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Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – September 29, 2022

The Western Mindanao through the Joint Task Force Zamboanga and 4th Civil Relations Group and in partnership with the Western Mindanao State University and PNP Police Regional Office 9 conducted an activity to promote a culture of peace.

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In connection with the celebration of National Peace Consciousness Month, the security sector and the academe initiated the conduct of a peace education-related activity with the theme: “Pagkakaisa at Paghilom: Isang Bansa para sa Kapayapaan. The activity was held at the WMSU Gymnasium on September 28, 2022. More than 2,000 students and youth group representatives participated in the activity.

Highlights of the activity are the sharing of peace stories, oath-taking of a new set of WMSU Youth Peace Mediator UNESCO Club, sharing of peace initiatives, signing of peace commitment, and peace slogan-making contest.

Jeffrey “Ka Eric” Celiz, the Secretary General of Sentrong Alyansa ng mga Mamamayan para sa Bayan (SAMBAYANAN), an association of former members of the New People’s Army, shared his testimony regarding the scourge and impact of the CPP-NPA-NDF on the lives of the vulnerable members of society most especially the youth and students.

WMSU President Dr. Ma. Carla Ochotorena, PRO9 Regional Director Police Brig. Gen. Neil Alinsañgan, Zamboanga City 1st District Representative Khymer Adan Olaso, and City Mayor John Dalipe gave their inspirational messages.

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Meanwhile, Maj. Andrew Linao, the Commander of the 4th Civil Relations Group shared the peace initiatives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ WestMinCom. According to Maj. LInao, the armed forces promotes the culture of peace through the conduct of Community Support Programs, Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program, Small Arms and Light Weapons Program, Balik-Barangay Program, Youth Leadership Summit, and other government-initiated programs. Maj. Linao explained to the participants the background and benefits of each program.

According to Joint Task Force Zamboanga Commander, Col. Randolph Rojas, the objectives of the activity are to empower the youth and encourage active participation in the nation and peace-building activities, to establish a youth organization that will be recognized as the government’s official partner in implementing peace and development programs, and to educate the youth about the government peace initiatives.

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Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command, expressed his appreciation to Dr. Ochotorena, Police Brig. Gen. Alinsañgan, Col. Rojas, and Maj. Linao for coming up with such an activity which is a good venue to educate the youth and prevent them from being victimized by the enemies of the state.

“I hope that this will just be the first of many more collaborations to promote the culture of peace in our area of operation,” Lt. Gen. Rosario, Jr. added.

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