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Ambassador Jose (fifth from left, third row) and BGen. Manolo Samarita (fourth from left, third row) are joined by some Embassy officials and members of the delegation.

11 May 2018—Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Charles Jose hosted a dinner in honor of the 70-member delegation to the 3rd Muslim Filipino Muslim Youth Educational Tour in Malaysia at the Philippine Embassy on 10 May 2018.  During his speech Ambassador Jose emphasized to the youth leaders from Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur his message that they have a mission to fulfill upon their return to the Philippines–to be advocates of peace and help in fighting extremism.  The Ambassador encouraged them to share what they saw, learned and experienced in Malaysia.

“Islam, on one hand, and peace and development, on the other, are not incompatible and can go hand in hand.  Let us all work together in creating a peaceful, progressive and prosperous Philippines”, the Ambassador added.

Ambassador Jose expressed hope for the continuity of the project of the Armed Forces of the Philippines whose objective is to enable young Filipino Muslims from crisis-affected areas brought by the extremist groups in Mindanao experience life in a predominantly Muslim society like Malaysia that is both peaceful and progressive. 

In his response, BGen Manolo Samarita, the head of the delegation, expressed his gratitude for the Embassy’s support in arranging the briefing and for the warm welcome.  The General conveyed to the youth the need for tolerance and inclusiveness in addressing the issue of difference in religion and that Jihad means doing the best of what you are doing and not as the misconception as taught by the  extremists.  Many of the participants are from Marawi City.  The AFP found it necessary for these youth to join the educational tour after the Marawi siege.

Ambassador Jose delivers his welcoming remarks.

The youth delighted the Ambassador and the officers and staff of the Embassy with their presentation of both traditional and modern dances, one also delivered a spoken poetry.  Certificates of appreciation and participation were awarded to all the participants.  A plaque of appreciation, books, handicrafts and goodies from Lanao Provinces were presented as their token of appreciation to the Ambassador.

During their stay in Malaysia on 7-10 May, the delegation had undertaken the following activities: attendance at the flag raising ceremony at Post; courtesy call and briefing at the Global Movement of Moderates; witnessing the 60th International Quran Recital; orientation conducted by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture; visit to the Halal Industrial Development Corporation; visit to Putra Mosque; and familiarization tour to the places of interest in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, the federal administrative center of Malaysia known for its late-20th-century architecture. END

The youth showcasing their traditional dances.