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Three peace champions conferred peaceweaver awards

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In their continuous quest to foster peace conscious in individuals and communities, the Interreligious Solidarity for Peace (ISP) and Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) honored three personalities who have made outstanding contributions in the cause of peace-making.  The Peace Weaver Awards ceremony was held on Sunday evening, November 30 at the

Claret School gymnasium.

The late Jesse M. Robredo, former acting secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG); Mr. Pedro Melchor M. Natividad, Schools Division Superintendent and Ustadz Aldulquddos S. Jamad working as translator in the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) added in the rosters of peace weaver awardees for this year. The honor was given to the awardees during the Peace Weaver Awards Night, one of the highlight activities during the celebration of the week-long Mindanao Week of Peace.  The posthumous award to Robredo was received by his widow, Camarines Sur congresswoman Ma. Leonor G. Robredo.

In his opening message, Fr. Angel C. Calvo, CMF lead convener of ISP and President of PAZ, said that the celebration of the Mindanao Week of Peace offers always the opportunity to celebrate the collective efforts and gains in the process of building peace, letting peace grow and flourish in our land.

“This celebration of the Peace Weaver Awards has become a tradition among us since the beginning of the celebration of the week of peace in the city 18 years ago,” he said.

ISP and PAZ considered Robredo as a peace weaver because of his introduction of good governance when he was then the Naga City mayor and has carried out that advocacy when he became the acting secretary of the DILG.

“We would like to publicly recognize a Filipino civil servant and statesman who set the highest possible standards of good, innovative and effective governance,” the citation read.

Meanwhile, Natividad’s recognition was anchored on his strong support for peace education and peace building efforts. His citation read: “In the past three years as Superintendent of Division of City Schools of Zamboanga City, our Awardee has made a name for himself as a champion of peace-building and advocacy,”  

“This he weaved by his consistent and sturdy support to peace education projects, especially those implemented by Peace Advocates Zamboanga in over 50 public secondary and elementary schools in the city,” the citation added.

As a result of this, ISP and PAZ had noted many of the peace clubs and zones now exist in the different schools. In addition, thousands of students have joined peace camps conducted in recent years, teachers have been trained in peace-making lessons and exemplars development and instruction, and so forth. As a result, this singular collaboration has made Zamboanga City, too, a pilot center of peace education in the country.

For Ustadz Jamad his motivation for deep and active Islamic personal ethics initiated and supervised the proper burial of many Muslim casualties killed during the one-month war last year here.

“We would also like to recognize a true, living prophet of Islam,” the citation read.

The three awardees were earlier nominated by the members of the ISP. In the Peace Weaver Awards guidelines it says nominees may be an individual or organizations who have demonstrated selfless service to others such as promoted harmony between and among persons and communities.

The awarding ceremony was witnessed by members of the civil society organizations (CSOs), people from religious and academe, security sector, government and non-government personnel.

Along with the awarding of the Peace Weaver were 13 others organizations, 10 of which were coming from the international organizations who had extended humanitarian assistance to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the last year’s conflict. (Albert F. Arcilla)




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