FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 21 SEPTEMBER
Nikki Delfin, Secretariat Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth celebrate Peace and remember Martial Law Day
Groups call for a just and sustainable peace nationwide
Quezon City, Philippines– Youth groups hold simultaneous peace initiatives nationwide on September 21. The date is infamously known as the declaration of PD 1081 or the Declaration of Martial Law but some commemorate it differently. September 21 is also the International Day of Peace, which is signed unanimously by the UN General Assembly.
“The youth can be apathetic but also active agents of social change and its time to bridge the gap. Many are unaware of the armed conflict and the International Day of Peace which is a day of peace, ceasefire and nonviolence,” said Mirma Mae Tica, the national spokesperson of GenPeace.
Armed conflict persist in the Philippines and remain an important issue. Consider the following:
– The Philippines experience the most protracted armed conflict and most protracted peace negotiations in this part of the world.
– The country’s armed conflicts continues after over 40 years
– In 2008 the country held the world record for most internally-displaced persons at 600,000. That year there were more internal war refugees in the Philippines than in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.
– This year, the world is attempting the largest reduction of armed violence on September 21. Throughout the world, groups are calling governments and armed groups for a day of truce from armed violence.
– The government is pursuing peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and a framework peace agreement is expected within the Aquino administration
– The National Democratic Front peace negotiations are stalled due to issues such as Safety and Immunity Guarantees for rebel leaders.
“We remember Martial Law, and the human rights and humanitarian abuses during the Marcos administration. Our theme ‘just and sustainable peace for our future’ is our way to pay it forward. We are making it national and the time for peace is now.” Tica said.
In Quezon City, Generation Peace Youth Network (GenPeace) leads students and youth organizations, women, indigenous peoples, local government and religious groups in peace rituals and an advocacy fair. Simultaneous peace day events also take place in Butuan, Surigao City, Cebu, Cotabato, Davao, Iloilo, Bacolod, Zamboanga, and Catarman. Activites range from candlelit vigil, art competitions, ceasefire petitions, a photo exhibit, a feeding program, peace rituals and forums. The youth organization also partners with local governments for localized peace resolutions and ordinances.
GenPeace is a national youth network that supports the peace negotiations through peace advocacy, education and empowerment programs. We supercharge youth organizations to become active for peaceful social change. Learn more about what we do at http://genpeace.tk/
We are part of local, national and global networks on peacebuilding: United Network of Young Peacebuilders, Global Youth Movement for an Alliance of Civilizations, Youth Solidarity Fund Winner — UN Alliance of Civilizations, Mindanao Solidarity Network, Waging Peace Philippines, Kilos para sa Kapayapaan at Katarungan, GPPAC-SEA.
Click to download the Youth Media Guide/Toolkit
I. Media Advisory
II. Press Release
III. Background Materials
a. What is Peace Day?
b. Why Support Peace in the Philippines?
c. Peace Day Ceasefire Call
Dear Youth Peace Advocates,
This media kit provides us with some ideas, and information that can help us with our media coverage. We encourage that you engage your local media partners for your peace initiatives. This helps us in broadening the impact of our softcore peace work—popularizing the issue of peace, and making peace a national (not marginal) issue.
Included in this kit: media advisory, which is an invitation for your media contacts. We also included a sample press release, which is what you provide your media contacts to ensure your messages are included in their coverage. We know you can do better than our samples, these only serve as your guide but feel free to Sotto them without conditions (redit, revise, reword, redraft, repackage, etc.)
Lastly, we included some information bonuses through simple Q and A of what is Peace Day, why support peace and our peace day ceasefire call. We are confident that you can use or at the least be inspired by this simple kit to pursue engagement with both traditional and non-traditional media.
Padayon para sa kapayapaan at karapatang pantao!
Towards Just and Sustainable Peace:
Declare a Peace Day Ceasefire!
A Citizens’ Call for a September 21 Ceasefire
On the UN-declared International Day of Peace, also called a Global Day of Ceasefire and Non-Violence – September 21, we urge the Government of the Philippines and the CPP-NPA-NDF to declare a 24-hour ceasefire. The ongoing ceasefire between the GPH and the MILF must be especially be upheld on that date.
We ask that the guns be silenced in our country on Peace Day, in solidarity with all who seek to end violent conflicts around the globe.
As peace advocates from diverse political, cultural, faith and social backgrounds, we call for a cessation of hostilities in order to highlight the urgent need for peace.
We support the ongoing peace processes that aim to resolve through political negotiations the decades-long armed conflicts in the Philippines. We are determined to accompany the process toward signing of peace agreements and more importantly, in the implementation of these peace agreements.
In the Philippines, September 21 is more known as the day when Martial Law was declared, that we remember by vowing, “Never again.” On this 40th year since the declaration of Martial Law, we still suffer its legacy of armed conflicts and stubborn roots of injustice and poverty.
Therefore our call for peace is not just for the absence of war but further for the presence of “jobs and justice, food and freedom, land and liberation”. One of the lessons of our struggle against dictatorship is that a durable peace will be built only with the fullness of human rights and dignity.
On September 21, a day of ceasefire will be a moment marking our common commitment to building a just and sustainable peace.
WE SUPPORT THE PEACE PROCESSES. WE WANT A JUST AND LASTING PEACE. DECLARE CEASEFIRE ON PEACE DAY!
Generation Peace, Mindanao Solidarity Network, Peace Day Committee Waging Peace Philippines – GPPAC Southeast Asia
*If you wish to include your organization to our peace day ceasefire call, leave a comment below.
September 2012, Philippines–GenPeace spearheads localized celebrations of the International Day of Peace in the Philippines. Youth leaders and organizations take the lead in raising awareness on the country’s armed conflict, and challenging this generation to support peacebuilding initiatives. In a country with two 40-year old forgotten armed conflicts, the youth can be a potent force in bridging the peace gaps.
With the theme, “Just and Sustainable Peace for Our Future: Support the Peace Processes!”, GenPeace through its member-organizations, school partners, friends and communities, prepared numerous initiatives for the peace month of September.
September 21, apart from being the commemoration of the declaration of Martial Law 40 years ago, is also the UN-declared International Day of Peace, Ceasefire and Non-violence. The youth network aims to: 1) educate the public on the Peace Day, the issues and root causes of armed conflict in the Philippines; 2) promote participation and contribution from the young generation; 3) campaign for a 24-hour unilateral declaration of ceasefires, and; 4) gather broader support for the peace processes in the country.
GenPeace and its partner organizations have lined-up a month-long set of activities for September. Some of the plans are:
1. Simultaneous Peace Day Celebrations can provide the space for raising awareness that there is a global day of peace, ceasefire and non-violence. During this day, we join the rest of the world in aspiring for peace but also, concretely working towards that goal through education, communications and media, networking, policy advocacy, dialogues, and projects with conflict-affected localities.
- Cagayan Valley Region
- Quezon City
- Davao City
- Samar and Leyte
2. Ceasefire Campaign. We are asking the government and NDF and MILF to unilaterally declare ceasefires on 21 September. We are also part of global peace day ceasefire call.
3. LGU Engagement: Peace Day Resolutions/Ordinances
We are asking local governments to pass resolutions and/or ordinances supporting peace day and the peace day ceasefire, and to fully support the peace talks. We believe that localized declarations of support increases the chances for convergence at the local level–supporting the conflict-affected communities and the grassroots–where peacebuilding matters most.
We’re raising Php 200,000 for the nationwide activities of the youth network. Buy our cakes, 100% of proceeds will be for the month-long peace advocacy and education activities.
5. Campus Tours: Peace Forums. This will be the education campaign of GenPeace for the Peace Month and beyond. The forums target students from different universities and seek to update the youth on the peace talks, raise understanding of the conflict issues in the country, the primacy of the peace talks, and challenge the youth to become peace advocates.
We join the world in calling for a Global Day of Truce through localized unilateral ceasefire declarations of the government through its Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the National Democratic Front. Ceasefires are often construed as pacifist and a counter-insurgency measure, but we want to institutionalize the Peace Day Ceasefire nationwide and throughout the world. A day of ceasefire can give the people a day of respite from all the violence and take time to reflect on peace. Everyone can be nourished by a day of ceasefire as the longer struggle towards a just and sustainable peace continues thereafter.
Imagine a day of peace, a day where people reflect on peace both as a dream and a reality. Generation Peace Youth Network (GenPeace)—the nationwidest coming together of youth organizations, individuals and peaceniks—is working towards making the peace dream a reality. We believe in connecting, empowering and transforming the young generation as catalysts for peacebuilding. We believe in non-violent and creative solutions to the Bangsamoro armed conflict and the Communist insurgency. We believe that a just and lasting peace has hurdles but we can move from one milestone to another.
“You cannot eat a cake and have it. But you can eat a cake, and help promote softcore and hardcore youth peacebuilding” –Peace of Cake Monster