Camp Aquino, Tarlac City, 29 March 2023 – The Northern Luzon Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines, through Task Group Baguio, joined 2000 individuals from various groups and sectors in the Cordillera Region in a patriotic collective gathering dubbed “Peace Convention: Peace Walk and Peace Concert” on March 29, 2023, in Baguio City.
The Peace Convention that coincides the 54th founding anniversary of the New People’s Army aims to celebrate peace while also strengthening commitment and support for the government’s advocacy in promoting peace and development.
The program started with a peace walk from Panagbenga Park, where participants marched off towards Malcolm Square while chanting anti-CTG protests, followed by the program proper at Malcolm Square, where government agencies and groups from various sectors shared their messages for peace, which was followed by a peace concert performed by the AFP, PNP, and other groups.
With the theme, “Positive and Experiential Advocacy: Fostering Concord and Youth Empowerment,” Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong commended the youth for their contributions in maintaining peace in the city and also emphasized their greater role in peacebuilding.
“We in the city government are inspired by the work that the Youth for Peace Baguio has done so far for our community, from community service projects to efforts to raise awareness about important social issues.”
He also said that the local government relies on the help of the youth in ensuring Baguio as a safe and vibrant place for residents and visitors, and he is confident that they will continue their cause for peace and development and assured support from the city government.
Part of the program is a signature campaign, and the signing of the wall of commitment to demonstrate support for the government’s advocacy in building peace and development in the city, as well as condemning youth recruitment into violent activism.
On the other hand, an indignation rally led by the Sentrong Alyansa ng mga Mamamayan para sa Bayan (SAMBAYANAN)-Cagayan Chapter – an organization of former rebels, was also held in Gattaran, Cagayan with the theme: TALNA ken KAPYA: TALikuran NA ang karahasan; KAPayapaan ay YAkapin!
Participants from different sectors burned the flag of the terrorist Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front as a symbol of their allegiance to the government, while other participants took an oath of allegiance to the government and signed the pledge of commitment to supporting the campaign against insurgency.
Meanwhile, MGen Fernyl G. Buca, PAF Commander of Northern Luzon Command, AFP, lauded the various sectors’ active participation in peacebuilding while urging them to continue promoting peace and development.
“The solidarity for peace demonstrated by the people of the Cordillera and Cagayan shows that CTG and other peace spoilers have no place in these regions. The support from different sectors, particularly the youth, for the government’s advocacy for peace and development is enormous and resounding. Expect the support of NOLCOM, AFP in your vision for peace and development.”