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PIA Press Release
2010/02/01

OPAPP 'Projects for Peace' sortie troops to Iloilo February 3

Manila (1 February) -- After successful stops in Manila and Davao, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) goes to Iloilo City Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010, for the third and final leg of its "Projects for Peace" program.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Annabelle Abaya is expected to meet with stakeholders and other socio-civic groups and individuals to strongly participate in the peace process undertaken by the government.

The first leg of the program was held last Wednesday (Jan. 27, 2010) at the Astoria Plaza Hotel in Ortigas, Pasig while the 2nd leg was staged in Davao City last Friday (Jan. 29).

The "Peace Partners' Forum" aims to tap civil society as partners in the implementation of projects that would help in peace-building measure.

"This program is in accordance with the government's mission to reach its arms of peace to rebel groups," Abaya said.

OPAPP believes that with the help of partners from civil society, the process of attaining peace will be at hand sooner than expected.

"The civil society knows best in identifying what projects are to be undertaken in their own locality that would redound to the benefit and welfare of the people in their respective communities," Abaya explained.

Abaya said the program will be highlighted by updates on the implementation of the National Peace Plan (NPP) and the current thrusts and direction of the comprehensive peace process.

"They will also be briefed on the 'Project for Peace' as a comprehensive program of partnership between government and civil society," she added.

Abaya said the Arroyo administration is determined to forge separate peace accords with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Communist Party of the Philippines.

The "Project for Peace" program is one of OPAPP's way to promote widespread awareness and genuine acceptance of the government-MILF peace accord, especially in directly affected target areas within the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and other parts of the Mindanao as well.

Among the target areas are tribes and clans belonging to separatist Moro groups, Christian population within the ARMM who constitute the majority and Lumads residing in ancestral lands within and outside the ARMM.

The program also aims to create high positive awareness of the Peace Accord among the general population of Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines.

The OPAPP also wants to encourage engagement and participation of people in the activities and initiatives for the peace process, like reflective dialogues and public conversations.

"Our program aims to appeal to the emotions and heart of people in order to stimulate attention and sympathy for peace efforts," Abaya said. (PIA) [top]

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