Picong, Lanao del Sur (August 28, 2011) – Mayors, generals, soldiers joined thousands of residents in the provinces, cities and municipalities of Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga de Sur and Lanao del Sur in signing up for the One Million Voices for Peace (OMVP) in the Philippines campaign launched by the Davao-based regional advocacy organization, Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID).
The campaign has been adopted by the Kilos Kapayapaan at Katarungan, KILOS (Action for Peace and Justice), a newly formed national coalition of major peace networks in the country.
The OMVP is a multi-media campaign that calls on the Philippine government and the two major rebel groups in the country, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) to resolutely seek a peaceful, just and negotiated settlement in addressing the root causes of the nation’s armed conflicts. Among the features of the campaign in the collection of signatures on a one-paragraph petition that calls for the “silencing of guns, and resolutely confront the roots of the armed conflict on the negotiating table”
Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat and Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) Commander Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer led the first batch of signatories to the campaign in the send-off activities of the ongoing Duyog (Solidarity) Mindanao Run for Peace and Solidarity for Mindanao in Zamboanga City last August 21. They were joined by leaders of academe, religious and civil society organizations. Among them were Ms. Grace Rebollos, President of the Western Mindanao State University (WIMSU) who hosted the send-off forum.
Officials from the municipalities of Curuan, Tungawan likewise signed the simple but robust petition which will be formally launched on September 21 which is the International Day of Peace. The campaign will run till December 10, International Human Rights Day.