MESSAGE

Of the Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace, Zamboanga City, at the closing of the Mindanao Week of Peace 2007 celebration.

As the Mindanao Week of Peace 2007 celebration, which was observed from November 29 to December 5, 2007, comes to a close, the Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRMSP) congratulates as well as thanks all those who took part in or supported in any way its various advocacy activities in Zamboanga City. The more than 30,000 people from different sectors who marched with placards and streamers calling for peace in the opening day parade demonstrated, once again, the Unity and Solidarity that ever inflames our unwavering search for this precious, achievable dream.

The Week’s theme prepared by the Bishops-Ulama Conference (BUC) is “Building Bridges of Peace With Our Peace Officers”. The theme is highly appropriate and insightful for our time. We live in a time of actual or threatened manifold violence arising from deep social and political fragmentation and polarization in Mindanao, in the Philippine nation, and in the world. The rule of law, with peace officers such as policemen and soldiers to enforce it, is one of the democratic institutions that conserve and enhance peace and security. In our dialogues with the Armed Forces and Philippine National Police during the Week, we noted with appreciation that their warrior ethos is significantly fortified by a new, enlightened humanitarianism, yet responsive to civilian supremacy and misery. This deserves everyone’s constructive engagement and encouragement.

The Week’s celebration should continuously foster amongst us the “building of bridges of peace”, which at best takes the form of respectful cooperation and collaboration between and among all sectors and citizens of our society. With appreciation and hopefulness we note, too, the growing peace-making activism of our youths, in our City and throughout Mindanao, by which they become in their persons brave, living bridges of peace. Bridges in all their amazing senses and diversity are, indeed, indispensable in our winding journeys to individual and communal peace and well-being. Only by our morally courageous bridges can we cross as well as close the evil divide between poverty and social and economic justice, between political marginalization and equality and empowerment.

Thus we look forward with joy and hope in our solidarity, founded on our faith in and union with our Loving God, Who gives peace, Who is Peace. Human peace is in our hands and in the heart of our struggles only when only God rules and reigns there.

Zamboanga City, December 5, 2007.

BY THE INTER-RELIGIOUS SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT FOR PEACE:

FR. ANGEL A. CALVO, CMF
Convenor, Roman Catholic Church

JAAFAR KIMPA
Convenor, Islam

RONALD BILANG
Convenor, Evangelical Churches

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