Peace groups celebrate peace day, calls for ceasefire
Quezon City, 21 September 2011 — Thousands from different civil society groups celebrated peace day nationwide on September 21, the UN-declared International Day of Peace, Nonviolence and Ceasefire.
The youth network, Generation Peace (GenPeace) spearheaded celebrations in 7 key areas nationwide, in Cebu, Nueva Vizcaya, Iloilo, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Quezon City. Eight indigenous peoples groups also conducted peace rituals in their communities ranging from Sierra Madre in Luzon to Mt. Apo in Mindanao.
Debbie Cabanag, who participated in the celebrations for the past three years, said “Peace Day is remembered globally but what sets the Philippine celebration apart is that the date coincides with the commemoration of the Declaration of Martial Law. This is also why our national theme for this year is ‘Kapayapaan, ating karapatan’ (Peace is our right). We are highlighting our collective right to peace.”
In a message read throughout the celebrations nationwide, President Noynoy Aquino stated that, “The government pledges solidarity to this cause, in accordance with the conviction that the Filipino people’s progress is founded on an environment of peace and stability.”
Mohagher Iqbal, head of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panel also declared in a message that the MILF will make “manifest our continuing commitment to the peaceful settlement of the Moro Question and the armed conflict in Mindanao.” He further stated that peace is “the best gift we can pass on to the generations after us.”
“This year is the biggest celebration ever because the different peace groups converged to have a common call for a day of ceasefire and support for the peace talks by simultaneously launching the One Million Voices for Peace Campaign nationwide.” Karen Tanada, co-convener of the Kilos para sa Kapayapaan and Katarungan mentioned.
Last Monday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines declared a suspension of military operations for the celebration of the peace day.
The Quezon City celebration is done annually at the Quezon Memorial Circle. This year the event featured sports events, fun run, amazing race challenges and an obstacle relay race. Messages of peace from youth, women, indigenous peoples, government, military, faith and nongovernment groups were delivered.
Full transcript of the President Aquino message and the Chair Mohagher Iqbal (MILF) message can be found here.
For additional information or a sample copy, contact: Nikki Delfin, Generation Peace Youth Network (GenPeace) 09178660405, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://youthpeacenetwork.wordpress.com/
Posted on September 21, 2011, in Mindanao Conflict, NDF Conflict, Statements and tagged advocacy, conflict situation, human rights, interfaith, international day of peace, MILF, mindanao, Mindanao Conflict, Peace, statement, Statements. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.