ISP launches Week of Peace 2013, urges speedy rehab of evacuees PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 10:44

The Interreligious Solidarity for Peace (ISP) on Saturday called on “government – and other humanitarian agencies – to immediately rehabilitate the thousands of destitute, displaced and generally neglected families especially those whose houses were burned by extending to them even temporary but adequate shelters while the government is studying how to re-develop their communities”.

This was one of the appeals made by the ISP in its Week of Peace 2013 statement when it launched the annual event last Saturday, November 9 in Marcian Business Hotel, this city, before a gathering of government and non-government organizations. With the theme of “Lord, Heal our Land”, the Week will be celebrated Mindanao-wide on November 28 – December 5.

At the same occasion, ISP also unveiled its emergency multi-NGO program to assist evacuees and other victims of the Sept. 9 MNLF attack.  Dubbed “RE-UNIDOS”, the program intends to synergize the city’s civil society organizations to primarily heal the trauma and social and cultural hostility created by the massive rebel assault and consequent destruction suffered by the population including sectors and institutions. The healing, ISP lead convenor Fr. Angel Calvo told the gathering, revolves around the rehabilitation of the victims and restoration of their lost means of livelihood and on to the alleviation of their psycho-social sufferings.

The ISP in its statement also urged Congress to conduct an inquiry on the attack “to determine the facts and truths in the MNLF attack, to enable us to embrace this fate, to forgive and reconcile and move forward, to render justice upon the guilty (be they rebels, looters, arsonists and others criminally liable).”

It also asked “government both local and national to take a deeper, wiser look at their peace processes and policies, involvement and concerns to enable all stakeholders to agree and participate towards the establishment of real, just and durable peace despite the tremendously difficult and complex historical, cultural and geo-political problems behind the age-old conflicts in Mindanao”.

The Week’s celebration will start with a prayer rally (instead of the usual parade) at Paseo del Mar in the morning of November 28.  The other activities are listed in the Facebook account of Peace Advocates Zamboanga, as well as the full text of the Week of Peace 2013 official statement.)

Fr. Calvo also urges schools, barangays and other organizations to hold their own Week of Peace activities to help people appreciate the importance of peace and its ways in community building and the achievement of human security and welfare.

The Week will be capped with a fluvial parade by Badjao evacuees along the Cawa-Cawa coast instead of the celebration’s traditional torch parade around the city. — Peace Advocates Zamboanga