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Statement of Sec. Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. on the issuance of Executive Order 158 renaming the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process into the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity

On behalf of the men and women of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), I would like to express our deepest appreciation to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for issuing Executive Order No. 158 which re-organizes and renames OPAPP into the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU). We believe this development bodes well not only for our organization, but for the comprehensive Philippine peace process as a whole. It demonstrates the Duterte Administration’s commitment not only to build on and sustain the gains of peace, but also to bring reconciliation and unity among our people. As our agency carries out its primary mandate of helping former rebels make the successful transition to peaceful and productive civilian life, there is also a need for us to ensure that we address the roots of armed struggle so that we can finally put an end to the cycle of violence that has plagued our nation for decades. Through this multi-pronged approach of peacebuilding, reconciliation and unification, we are tearing down the walls of fear, animosity and distrust, and replacing them with bridges of peace, mutual understanding and solidarity. Now is the time for us to rebuild the torn social fabric of society so that just and long-lasting peace can take root and flourish. Over the past four years, there has not been one major incident of armed conflict in our country. This is a testament that those who used violence to promote their selfish interests have learned that nothing can be achieved through the barrel of a gun. More importantly, they have realized that good things come to those who walk the path of peace. And as we transform the lives of former combatants and help them reintegrate into mainstream society, we are also transforming as an organization. In order to better serve our peace partners, our agency must continue to evolve and improve its internal systems, structures and processes. Change must always start from within. This evolution is now being felt not only across all levels of our organization, but also by our stakeholders who are helping us implement interventions that are making an impact on the lives of our beneficiaries. Peacebuilding should be an inclusive and holistic process where everyone has a key role to play. Now as OPAPRU, we shall be maximizing the power of convergence so that we can effectively communicate the message of peace across the widest spectrum of society and rally the support of all sectors behind our collective vision – to heal the wounds caused by armed conflict and foster genuine peace, reconciliation and unity among our countrymen.

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