Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Jesus G. Dureza, representing President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, said that the message of the President is very simple, “Everybody could help bring peace in the land.”
Speaking before the Mindanao Peace Summit and Mindanao Business Congress at Royal Mandaya Hotel held on 18-19 March 2017, Dureza emphasized that there is no magic formula for peace. In a play of words, he said “Peace is a piece-by-piece process”, exhorting everyone to engage in the peace process. He further said, peace and development should go hand in hand. There can be no peace without development. There can be no sustainable development without peace.
Dureza lauded the Mindanao State University (MSU) for bringing together various sectors in Mindanao because of the need for inclusive engagement not only with Bangsamoro, but also with other stakeholders. He mentioned that MSU is “a factory of young people holding intelligent positions”, adding however that it could also become a factory of violent extremists if the root causes of the conflict are not addressed. He further said that we should also guard against the attraction of young people to terrorist organizations.
Dureza assured the summit participants that peace efforts are moving forward despite challenges. The Bangsamoro Development Authority continues to lead the implementation of development projects in conflict-affected areas. The Bangsamoro Transition Commission was officially launched last February 24 to craft a revitalized Bangsamoro enabling law.
OPAPP Assistant Secretary Dickson Hermoso presented the Six-Point Peace Agenda of the Duterte Administration. The agenda are meant to implement the signed peace agreements and accelerate peace initiatives with the Bangsamoro, the Communist group and the Cordillera group.