Archive for December, 2016


(Statement of the Interreligious Solidarity for Peace on the

19th Celebration of the Week of Peace in Zamboanga City)

ALMOST two decades have passed since the first celebration of the Week of Peace in 1997.  Over the years, we have continuously called for a unity in the midst of our differences, justice for those whose rights were disregarded and taken away, recognition and honor for the pains of those who have been damaged by a variety of current and historical forms of violence, and forgiveness for our own offenses against each other that continue to divide us as a community, as a nation, and as a people.  It is as basic as our survival as human beings.  It is as sublime as our noble destiny as children of a Divine Creator who keeps assuring us of the gifts of mercy and peace.

Once more, as we mark the 19th year of the Week of Peace celebration we make the urgent call for healing and reconciliation…. now more than ever!  The events of the past twelve months point to the crying need for us to consider this call in view of what has been happening in our city, in our country, and in the world today.  The grinding poverty,  the homelessness, hunger, the kidnapping and criminality,  the stubborn corruption in many establishments,  and the star issue that has seemingly become the centerpiece of all law enforcement efforts – the war on drugs.  In the political developments here and abroad,  we have witnessed  the careless use of words – either seriously or jokingly, the harm  these words do on the vulnerable sectors,  the models that are  forced upon the senses of our children. 

These have wounded us! All these and many more have driven deeper the wedges that have long divided our people.  These have made us turn against ourselves and against each other.  Leaders and the led, governments and the citizenry, the rich and the needy,  the indigenous people, the internally displaced people, the informal settlers, our rural poor in farming and fishing.   Let our wounds teach us something about ourselves. There is domestic violence in our families.  There is drug abuse among our young and adults. There is a wild hunt for money that is led by the wrong priorities. 

As a result, we journey into the future with a curious sense of justice that benefits only those whose voices are loudest – those who are in power, those who are near, and those who are at center.  Hence, we call for all-inclusive healing and reconciliation for those who are powerless, who are far, and who are at the margins.  We call them… the POOR, THE VULNERABLE AND THE VOICELESS.  .  We cannot truly claim to care, to love our neighbor, to work for justice, if we do not dare to bridge the gap that keeps us apart from them, that hinders our service to them that stops us from co-creating a better world with them.  This is the challenge of our time.  To heal, reconcile, to make peace, to be transformed in ourselves, and together to become a critical mass that can transform our society.  By all means, LET US HEAL! 


FR. ANGEL C. CALVO, CMF                             PROF. ALI T. YACUB, AL-HJ

Lead Convener, ISP                                               Muslim Convener, ISP 

President, PAZ                                                       President, GCCPBA


Evangelical Convener, ISP                                Indigenous Peoples Convener, ISP

President, ZMF                                                      Presiding Officer, ZCIPCL 

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International Human Rights Day in the Zambo

The International Human Rights Day which is being observed annually every 10th of December is also the fêted in the city with a theme, STANDOUT FOR SOMEONE’S RIGHTS TODAY. In celebration to this in Zamboanga City, ZABIDA in the collaboration with the Commission on Human Rights IX and the Department of Interior and Local Government Unit gathered together the different sectors, partner Barangay local government units, government line agencies, academe and the civil society organizations. ZABIDA, with one of its main thrusts, the HUMAN RIGHST ADVOCACY is engaged with the eight sectors in Zamboanga City. These are the Women, Children, Farmers, Youth, Internally Displaced Sectors, Indigenous Peoples, Informal Settlers and the Persons With Disabilities. This event looked back from the first implementation of the Human Rights advocacy wherein at least one of the sectors’ priority agenda were addressed and the advocacies were promoted by the sectors through lobbying with the concerned government offices. A workshop-planning with the participants were also conducted which asked them what and why they will focus the next advocacy agenda for 2017. The Commission on Human Rights in the person of Atty. Cristina Marie Eugenie J. Jimenez discussed on the establishment of a Barangay Human Rights Action Center (BHRAC) within the barangays. She challenged the BLGUs to make the BHRACenters of Zamboanga City to be a role model up to the national level. ZABIDA Chairperson, Fr. Angel C. Calvo, CMF, encouraged the sectors to be conscious of the human rights. “We have to establish our cultural, social and economic rights, we have to know and to claim for these rights,” he said. Fr. Calvo noted that he wants to see all of the sectors come together, TODAY and come out with a voice as he reiterate the theme, STANDOUT FOR SOMEONE’S RIGHTS TODAY.
One of the marginalized sectors, the FARMERS
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More than 90 teachers participated in this training to integrate peace education in the three subjects areas namely: Araling Panlipunan, Filipino, and Edukasyon Sa Pagpapakatao.

The training developed the teachers understanding on the pedagogical framework and peace integration in subject areas as the heart of peace education recently. It introduced ideas and approaches, which may come in conflict with more traditional curricula and strict school standards.

The session also emphasized that peace education is a dialogue and exploration where both teachers and the students are engaged in a journey of shared learning towards the development of values and behaviors conducive to peace.

This helped the participants become more intentional in integrating a peace education paradigm in their current peacebuilding and conflict transformation efforts. Congratulations to all teachers!


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