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Catholic university set to confer award to Iqbal, Deles and Ferrer

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Feb. 24 — A Catholic university in this trading hub of Northern Mindanao would confer an award to a Moro leader during the university’s graduation rites next month.

Fr. Roberto Yap, President of the Jesuit-run Xavier University in Cagayan De Oro City, said that the university would confer the award to Mohager Iqbal for “contribution to social development.”

Iqbal, the chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), is one of the three other awardees that include Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Teresita Deles and Miriam Coroner-Ferrer, Chair of the government’s peace panel.

Except for Deles who would be conferred the Doctorate in Humanities (Honoris Causa) as the speaker of the annual graduation rites, Iqbal and Ferrer would each receive the Fr. William F. Masterson S.J. Award “for contributions to social development.”

In statement Tuesday, Yap said that the decision to confer the award to the Iqbal, Deles, and Ferrer have been agreed by university officials on Nov. 29, 2014, two months prior to the Mamapasano incident in Maguindanao.

Yap said that despite the shortcomings brought by the Mamapasano tragedy where 44 Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine police and 18 MILF were killed, the university still believed in the government and the MILF’s commitment to peace.

“The awardees are leaders who endeavor to keep alive the hope that dialogue, negotiations, and kept the peace agreements in lieu of guns, violence, and war,” Yap said.

He said that Xavier University, as a Jesuit university, participates in the Jesuit mission of reconciliation with God, with others, and with creation.

The university seeks to serve the faith, promote justice, dialogue with culture and religion and protect the environment, Yap said.

He said that despite the Mamapasano tragedy, the Xavier University signifies its support for staying the course in pursuing peace by honoring the three leaders. (PNA)

RMA/CD/MARK FRANCISCO/CD/EDS

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