Former revolutionary leaders express solidarity and commitment to peace process as OPAPP celebrates 26th anniversary

PASAY CITY (30 September 2019) — In a historic moment, former revolutionary leaders, active and retired military officials, along with members of the diplomatic corp and peace advocates gathered here to make a collective call for enduring and sustainable peace throughout the country during the culmination of the National Peace Month celebration and the 26th Anniversary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) on Monday. (more…)

Civic groups, LGUs vow to pursue sustainable peace in Mindanao

CAGAYAN DE ORO, September 30, 2019 – Sustaining peace is a shared responsibility.

This was the central theme during the “Mindanao Peace Forum” organized by the Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro East Urban and Eisenhower Fellows Association of the Philippines in line with the celebration of International Day of Peace on Friday. (more…)

Decommissioning of former combatants, healing in conflict-affected areas highlight Peace Month celebration

MANILA, September 27, 2019 – The decommissioning of non-state combatants and their weapons, and the social healing being carried out in conflict-affected areas in some parts of the country took center stage during the month-long celebration of the National Peace Consciousness Month. (more…)

OPAPP highlights gains of Bangsamoro peace process as country celebrates Peace Consciousness Month

QUEZON MEMORIAL CIRCLE, QUEZON CITY (2 September 2019)– The ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) and the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) top the list of the Duterte Administration’s achievements as the country celebrates National Peace Consciousness Month. (more…)

Champions weave aspirations for peace

PASIG CITY, October 02, 2018 – Knitting together the collective aspirations of peace from different stakeholders, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) unveiled on Friday its “Peace Quilt” in Davao City. (more…)

National Peace Consciousness Month: Stories of hope, courage, and peace-building

DAVAO CITY (October 1, 2018) — For 15 young members of the Ata Manobo tribe, the culmination program of National Peace Consciousness Month on September 28 was both a day of celebration and of mourning.

With Davao City hosting the event, the scholars of the national government’s Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Program being implemented by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) came down from the hinterlands of Talaingod, Davao del Norte to tell their story.

Garbed in traditional dress, they stood teary-eyed onstage at the Rizal Park as they sang in their native language their gratitude to the national government for the assistance it had given them.

They also paid tribute to a fallen comrade, the 16th scholar who was abducted and killed by unidentified assailants after delivering rice to a military camp.

According to friends and relatives, he was a responsible, hard-working lad who dreamed of giving his family a better life.

Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza was highly emotional while narrating the unfortunate incident to more than 600 people attending the event.

“(This was) done by a group that has no objective but to sow fear and terror in the hearts (of people),” Dureza said.

“It shows the extent of what those who want to create trouble would go just to make their point clear,” he added.

Dureza, however, said the passing of the young man should not dishearten people but instead serve as an inspiration to all.

This was exactly what the 15 remaining PAMANA scholars did: despite the painful loss of their friend, they still proceeded with their trip to Davao City to participate in the Peace Month celebration.

“They did not surrender their ground. They are examples of what every citizen should do,” Dureza said.

“They are the inspiration we should all (emulate). They are the future,” he added.

Dureza said the task of addressing the various peace and security challenges confronting the nation should not be the sole responsibility of government.

“We in government can’t do this alone. We can provide the leadership, we can create a convergence of efforts, but ultimately, the people out there will have to do it,” he said.

In order to bring about this synergy of efforts among stakeholders, Dureza said he seeks guidance from no less than President Duterte who named him Presidential Peace Adviser more than two years ago.

“President Duterte’s first marching order to us at OPAPP when he assumed office was for us to do a peace and development roadmap,” he said.

Dureza said the roadmap would serve as the “nexus” of the Duterte administration’s Peace and Development Agenda.

He noted that the work for peace should not be confined to peace negotiations with the various rebel groups and addressing security issues, saying that is “only half of the job.”

“The other, bigger, more important part is development. We cannot sustain peace if we don’t have development that will improve the lives of people,” Dureza said.

“Conversely, we cannot sustain development even if we provide a lot of assistance. If there is conflict, nothing will happen,” he added.

Dureza emphasized that peace and development “must happen simultaneously” and not take place one after the other.

Moreover, he said the government must not only focus on the signing of peace agreements but, more importantly, look at the triggers of conflict.

“Let us analyze. Why are there a lot of people rebelling against government? Some of them… their children don’t go to school… they are poor. They feel they are looked upon as enemies,” Dureza said.

He noted that most of those who are engaged in armed struggle are not motivated by ideology but by their current economic conditions.

“They feel that their needs are not being attended to, that they have been forgotten,” Dureza said.

He said this is the rationale behind the whole-of-government approach wherein all national government agencies are closely working with each other to provide socio-economic services particularly to residents in remote and underdeveloped areas.

“The whole-of-nation approach of government is that…they (agencies) are all converging together,” Dureza said.

“We have to work together to have sustainable peace and development,” he added. ###

OPAPP to lead culmination of Peace Consciousness Month in Davao

DAVAO CITY, September 27 – A peace concert, the unveiling of a peace quilt, and a motorcade are just some of the activities lined for the celebration to culminate the month-long observance of the National Peace Consciousness Month in this city on Friday.

The Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the government agency tasked to lead the peace month celebration, along with the Mindanao Peace Council and other various groups, will spearhead the culmination event at Rizal Park, located right at the heart of this city.

Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Jesus G. Dureza said the event is part of the government’s effort to sustain peace initiatives throughout the country.

“We must focus on our common goal, and that is to help create an enabling environment where sustainable peace and genuine development can take root. To do this, we must set aside our personal agenda and work for the common good. Difficult as it may seem, we can achieve this – peace by piece,” he said.

A motorcade will kick-off the culmination event at 2:00 PM. It will start at Magsaysay Park and will make its way along the main thoroughfares of the city to drum up the peace campaign onto Rizal Park.

Dureza will lead the ceremony by presenting the “State of Peace Process” under the Duterte administration.

Among the highlights of the event is the unveiling of the “People’s Aspiration for Peace.” It is a peace quilt made of various painted canvases stitched together to form a huge work of peace art. Each quilt was collected throughout the country, painted by various sectors, including victims of the armed conflict in Marawi City.

Participants are also expected to take a “Pledge for Peace” that will be led by Peace Ambassador Farahnaz Ali Ghodsinia, who is currently president of the 10th National Youth Parliament, the biggest parliamentary organization for youth in the Philippines.

Wrapping up the event is the Huni sa Kalinaw (Peace Concert) with the participation of various artists in Davao City.

OPAPP has been leading the National Peace Consciousness Month since 2004 by virtue of Proclamation No. 675, declaring the month of September as Peace Month.

The objective of the month-long celebration is to instill greater consciousness and understanding among the Filipino people on the comprehensive peace process.

It also aims to sustain institutional and popular support for the building of a culture of peace in the country.

This year’s theme is “Mithiing Kapayapaan, Sama-samang Isakatuparan,” with the carrier tagline “Peace Na Tayo.” ###

Bangsamoro youth leaders commit to peacebuilding

COTABATO CITY, September 21, 2018 – “We want to contribute in the Bangsamoro once it is established so that the legislators can see that the youth have a place in all this.”

This was the sentiment of 22-year-old Bryan Gonzales at the close of the three-day “MasterPEACE: Bangsamoro Youth Model Parliament” held in this city.

Gonzales, a member of the National Society of Parliamentarians (NPS), joined around 80 other Bangsamoro youth leaders in manifesting their commitment to building a culture of peace in the Bangsamoro region during the summit, which concluded today.

“Ang maganda dito (summit), sa kabubuuan ng Bangsamoro region, represented ang lahat ng kabataan at naririnig ang kanilang boses,” he said.

(The good thing about  this summit is that the youth sector of the entire Bangsamoro region is well-represented and their voices are heard.)

The summit included a simulation program in which the participants acted as district representatives, party representatives, and sectoral representatives under the prospective Bangsamoro Parliament.

The Bangsamoro youth discussed critical issues in peacebuilding as they crafted and deliberated on proposed bills at the committee level and plenary sessions.

‘Yong setup ng Bangsamoro Parliament is hard to facilitate because it is very different from Congress,” Gonzales said. “At least dito nakikita namin kung ano ‘yong mga pagkukulang, mga procedural issues na p’wede ma-resolve, and mag-introduce ng reforms.”

(The setup of the Bangsamoro Parliament is hard to facilitate because it is very different from Congress. At least in this simulation program, we can see which areas need improvement, what procedural issues need to be resolved, and what reforms we can introduce.)

One of the proposals made during the plenary session was the integration of conflict transformation and peacebuilding awareness through peace education in the Bangsamoro.

The proposed bills were turned over to the Regional Legislative Assembly through Assemblywoman Irene P. Tillah.

During her remarks, Youth Peace Ambassador Farrah Ghodsinia encouraged her fellow youth leaders to be proactive in promulgating peace in their respective regions.

“They have to hear our voice and we have to make our voice known because this future community that we have, this future region, it is we who are going to live in it. That is why we need to be active in achieving what we want to see,” she said.The “MasterPEACE: Bangsamoro Youth Model Parliament” is the third installment of the MasterPEACE series and is in line with the celebration of National Peace Consciousness Month every September.

It was spearheaded by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, co-organized by the Democratic Leadership and Active Civil Society Empowerment (DELACSE) Bangsamoro, a European Union-funded project implemented by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Philippines, and the Institute for Autonomy and Governance. It was done in partnership with the NSP. ###

 

OPAPP lauds exchange programs’ role in peacebuilding

DAVAO CITY, September 17, 2018 — The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said international exchange programs have been instrumental not just in sustaining diplomatic ties between the Philippine and other countries but, more importantly, in helping the country in its quest for just and lasting peace.

In a keynote address delivered for him by OPAPP Assistant Secretary Dickson Hermoso yesterday at the Alumni Reconnects-Eastern Mindanao held at the Marco Polo Hotel in this city, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said exchange programs such as the United States government’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) have strengthened the long-standing relationship between the US and the Philippines.

“The IVLP is just one of the the many programs brought by our partnerships with different countries. Our partners, like the United States of America, are very instrumental in our work for peace,” Dureza said.

“We have not forgotten the contributions of our partners in ensuring that peace is moving forward in the country. These people have been with us as we work peace by piece,” he added.

Dureza also highlighted the crucial role of the IVLP in reinforcing cultural and socio-economic ties between the two countries that have been allies for decades.

“The IVLP has not only allowed exchanges of ideas and the sharing of cultures between our country and America, it has also given us an opportunity to learn innovative practices to address the problems here in the Philippines,” he said.

“As we continue working — whether it be in the government, in the business sector, academe, or civil society organizations — it is important to share to others what we have learned,” he added.

Dureza likewise acknowledged the contribution of the international development community in the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

The BOL, signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on July 27, 2018, is a landmark measure that is expected to bring lasting peace and sustainable development in Mindanao.

“Recently, after the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, many countries expressed their trust and confidence in our work. They said they will continue to support the new Bangsamoro government financially, technically, and in many other means,” Dureza said.

“This shows us that there is an overwhelming international recognition of our work. It is an affirmation of the effectiveness of President Rodrigo Duterte in leading our country towards just and sustainable peace,” he added.

Dureza called on the alumni of the various US exchange programs to continue supporting the peacebuilding efforts of the national government and become agents of peace and development.

“Help us, in small or big ways, in pushing the peace agenda of the administration. We need to help our President, the first Mindanaoan to hold the highest position in the land, in his goal of achieving just and lasting peace in the country,” he said. ###

OPAPP gears for youth participation in peacebuilding

PASAY CITY, September 13, 2018 – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) today presented the roadmap for the crafting of the National Action Plan for Youth, Peace, and Security (NAPYPS) during the first day of the National Youth Peace Table Summit being held in this city.

In  his message, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza expressed pride in the peace initiatives of the 80 young participants, saying these will be integrated in the promotion and institutionalization of peace.

“We are hoping that this group of yours will become a nucleus of what could be a very capacitated group that could eventually already establish your own peace tables in your communities. Your work now is just really to share the skills, the capacity, and invite the support that you need,” Dureza said.

“That is the reason we provide whatever support that is needed in your big work ahead,” he added.

The upcoming NAPYPS is in response to United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2250 which recognizes the youth’s efforts in peacebuilding and provides a set of guidelines upon which policies and programs will be developed by member states, the UN, and civil society.

The NAPYPS will be based on the OPAPP Youth Peace Table’s (YPT) series of nationwide consultations with different youth organizations. It will support the Filipino youth’s positive contribution to the peace process and conflict-resolution initiatives.

Since 2017, OPAPP has been partnering with young leaders from various regions involved in peacebuilding to gather their recommendations and insights in the drafting of the youth peace agenda.

The partnership is also aimed at deepening the youth leaders’ appreciation of peace education and sowing the seeds for a new roster of peace leaders.

The three-day National Youth Peace Table Summit runs from September 13 to 15 and is anchored on the 2018 National Peace Consciousness Month’s theme “Mithing Kapayapaan, Sama-samang Isakatuparan – Peace Na Tayo!”

OPAPP Conflict Prevention and Management Director Ferdinand Jovita said the event is “not just a commemoration” but a challenge to the youth on how they will apply the youth programs in their lives.

“A document is just a manifestation of what we have, but the real thing is how these formulated pillars will be lived by the youth of the Philippines,” he said.

OPAPP’s YPT is a partnership with the United Nations Development Program, together with the National Youth Commission, Teach Peace Build Peace Movement (TBPBM), Miriam College’s Center for Peace Education, Generation Peace, and Peace Tech.

###

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