Thousands usher in Week of Peace ’12 with 3-hour parade PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 November 2012 14:41

At least 30,000 residents of Zamboanga City joined a three-hour parade this morning (November 29) to usher in the 15th annual celebration of Week of Peace 2012.
The parade was led by Christian and Muslim religious leaders, most of them members of the Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP).

Participants included private and public schools students and teachers, urban poor, policemen, soldiers, government personnel, civic organizations, barangay officials, civil societies, persons with disability, street children, and others.

The parade reeled off from Pettit Barracks and ended at the Joaquin Enriquez, Jr. Memorial Sport Complex.

An opening day program was held at the complex, where Mayor Celso Lobregat delivered a message wherein he urged residents to read the recently-signed Framework
Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) for them to better appreciate the peace deal.

In his welcome remarks, IRSMP lead convenor and Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) president Fr. Angel Calvo said the FAB offers prospects that real peace will finally be restored in Mindanao.  The FAB was signed between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) negotiating panels last month in Manila.  It lays down a roadmap that will lead to the creation of a new Muslim autonomous government in Mindanao by not later than 2016.

Msgr. Crisologo Manungas read the Week of Peace statement of the Bishops-Ulama Conference,  who has spearheading the Mindanao-wide observance since 1999. Muslim convenor Prof. Ali T. Yacub read the message of IRSMP.  The local celebration theme is “Towards Sustainable Peace in Mindnaao”.

During the program, the Department of Agriculture and Philippine Rice Research Institute launched the 2013 Year of Rice, intended to educate the country in rice production, conservation and use.

The program was capped by mass dance mostly by youth participants in the oval of the complex. — Peace Advocates Zamboanga