THE OFFICE of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) formally opened the Peace Village at SM City Davao on Sept. 11, 2023, in observance of the National Peace Consciousness Month.
The exhibit focuses on Davao Region’s milestones in peace and development, particularly on the peace gains and programs for their Friends Rescued (FR), which refers to former rebels.
The event kick-started with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by the Philippine Vice President Sara Duterte, Presidential Assistant for Eastern Mindanao (OPAMINE) Secretary Leo Tereso Magno, OPAPRU Eastern Mindanao director Atty. Elisa Evangelista-Lapiña, Davao Light and Power Company Chief Operating Officer Rodger Velasco, 1003rd Infantry Brigade commander Marion Angcao, Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Renato Pedro Villa, Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib, Second District Councilor Marissa Abella, Atty. Geoffrey Navara, and SM Assistant Vice-President for Operations Engineer Jonathan Nick Santos.
Lapiña said the peace gathering is essential in Davao Region as it serves as a reminder that “peace is everybody’s concern”.
“We could only make these peace gains sustained kung kita tanan magtinabangay aron mas muluntad pa ang kalinaw nga anaa sa atoang rehiyon (if we help each other to sustain the region’s peace),” Lapiña said.
As the co-vice chair of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Vice President Sara Duterte also said the Peace Village showcases Davao as an insurgency-free region.
“The successful end of our anti-insurgency campaign saw the impact of Peace 911. An insurgency-free Davao does not only mean our communities are already free of the New Peoples Army that terrorized our people, insurgency-free Davao City also means Davaoeños, especially those who are residing in Paquibato District, Marilog District, and Calinan District are able to sleep soundly at night,” Duterte said.
Representatives of the different provinces, regional line agencies, security sector, private peace partners, Rotary Club of Davao, GCI Duwaling, Hope Kababaihan, International Women’s Peace Group, Mindanao Peace Council, Rotary Club of Waling-waling Davao, and FRs also graced the event.
The Peace Village will run from Sept. 11 to 13 at the SM City Davao, Annex Event Center.
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