Gov’t peacebuilders renew vow to work for lasting peace

MANILA The government's peacebuilders reiterated their commitment to attain just and lasting peace under President Rodrigo Duterte's administration as they kicked off on Monday the commemoration of the 2019 National Peace Consciousness Month at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, Quezon City.

Presidential Peace Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. highlighted the gains of the Bangsamoro peace process which has spanned more than two decades and several administrations.

He particularly mentioned the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) and the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

As we commemorate this year's National Peace Consciousness Month, OPAPP (Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process), in collaboration with its partners, is working even harder to sustain the gains of peace and push forward the Philippine (peace) process, Galvez said in his speech.

Galvez also cited the creation of the coordinating committee between the Philippine government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) as another testament to the President's firm commitment to fulfill all signed agreements with the Moro fronts and address the historical injustice committed against the Bangsamoro people.

He said no less than the President will witness the public launching of the decommissioning process, wherein 1,060 combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and 920 weapons are slated to be decommissioned on Sept. 7, 2019.

We find now ourselves of the crucial moment of our nation's quest to attain just and lasting peace for all its citizens. Undoubtedly, the cost of working and fighting for peace are high that we, at OPAPP, believe that sustainable longer-term benefits can be gained by individuals and communities to choose the difficult part but more rewarding part of peace, Galvez said.

Citing this year's theme: Tapang at Malasakit para sa Kapayapaan (Courage and Compassion for Peace), Galvez called on other stakeholders of the peace process to find the moral courage and the political will to pursue a peaceful resolution to all internal armed conflicts in the country.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles, on the other hand, emphasized the need to work collectively towards the realization of a peaceful and progressive nation.

As we commemorate National Peace Consciousness Month, it is imperative that we recognize that peace is a state desired by all, that its pursuit is contingent on the rejection of evil, and that our nation must collectively work for it if we want to realize our potential and lay the foundation of the kind of economic development required to lift our people out of poverty, Nograles said in his speech.

Nograles, co-lead of the OPAPP in the Inter-Cabinet Cluster Mechanism on Normalization (ICCMN), said courage and compassion are necessary characteristics of effective governance.

We should view the problems and solutions to our country's problems through these two lens. This precept is the rationale behind President Rodrigo Duterte's repeated emphasis on the need to secure peace in order to pave the way for genuine, equitable development, Nograles said.

It is also the logic behind presidential directives to key national agencies to ensure peace and security by addressing the threat of illegal drugs and ensuring public safety alongside the government's peace-building initiatives, he added.

Nograles is also Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) assigned for Caraga Region.

During the kick-off ceremony, Galvez and Nograles led the ringing of the world peace bell and the lighting of candles.

Nograles spearheaded the reading of the Pledge to Work for Peace which calls for every Filipino to contribute in building a better future for Filipinos.

I will promote a culture of non-violence and contribute in developing a peaceful and progressive country, the pledge to work for peace read.

I promise to do my best to achieve these goals through peaceful means, it added.

Pursuant to Proclamation 675 issued on July 20, 2004, National Peace Consciousness Month is annually commemorated in the country every September.

The occasion aims to increase the Filipino people's consciousness and understanding of the peace process, as well as strengthen and sustain institutional support for it. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency