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VP Sara graces 'Insurgency-Free' anniversary in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (PIA) –- Vice President Sara Z. Duterte attended the Davao City’s celebration marking the first year anniversary of the city’s insurgency-free declaration on Wednesday, May 24, at Davao City’s Rizal Park.

 “One year ago today, we Dabawenyos claimed our freedom. Freedom from the shackles of a group that has, for decades, through a bloody armed struggle, perpetuated a cycle of violence that trapped many poor Filipino families, especially those living in the countryside such as our lumad brothers and sisters,” the Vice President said in her speech.

It can be recalled that a year ago, the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Davao approved Resolution No. 115-22, which declared Davao City insurgency-free as of March 24, 2022

Vice President Sara Duterte takes a groufie with peace builder Irene Santiago, who is the brains behind Peace 911, and former rebel Ariane Ramos, who is now a law student.

Also gracing the  anniversary of the victory celebration were Davao City Vice Mayor J Melchor Quitain Jr., Eastern Mindanao Command chief  Lt General Greg Almerol, 10th Infantry Division Commander MGen Jose Eriel Niembra, Police Regional Office XI Regional Director PBGen Alden Delvo, 1003rd Brigade commander Col Marion Angcao, Davao City Councilors, Davao City local government department heads, Peace 911 officials and peacebuilders, and other public officials.

In her message the Vice President recognized the accomplishments of the local leaders, military and police officials. She cited the Peace 911 Project that helped the city in bringing peace to Paquibato.

She thanked peace advocate and adviser Inday Irene Santiago, the woman behind Peace 911.

“Our story in the Paquibato District is one for the books. It is a shining example of a successful anti-terrorism campaign made possible by the collaboration of various sectors through the program Peace 911 by the local government of Davao. And let me just make a special mention to the person who created Peace 911 and we, Dabawenyos, will forever be grateful for the passion to work on peace not only in Davao City but the entire country — Ma’am Inday Irene Santiago. Daghan kaayong salamat, ma’am, for all the work that you do for our country,” Vice President Duterte said.

Formerly a stronghold of the New People’s Army, far-flung Paquibato district underwent a transformation into a zone of peace with the implementation of Peace 911 during the Vice President’s term as City Mayor.

“The civilian-led program Peace 911 won the hearts of the people of Paquibato through projects and programs that offered them the opportunity to become productive, provided them with livelihood, made them discover new skills, capacitated women, and built their confidence as individuals and as a community, Peace 911 is an empowering tool. An education tool. This allowed the people of Paquibato to unmask their enemies,” Vice President Duterte said.

Also in her speech, she reiterated the value of education and she called on the people and former rebels to make sure their children go to school so they won’t experience hardships and achieve their cherished dreams.

“Education, as we know, harbors power that could change the course of our lives and that of our fellowmen. It is a tool that can emancipate us from poverty or injustice. It is also a powerful tool for peacebuilding and combating terrorism,” the Vice President said.

As Department of Education Secretary, the Vice President bared that they working to institutionalize a peace curriculum that aims to teach children the value of peace and learn more about conflict-resolution and non-violence.

“Through the national peace curriculum, we strengthen our youth’s resilience, maturity, and sense of patriotism, the Vice President said in her speech at Rizal Park. (RGA/PIA Davao City)

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Rudolph Ian Alama

Regional Editor

Region 11

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