MSU-Maguindanao Partners with OPAPRU in MNLF Transformation Program Kickoff for Peace and Socio-Economic Progress

#MSUMagAt50 |The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity has led the verification and socio-economic profiling of MNLF combatants for Maguindanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, Cotabato Province, and Cotabato City as part of the MNLF Transformation Program. The event took place on December 9, 2023, at the Bigkis Lahi Hall, PRO-BAR, Parang, Maguindanao del Norte.

MSU-Maguindanao is among the four (4) campuses of Mindanao State University serving as partners of OPAPRU, particularly in completing the socio-economic component of the MNLF Transformation Program. Chancellor Bai Hejira Limbona, PhD, graced the opening ceremony and expressed the full support of the university for this peace endeavor. She highlighted the role of the academe in peacebuilding, mentioning the students that MSU-Maguindanao serves, who are members of their parents’ revolutionary group. She concluded her message of support by emphasizing that the essential question in this world is who will benefit from the deeds done when one has existed.

The Technical Working Group, led by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Project Leader, Dr. Badrudin K. Abdul, and Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao Director, Prof. Grant Warren D. Lu, spearheads the 25 faculty, staff, and alumni enumerators and a total of 7 psychosocial debriefing teams composed of psychology professors, guidance counselors, and psychometricians from the University. They will be working for a 7-day profiling and debriefing activity.

Present at the opening ceremony were Engr. Jordan Bayam, the Executive Director for Bangsamoro Special Concerns of OPAPRU, who delivered the message of OPAPRU Secretary Carlito Galvez, and Minister Muslim G. Sema, Chairman of the MNLF Central Committee, who mentioned that this endeavor is very sentimental for him, especially as it symbolizes peace and development. Also present at the event were Chairperson Utoh Salem Cutan of the MNLF Management Committee and other representatives from the Province of Maguindanao del Norte, Police Regional Office – BARMM, PSA-BARMM, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and MSU – General Santos City, that serves as the Project Management Unit of the OPAPRU-MSU partnership led by former Faculty Regent, Dr. Mario Aguja.

MSU-Maguindanao’s commitment to peacebuilding extends beyond its academic boundaries. The university emphasizes that through collaboration, peace can be sustained. As MSU gears up to be the National Peace University, it should serve as an additional workforce for government institutions like OPAPRU to build peaceful environments, especially in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.


Grant Warren D. Lu