From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 21): Yes for Peace, govt. agencies assert peace as a human right
Peace advocates recently unveiled a marker to underscore the call of more than 11.2-million Filipinos for the permanent cessation of hostilities between government forces and all armed groups.
Mr. Ernesto Alcanzare, lead organizer for Yes for Peace - Bayanihan para sa Kapayapaan, Kaunlaran at Kasaganahan said the spate of killings of Lumads (indigenous people) in Surigao del Sur, which once again brought out the ugly effects of armed conflicts, prompted them to unveil the Yes for Peace Rock at the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, Palma Hall, University of the Philippines, Diliman.
"The marker also symbolizes their call for the conduct of peace negotiations here in the Philippines instead of abroad and for the collective involvement and participation of all stakeholders in implementing programs and projects agreed upon and may be agreed upon in open and participatory peace talks,” Alcanzare said.
For his part, Commission on Human Rights chairman Martin Gascon, who attended the simple ceremonies, recalled in his speech, “Yes for Peace started as Di-Yes for Peace more than two decades ago and convinced the UP Board of Regents to declare all UP campuses a Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality.”
Gascon also reminded officers and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police of their duty to protect the human rights of the Filipino people.
Meanwhile, General Hernando DCA Iriberri, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines assured the Filipino people that, “the AFP through the IPSP Bayanihan will continue its pursuit of peace with utmost respect for human rights and emphasis on the role of our stakeholders. The AFP will remain as the staunch and reliable ally of our peace-loving citizens in wining and securing the peace for our country.”
For his part, PDG Ricardo C Marquez, Chief, Philippine National Police emphasized that, “there is a need to encourage all government agencies to participate in various activities to instill greater public awareness and understanding of the meaning and culture of peace as well as its process.”
For her part, Dean Grace Aguiling – Dalisay of the UP College of Social Sciences and Philosophy said that while the Yes for Peace Rock is important to mark what has happened, it is more important that more people know more what Yes for Peace is all about. “
For more information on Yes For Peace and how to be part of its advocacy, please visit its website at www.yesforpeace.com.