Zamboanga City September 13 – The GRP-MNLF Final Peace Agreement will mark its 10th anniversary with a two-day conference-cum-visit to the Eleven Islands on September 15 and 16 this year.
According to Dr. Rufina Arañez-Cruz, Officer-in-Charge of the WMSU- Office of the VP for Research, Extension and Development, the two-day activities are designed to highlight the gains made duirng the ten-year long peace building process in Mindanao.
The conference dubbed as “Revising the Gains of the Mindanao Peace Process” will be held at the Crystal Ballroom, Astoria Hotel this city.
Zamboanga City Mayor Celso L. Lobergat will deliver the welcome remarks while Sec. Jesus Dureza of the Office of the President Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) will be represented by Usec. Dimasangcay Pundato who will talk about the gains made during the ten-year long peace building process in Mindanao.
The other speakers include WMSU-VP for Research, Extension and Development, Dr. Grace J. Rebollos who will speak on the “Basic Concept of Peace and Human Security”, City Planning and Development Coordinator Melinda Cabato will talk about the “City Development Plan for Eleven Islands” while Ms. Diosita Andot, GOP-UN Act for Peace (Western Mindanao) will speak on the “Investment for Peace in the Eleven Island.”
The two-day activities is spearheaded by the GOP (Government of the Philippines) – United Nations Act for Peace in Coordination with WMSU-Center for Peace and Development and the Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace.
To give meaning to the observance of the 10th anniversary, the participants and guest from the cross-section of the city populance to include businessmen, city and national government officials, educators and representatives from NGOs will visit the Eleven Islands on Saturday, September 16.
The Eleven Islands was once an MNLF-rebel infested area, but with the peace agreement between the MNLF and the government panel, the islands have since been a peaceful place. Its original inhabitants have gone back to the area and began rebuilding their lives. The Eleven Islands is one of the pristine islands in the city that boast of white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and abundant marine life. (Marissa L. Makasiar – Center development, information and Communication).