The Arrupe Office of Social Formation actively responded to the tall order of University President Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ, who, in a speech given during the General Faculty Meeting marking the opening of the new School Year (SY), called on all the members of the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) academic community to provide a wider space for discourse on the important issue(s) pertaining to the Bangsamoro. His challenge comes as a concretization of one of the key result areas (KRA) reflected in the university’s vision-mission (VM) statement—the promotion of peace in the context of interreligious and intercultural dialogue.
In this regard, the Communications and Advocacy Program (CAP) of the Arrupe Office, in coordination with its Student Servant Leadership Program (SSLP), took the presidential cue and conducted on Wednesday, 30th July 2014, from 3:40-5:40 p.m. at J-301, a round-table discussion (RTD) on the recent developments pertaining to the Bangsamoro issue, especially in the light of the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC). It invited Atty. Johaira C. Wahab of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), a young woman lawyer who headed the Legal Team of the peace panel representing the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) in its negotiation with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
With her experience sitting in the peace panel, Atty. Wahab provided an insider’s view of the contents of the BBL, the difficulty in putting it together after a very long and tedious process, as well as its legal/constitutional implications in and for Mindanao once it passes the scrutiny of the Philippine Congress, and once it is eventually signed into law by Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III.
The special gathering was very well-attended by faculty and students, including no less than the University President himself, Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ. It primarily targeted audience who are student leaders comprising the SAMAHAN Central Board, the different clubs and organizations, as well as the corps of student volunteers of the Arrupe Office. It adapted the format of an RTD, conversation-style, where Atty. Wahab, as the main resource person and lead discussant, was joined by three other student representatives as co-reactors/co-discussants namely, Arrupe Volunteer Kahlil Denise Alcomendras (BS-IS 3); SAMAHAN Central Board Treasurer Alexy Flores (BSA 5), and former Arrupe Volunteer/debater/law student, Paolo C. Cansino (Class Valedictorian 2013). The open forum following the interesting discussions and input from Atty. Wahab was moderated by M. Isabel S. Actub, program coordinator of CAP.
The Arrupe Office will hold another venue for discussion on the Bangsamoro issue sometime toward the end of the semester. (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)