PARTNERS. Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity’s Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (left) hands a plaque of appreciation to News and Information Bureau - Philippine News Agency Director Virginia Arcilla-Agtay at the Peace Partners’ Recognition Day held at Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on Monday (May 16, 2022). The agency recognized the contributions of its partners in the effective promotion and implementation of various peace initiatives. (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) has achieved significant milestones in its pursuit of the comprehensive Philippine peace process because of the invaluable support and contributions of its partners from government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and peace warriors.

OPAPRU chief, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said the unwavering support of their partners helped in the effective promotion and implementation of peace initiatives.

“Through the partnerships, we have established and nurtured over the years, we have implemented programs and projects that are uplifting the lives of our beneficiaries, particularly former combatant, their families, and communities,” Galvez said in his speech during the Peace Partners’ Recognition Day at Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

He said OPAPRU’s collective vision of achieving lasting and sustainable peace development has become attainable with firm commitment and steadfast support from its partners.

These partnerships, he added, gained the dividends of peace and development, particularly in the southern part of the country.

“Once again, to all our peace partners and stakeholders, thank you for supporting and helping our agency, especially during the most difficult of times. We shall forever be grateful,” said Galvez.

Peace Partners’ Recognition Day at Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on Monday (May 16, 2022) (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

The individual awardees are as follows: Amina Rasul; former Ambassador Rafael Seguis; Defense Undersecretary Ceasar Yano; Ateneo de Manila University professor Jennifer Santiago-Oreta; Bangsamoro Transition Authority member of the parliament lawyer Jose Lorena; Acting Environment Secretary Jim Sampulna; Lanao del Sur Board Member Jamil Faisal Adiong; Ateneo de Davao University President, Fr. Joel Tabora; OPAPRU consultant for indigenous people lawyer Reuben Daya Lingating; OPAPRU consultant Maria Victoria Maglana; News and Information Bureau - Philippine News Agency Director Virginia R. Arcilla-Agtay; Moro Islamic Liberation Front chairperson and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Chief Minister Ahod “Murad” Ebrahim; Moro National Liberation Front chair Nur Missuari; Sema-Jikiri faction chairperson Muslimin Sema; and late MNLF chair Yusop Jikiri (posthumous award).

OPAPRU likewise recognized various national agencies and non-government organizations that were involved in the implementation of its peace programs, namely: Department of Social Welfare and Development; Nonviolent Peace Force; Armed Forces of the Philippines Peace and Development Office; Philippine National Police-Peace Process and Development Center; and Sulu State College.

Galvez said President Rodrigo Duterte ordered that all commitments made by the national government under all signed agreements must be honored.

“We are proud to say that the President has fulfilled that commitment and is leaving behind a legacy that his administration can be proud of -- a legacy of peace that is now being felt by each and every Filipino, particularly in the Bangsamoro which recorded double-digit recovery from poverty and second fastest growth recovery among the different regions in the country,” he said.

Galvez hopes that the next President will sustain the legacy of Duterte in terms of pushing for peace initiatives. (PNA)