‘Biggest’ parade kicks off Week of Peace today PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 November 2012 14:48

Zamboanga City’s biggest and grandest parade each year will once again be witnessed and participated today, Nov. 29, by thousands of local residents to usher in the Week of Peace 2012 celebration.

Some 30,000 students and their teachers, civil and religious society members, government personnel including policemen, soldiers and other law enforcers, urban poor, barangay officials and many others have signified their intention to participate. 

The parade will kick off from Pettit Barracks not later than 7:00 a.m. nd will weave around the main streets. It will end at the Enriquez Sports Complex. 

At the complex, the parade will be capped with the Week’s opening program, where Mayor Celso Lobregat is set to deliver a message.  Earlier, the chief executive issued Executive Order No. CL 483- 2012, “ An Act Declaring the period from November 29, 2012 to December 05, 2012 as Mindanao Week of Peace”.  In it, he enjoined all sectors to observe in meaningful ways and participate in the Week’s activities.

By virtue of two Presidential Proclamations and its adoption by the Bishops-Ulama Conference back in 1999, the Week of Peace is celebrated Mindanao-wide as well. Peace Advocates Zamboana (PAZ) pioneered it in 1997.

This Week’s local theme is “Journeying Towards Sustainable Peace in Mindanao”.

In a statement, the Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP), which spearheads the event, said:

“As we celebrate once again the Week of Peace this year of 2012, we do so with a sense of joy and fulfillment that is far greater than in such past events.  We are certain that our peace-building advocacy, whose 14 years of annual Week of Peace has been its flagship project, has nudged both our national government and the Bangsamoro rebellion towards the enactment of the “Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro” (FAB) that they signed and sealed on October 15 in Manila.  Let us make Week of Peace 2012 our grassroot celebration of and dedication to this landmark agreement. . . Let is strive for and realize Truth, Reconciliation and Justice for all peoples in Mindanao. Peace rests on these pillars. May this Week of Peace open our hearts and minds to these tenets and principles and thus make us wiser advocates.”

On Friday, IRSMP members will visit Recodo barangay for a solidarity cum historical-cultural get-together with local leaders and folks.  Other activities during the Week will be jail visitations, medical mission, school and youth events, the Peaceweavers Awards program, a regional forum by Zamboanga Integrated Development Alliance, Inc. and National Anti-Poverty Commission, and the traditional torch parade culminating the celebration.

This year’s Peaceweaver awardees are the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panels, Dumingag municipal mayor Nacenciano Pacalioga, Basilan Division Schools Superintendent Hilda Babon, Panglima Mohammad Salih “Oloh” Biri and the late city councilor and career education leader Roberto Villares. — Peace Advocates Zamboanga