QUEZON CITY— Mayor Herbert Bautista and local officials here have joined peace advocates to heighten the nation’s consciousness, understanding and sustaining of institutional and popular support to build a culture of peace as they received the “Peace Buzz” that will bring messages and prayers of peace to different provinces in the country.
The Peace Buzz (bus) rolled-off from the Cordillera on Thursday and arrived at the site of the “World Peace Bell” in Quezon City on Friday morning, to continue the journey that will bring messages of peace and prayers to as far as Mindanao to symbolize the country’s continuing quest for genuine and lasting peace.
The event is part of the celebration of National Peace Consciousness Month this September.
Bautista said “the celebration of peace is an international event established through a unanimous United Nations resolution, a time when all of humanity can commit to observing peace despite the differences. The commemoration of this month is especially important because we are in troubled times.”
“Just remember that peace is the ultimate freedom and the best safety net that we can assure for all our countrymen,” he added.
The peace advocates rang the World Peace Bell five times, signifying the five letters of the world PEACE.
The World Peace Bell in Quezon City was chosen as venue for Quezon City to receive the Peace Buzz caravan of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process or OPAPP that will journey from northern Philippines to the south in Mindanao to further give relevance to the occasion and remind the nation that each one has a role to take, for peace to be attained.
Taking the task of passing on Cordillera’s peace message and prayers to the next stop of the Peace Buzz and continuing with the chain of the peace journey of the OPAPP, Bautista said the Quezon City government “is honored to be partner with OPAPP and with all of you in supporting the advocacy to promote a culture of peace based on non-violence, respect for right and freedom, tolerance, understanding and solidarity.”
OPAPP deputy presidential adviser, Undersecretary Nabil A. Tan, said “the Peace Buzz signifies a journey, not a destination that is why peace is a process.”
He said that the country has been wanting to have total development so that it can have peace throughout the country.
“That is why as we travel, from one point from the north to the south, we will be carrying the message of peace. We have gone a long way in our quest for peace, but we still have many steps to make and there will be challenges,” he added.
Tan said “the road to peace is not well paved. There will be humps and bumps. There will be challenges along the way but we should manage also our expectations,” and contribute to its attainment.
Peace, he said, is not just for the government to work on, but should be an effort from everyone.
He said the government needs everybody’s participation for the country to attain lasting peace.
“That is why we should always continue to engage the different peace tables from the youth, to the vulnerable sectors, the women, the youth, persons with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples not only the Bangsamoro, but the IPs in the different parts of the country.”
Tan asked for the understanding of all sectors, especially the groups who have issues to raise to the government. “We believe that each one has their own issues to speak about and we believe that the signing of a peace agreement does not end all things and it will mean overnight peace. Peace is so elusive. Peace will take time to nurture. Peace will have to be prayed and done and pushed by all of us, not only government but all of us.”
Tan said the root cause of the peace and order problem of the country must be addressed and the signing of the peace agreements is not the end-all solution.
The peace bus journeyed from the Cordilleras and had its first stop in Quezon City. It will go to Legazpi and other cities in Visayas and Mindanao before it culminates the journey in Marawi.
On Thursday, during the send-off activity in Baguio, an interfaith prayer and messages of peace were said by an elder Cordillera woman, a Muslim religious leader, religious sector heads, the youth, the Armed Forces, Police and leaders of the Cordillera Regional Development Council and Peace and Order Council. PNA-northboundasia.com