The men and women of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Fr. Eliseo “Bapa Jun” Mercado, Jr. who passed away on Sunday, May 23.
Fr. Jun will be best remembered for being a staunch peace advocate who fought for the rights and welfare of the tri-people of Mindanao — Muslims, Christians and the indigenous peoples.
He was also among the major proponents of inter-faith dialogue, believing that tribe, religion nor ideology should not be a hindrance in finding long-lasting solutions to the armed conflict in the island-region.
Fr. Jun served as chairperson of the National Peace Council, and together with other peace stakeholders, helped push for the resumption of peace talks with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
He also acted as chairperson of the Independent Ceasefire Monitoring Committee of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) from 1996 to 2000, which was instrumental in preventing situations of conflict between both parties.
Fr. Jun was an active member of the academe who used his vast experience, knowledge and expertise to educate people on the comprehensive Philippine peace process and rally the support of Mindanaoans behind it.
He was truly a remarkable man of the cloth whose love for the people of Mindanao, as well as his steadfast dedication, passion and commitment to the peace process is much appreciated and will be forever cherished.
Through your shining example, you have inspired an entire generation of peace advocates who will continue to carry on the work you have started so that peace, mutual understanding and solidarity will reign in the hearts and minds of the people.
Maraming salamat, Fr. Jun! May you find eternal peace in the hands of our Lord.