November 29, 2018 (10:39 AM)

3 min read


Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Ophelia Delute opened Mindanao Week of Peace celebration through an insightful address held last Wednesday, Nov. 28. Photo by Charlotte Billy Sabanal

Invited by the college and senior high school student councils, Ophelia Delute of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) thanked the Ateneo de Davao University for its continuous and steadfast commitment in pushing forward the nation’s peace process during the launching of Mindanao Week of Peace last Nov. 28 at the Arrupe Hall.

“As a peace advocate and development worker, I have seen how AdDU [has] played a pivotal role in realizing the Duterte administration’s peace and development agenda,” she said.

“Kaya maraming salamat Ateneo sa patuloy mong pagsisipag sa aming mga mithiin at adhikain upang itaguyod itong years of war,” she added.

To celebrate the Mindanaon skills and talents, University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC) and student councils spearheaded Mindanao Week of Peace (MWOP).

“Be proud that you are born in Mindanao, be proud that you are living in Mindanao and be proud that Mindanao is your home,” Campus Clubs and Organizations (CCO) Chairperson Jorjani Sinsuat raised in his opening remarks on the commencement of the week-long event.

“Imagine a Mindanao that can take pride to its Southeast Asian region neighbors. This year, MWOP is a celebration of your talents in photography, a celebration of your talents and skills in writing, and a celebration of your leadership in student organization,” he said.

Sinsuat also emphasized that the peace situation in Mindanao is a continuous process and that this initiative by the student government is not the end product of the process but rather an experience written down in history.

“With much rhetoric being said on the peace situation in Mindanao, masasabi nating parang sirang plaka na tayong lahat. Pero hindi natatapos sa pagpapalipad ng Kalapati at pagsasagwa ng MWOP ang patungkol sa kapayapaan, ito po ay isang karanasan na patuloy na inuukit sa ating kasaysayan,” he stressed.

The MWOP, as Sinsuat discussed, will also serve as an avenue for Mindanaoans to write their own history.

“For the furthest period of time, the people of the north have crafted our future that was based on our past to distinguish us from the rest of the country. But today, on the celebration of MWOP we stand up and we say ‘no’ because this time we write our story, this time we make our history,” he said.

In its closing statement, Delute shared her experience during the Marawi siege and the social healing initiatives done by the OPAPP in the evacuation centers.

“I went to one of the evacuation camps in Maria Cristina, Iligan. Makikita niyo talaga doon na grabe ang kanilang hirap. Lahat sila nagkukumpulan sa isang gym, tapos walang proper food. Yung palaging kinakain nila ay yung mga relief na natatanggap nila from DSWD and other organization,” she said.

“After going through such traumatic experience, we (OPAPP) believe that the key to their recovery is to allow them to release their anger,” she added.

After the talk, the student councils released three Doves symbolizing the on-going peace process in Mindanao.

Subsequently, Renz Lacorte of Samahan announced the MWOP schedule of activities.

On Nov. 9, the Catholic church leaders’ peace summit in Mindanao will take place in the 11th floor of CCFC building.

Starting on Nov. 30 to Dec. 1, the National Youth Convention of Moro Youth will happen at the Finster Auditorium.

A series of Ateneo Peace Talks will occur on Dec. 3 at floor of CCFC Building.

And on Dec. 5, the Parol ng Pag-asa and Christmas tree launching as well as the MWOP closing ceremony will take place.

End the silence of the gagged!

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