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PIA Press Release

TF North Cotabato leads "March for Peace"

Koronadal City (9 June) -- Task Force North Cotabato (TFNC) in coordination with the Local Government Units (LGUs), Local Government Agencies (LGAs), Non-Government Organization (NGOs), People's Organizations (POs) Philippine National Police (PNP) in the area organized and facilitated the conduct of "Martsa Para sa Kalinaw" (March for Peace Program).

It also participated in by more than 3,000 members of religious sector led by Fr. Fred Epiz, members of the Catalyst for Peace Mindanao, Poblacion Kidapawan City Barangay Officials and other different sectors composed of teachers and students; local government officials; youth sectors; media; business sector; rebel returnees; indigenous peoples; Muslim community; transport Group; non-government and people's organizations.

The program proper started with Ecumenical Mass. Followed by a video presentation and the bloodletting at the program area.

The said program aimed to denounce the violent means of "Armed Struggle" being waged by the enemy of the state specially the New Peoples Army of the CPP just in time as they were celebrating their 40th Anniversary.

The program also aimed to reduce the support and capability of various threat groups that are waging armed struggle against the government through conduct of different dialogue/symposium and information dissemination on communist insurgency, organizers said.

In an interview with the Philippine Information Agency 12, Colonel Edwin O. Canete said that among the highlights of the said activity were the motorcade, march or walk from City Cathedral to City Plaza, Kidapawan Proper.

Canete said that insurgency persists because of the wrong notion that it is problem to be addressed by the military alone. Defeating insurgency requires a holistic approach considering its social, economic, political and psychological dimensions. The military can only suppress armed rebellion but the "legal struggle", which the civil government is unable to address, will continue to give life and strength to the communist insurgency.

Canete also disclosed that the presence of the armed NPA is an obstacle to the country's development. Comparative data indicate that whenever the NPA increases its strength, the inflow of foreign capital decreases and vice versa. The armed struggle must be completely eliminated not by suppression but by removing the support system that enabled it to survive in the last 40 years.

Hon. Rodolfo Y. Gantuangco, Mayor of Kidapawan City supports the program as he delivered his welcome remarks during the march for peace program at the City Plaza, Kidapawan City.

The program ended with a peace ceremony with the release of white balloons by representative from each participating groups and followed by the shouting of "No to Armed struggle and no to violence" and a concert from a Catalyst for Peace Band. (KAlbay/PIA 12) [top]

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