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PIA Press Release

Soldiers join peace caravan

Davao City (3 December) -- Army soldiers from the 10th Infantry Division joined on Tuesday, November 30, the peace caravan launched by the Department of Education, Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao (AFRIM), Universal Peace Federation and students from different secondary schools in Davao City. The event was conducted in support to the Mindanao Week of Peace 2010 and coincided with the celebration of Andres Bonifacio day.

The peace caravan started with a program held at the Binugao National High School in Barangay Binugao, Toril District, Davao City with the presence of representatives from DepEd, AFRIM, UPF, 10th Infantry Division and students and faculties of said school. Mr. Edgar R. Villasorda, school principal, thanked the organizers of the peace caravan who chose his school as venue of the event.

He said, "Indeed, we are deeply honored and proud to be a part this very historic event where peacemakers, peace loving people, peace advocates from DepEd, from the AFP, LGU, stakeholders are earnestly and collaboratively engaged and loaded over the implementation of this program."

This year's theme for the celebration of the Mindanao Week of Peace celebration is "Response and Responsible Governance: Key to Peace, Development and Sustainability".

From Binugao, participants to the peace caravan joined the motorcade in going to Talomo Central Elementary School. The military proudly declared its support to the peace program by displaying streamers in its vehicles containing the message, "The 10th Infantry Division Peace and Development Outreach Program supports Mindanao Week of Peace!" Another program was held at said school with the participation of its students and faculties.

In the afternoon of same day, a peace forum was held at the AL Navarro National High School located in Barangay Lasang, Davao City with the participation of more a thousand crowd composed of students and teachers, and representatives from the event organizers. Mr. Welito Rosal, school principal, emphasized the importance of institutionalization and integration of the Peace Education in the curriculum of the DepED and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). In talking to her colleagues, she said, "Let us all be peace educators".

The AFP, as partner in peace advocacy, presented a briefing entitled "Getting to know your Army" to the teachers and student leaders of said school. Captain Amado Gutierrez of the Philippine Army discussed the adverse effects of insurgency to the peace and development of the country and to the lives of all Filipinos including the students.

Emphasizing the soldiers' aspiration to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao, Captain Gutierrez said, "The very first persons who will want peace are the soldiers, because every time there is armed conflict, the military are there in the frontlines to protect human lives." He also encouraged everybody to take part in resolving the conflict. "Insurgency is everyone's concern", he clarified.

The soldiers also joined parlor games organized for the peace caravan and showed video presentations of the AFP's multifarious roles in peace and development efforts. The students were also amazed and entertained by the presentation of the 10th Infantry Division marching band. Major Senon Novo, the Commander of Metro Davao Community Defense Center (CDC) challenged the audience by saying, "Aksyon na lang ang kailangan, ipinakita na lahat ng mga speakers ang challenges to attain peace".

While these events were going on, a peace forum was also held at the office of the Bishop Ulama Conference located at the 5th Floor of the Karpentrade Building in Matina, Davao City where representatives from the different sectors were present. During the forum, Colonel Romeo Santiago Nebres, Deputy Commander of the AFP's Eastern Mindanao Command spoke about the support programs for the attainment of lasting peace in the region.

The 10th Infantry Division has already deployed more than 200 peace and development teams in the different barangays to promote peace in its area of responsibility. (10th ID PA) [top]

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