nations’ Development Program (UNDP) in Marawi City, Datu Ramos said.

He said the assembly, themed: “Strengthening National and Local Resilience to Risks of Violent Extremism in the Philippines,” was set on Sunday, Jan. 27 at the convention center of the Mindanao State University in Marawi City, the country’s lone Islamic city that suffered intense destruction in the May 23, 2017 siege of combined extremist militants of the Dawla Islamiya (Maute) and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

Like her father who had embraced Islam, Padilla sports hijab (head cover) and has been helping explain to her peers and acquaintances the true essence of Islam as a religion of peace, said BCPR Director Cosanie Derogongan, who negotiated the two celebrities.

The male Padilla had joined Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor Mujiv Hataman in the campaign for the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which drew overwhelming approval by the ARMM electorate in the Jan. 21 plebiscite, with this city opting for inclusion in the BOL-prescribed new autonomous region.

Datu Ramos said “the presence of the ambassadors (Padilla and Mamay) is anticipated to influence the community’s youth in understanding the roots, causes and adversities of violent extremism.”

“The Ambassadors for Peace (would) serve as role models and inspiration for Muslim Filipino youths, in congruence with the Build, Build, Build PEACE campaign of the NCMF,” he said

The choice of young ambassadors and the conduct of the first ever youth assembly formed part of concepts initiated by NCMF Secretary Saidamen B. Pangarungan to help pursue the agenda of President Duterte for cohesion against violent extremism in the country, particularly in Mindanao, Datu Ramos said. (Ali G. Macabalang)

Ali Macabalang

Ali Macabalang, Senior Correspondent of The Manila Bulletin, Tempo newspapers and various private and government media entities in different positions, one of very few Filipino Muslim scribes that newspapers readers may have noticed their bylines in various stories on different issues.