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Healing of wounds crucial in peace building- Dureza

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Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Jesus Dureza underscored the need for building social cohesion in the advocacy to attain true, just and lasting peace in Mindanao in his address to Zamboanguenos in celebration of the 119th Philippine Independence Day Monday.

Sec. Dureza, who keynoted the event, said prejudices, biases and bigotry will not help but instead aggravate the situation confronting the Muslims, Christians and Lumads.

However, he said, Zamboanga City is moving forward after the 2013 siege as there now seems to be a feeling of building torn relations. “Mas matatag kayo ngayon, I have seen it with my own eyes,” he said recounting that on Sunday, upon arrival in Zamboanga, he made the rounds of the city to interview people about the situation here.  A driver, he said, happily disclosed to him that KCC Mall is a true example of social cohesion as it has absorbed workers regardless of their faiths and beliefs.

He said conflict brings destruction and that building structures destroyed or burned during conflicts can be easily done but building back social relationships take time.

The healing takes time and that is why I see that here in Zamboanga, the healing has already began and we can see the result,” the OPAPP secretary said, as he attributed the same to the leadership of Mayor Beng Climaco, the other elected officials, the police and military and particularly the civilians.

“Building of social cohesion is very important, there are many ways to do it. You can do it in your own way. Please remove the feeling of lingering hatred against certain people,” he added.

Dureza also highlighted the contributions of past heroes and took time to praise the heroism of soldiers and policemen who offer their lives for the country and people.

He likewise explained the importance of the declaration of martial and thanked the Zamboanga City government for expressing support to the president’s peace efforts through the declaration. He cited the difference between the martial of the present time and that of the Marcos time.

“As we celebrate the 119th Philippine Independence Day, we remember our heroes of the past but we also have present day heroes,” Dureza said. (Sheila Covarrubias/PR)




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