Saturday, July 29, 2006

Medical Mission In Zamboanga Benefits Hundreds Of Muslims, Christians

Christian and Muslim villagers in Zamboanga City during a medical mission on Saturday, 29 July 2006 spearheaded by the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo. (Zamboanga Journal)
ZAMBOANGA CITY (Zamboanga Journal / 29 Jul) Hundreds of mostly poor Christian and Muslim villagers benefited Saturday from a free medical mission in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines.

Sharif Ibrahim Ajibul Mohammad Pulalun, an influential Sultan of Sulu and North Borneo, led the medical mission in the fishing village of Sinunuc where hundreds of people availed free consultation and medicines. Military doctors and nurses and members of the Bantay-Bata Foundation and private firms helped in the outreach program.

"We hope to hold similar medical missions in other areas, of course in partnership with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and non-governmental organizations and private firms supporting this humanitarian undertaking," Pulalun told the Zamboanga Journal.

It was the second time this year that Pulalun held a medical mission in poor areas in Zamboanga City. He also led a humanitarian mission here early this to help feed more than 500 families left homeless after a huge fire swept through Canelar village.

"My family is really lucky. We got free consultation from those soldiers and we will go home with all these medicines the Sultan gave us. This is really a good day," said Umar Sakandal, a 45-year old fisherman.

Pulalun, a staunch supporter of President Gloria Arroyo, had previously rejected attempts by a secessionist organization to convince his group to support a proposal for an independent Mindanao.

Pantaleon Alvarez, former Transportation secretary and organizer of One People Mindanao (OPM), a movement lobbying for a separate Mindanao Republic, tried but failed to convince Pulalun and his Cabinet members to support the proposal.

Professor Sami Tanjil, Pulalon's spokesman, said the Muslim leader flatly rejected the proposal. "The Sultan said that he shall not allow Mindanao to be dismembered and for the Muslims not to be used for political agenda," Tanjil said.

Pulalun said Muslims in the southern region are supporting the Arroyo and her peace and economic agenda in Mindanao. "I have told my people to continue to stay united and not to allow themselves be used by any political groups," he said.

Many Mindanao leaders were also supporting proposals to convene a Constitutional Assembly in order to allow amendments in the Charter that would institutionalize wide-ranging reforms. The proposals would also limit the agenda of amendments and protect the good provisions of the Charter.

The OPM has been going around Mindanao and urging citizens to demand the separation of Mindanao.

It held various consultations for a plebiscite to separate the mineral-rich region from the rest of the country, but Visaya and Luzon islands also threatened to split should Mindanao secedes. (With a report from Darwin Wee)

1 comment:

Muhammad said...

We need more of something like this.