PRESIDENTIAL Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Jesus Dureza on Monday, June 12, underscored the need for building social cohesion in the advocacy to attain true, just and lasting peace in Mindanao.
Dureza said prejudices, biases, and bigotry will not help but instead aggravate the situation confronting the Muslims, Christians, and Lumads.
He said conflict brings destruction and that building structures destroyed or burned during conflicts can be easily done but building back social relationships take time.
He, however, said Zamboanga City is moving forward after the 2013 siege as there now seems to be a feeling of building torn relations.
“Mas matatag kayo ngayon, I have seen it with my own eyes,” he said recounting that on Sunday, upon arrival in Zamboanga, he made the rounds of the city to interview people about the situation.
The OPAPP chief said a driver happily said to him that KCC Mall is a true example of social cohesion as it has absorbed workers regardless of faith and beliefs.
Dureza was the keynote speaker in the celebration on Monday, June 12, of the 119th Philippine Independence Day in Zamboanga City.
Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar extolled the heroism, patriotism and sacrifices of past and modern day heroes in the struggle for independence, as she spearheaded together with Dureza the commemoration of the 119th Philippine Independence Day.
Just like the pillars of independence, Rizal, Bonifacio, Aguinaldo, Vicente Alvarez and many others, the city should also be grateful and remember those who died and sacrificed their lives during the Zamboanga siege in defense of freedom, according to Salazar.
“Today, we celebrate our independence as one people, united more than ever, under one flag, one nation and one Zamboanga City,” she declared in her message during the program held at the Rizal park fronting City Hall and attended by multi-sectoral groups in the city.
Salazar reiterated her all out support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao in the wake of the continuing conflict in Marawi City.
The city of Zamboanga, she stressed is one with the nation in prayer and action for the attainment of peace and in the recovery efforts to help the displaced residents of Marawi City.