DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A multi-sectoral alliance led by the Bishops-Ulama Conference and civic society organizations here announced the celebration of the 2016 Mindanao Week of Peace, with the theme “Respect and Protect Life: A celebration of the Filipino Spirit.”
The annual week-long activity was initiated by the Peace Advocates Zamboanga in the 1990s but has since been adapted by the Bishops-Ulama Conference, a group composed of Catholic bishops, Muslim religious leaders, and Protestant bishops and pastors.
“As of now we are composed of only 12 organizing groups, but we plan to invite the leaders of every religious group to make an impact highlighting peace” said Msgr. Fernando Capalla, Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Davao.
Nor Asiah Adilao, of Silsilah Daialogue Movement said that among the objectives of the Mindanao Peace of Week 2016 is to create a “safe space” that will “build good relationships and friendships for harmony and peace among the people.”
Adilao said this is especially important for Davao City, known as a melting pot of cultures.
Now on its 17th year since 1999, the celebration is joined by non-government organizations, civic society groups, and the the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.
Col. Cornelio Arboleda, commander of the 5th Civil Relations Group of the Armed Forces of the Philippines expressed the army’s support to the peace movement.
“We have been strong advocates of the observance of the Mindanao Week of Peace. We’ve done it in Zamboanga, we’ve done it in Pagadian. Now when I heard that the event is fast approaching, representing the AFP, we decided that we’ll be again active partners of the peace advocates here in Davao to celebrate the Mindanao Week of Peace,” Arboleda said.
The activities will start with a motorcade on Nov. 24 at 3 pm from Magsaysay Park to Roxas Avenue, where an opening program will be held. Adilao said there will be forums during the week-long celebration. (davaotoday.com)