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Mindanao NGOs conduct peace mission in JTF Marawi

Lt. Col. Jo-ar Hererra (left), spokesperson of Task Force Marawi receives a symbolic flag of Mindanao Peace Weavers "Kambabid-babid" solidarity and peace mission from Gus Miclat, MPW secretary general at JTF Marawi headquarters on June 20, 2017. (Photo: JTF Marawi)

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 22 -- The Mindanao Peace Weavers (MPW) group of non-government organizations held its "KAMBABID-BABID" 70-delegation peace and solidarity mission at the Joint Task Force Marawi headquarters in Marawi City on June 20, 2017.

Since 2003, the MPW has been conducting peace-building initiatives by engaging the government, security sector, and the other peace stakeholders for meaningful participation of civil society on matters of peace, security and development.

The group led by peace advocates from the religious sector, women leaders, educators, civil society organizations and humanitarian volunteers from Manila and the Visayas offered words of wisdom through prayers, support and sympathy.

"As peace advocates, the situation in Marawi breaks our hearts as we continue to monitor how the prolonged engagement with the Maute group is taking a heavy toll on the number of the fallen in the unfolding days. Our hearts also bleed for the innocent children, women, and elderly who have fled, bled, died or still continue to be trapped in the city for more than three weeks now," said Gus Miclat, executive director of Initiatives for International Dialogue and secretary general of MPW

“Violent extremism is a scourge that we need to fully address as a nation. Let the continuing saga of Marawi being torn apart serve as a reminder that have to do our part in the fight against violent and terroristic acts. We appreciate that the government offered the Independence Day commemoration as a tribute to our fallen soldiers and policemen. We hope to offer the same recognition to the civilians who have died in the siege. We would like to accord them the respect they deserve,” Miclat said.

The mission is part of MPW’s “Duyog Ramadhan,” which for many years has been part of a tradition among non-Moro peace advocates in promoting interfaith and cultural understanding and dialogue during the Ramadhan season.

The delegation was composed of 70 peace advocates from other provinces of Mindanao, Metro Manila and the Visayas including Lanao civil-society organizations, Ranao Rescue Team, and Saving Lives Movement.

Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautista, Commander of Joint Task Force Marawi said: “We appreciate the Mindanao Peace Weavers’ initiatives in being one with the Armed Forces’ advocacy in promoting peace and unity among Filipinos in Mindanao. If every Filipino would embrace the ideals of peace loving and God-fearing attitude of MPW delegates, we are well on our way to a united and prosperous nation.” (DPAO, 1ID)
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