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Monday, December 5, 2022

Peace adviser calls for reconciliation and healing amidst tensions in Basilan

PASIG City (03 August 2022) – Presidential Adviser for Peace, Reconciliation and Unity, Sec. Carlito G. Galvez Jr. appealed for reconciliation, healing and eventual forgiveness among Filipinos, especially in the island-province of Basilan. 

According to Galvez, there is a need to break the cycle of violence that claimed the lives of former Lamitan City Mayor Rosita Furigay, her aide Victor George Capistrano, Ateneo de Manila security guard Jeneven Bandiala, and Rolando Yumol, the father of the suspected gunman Dr. Chao Tiao Yumol, as he called on peace stakeholders to help prevent such incidents from happening. The daughter of Mayor Furigay was also wounded in the incident.

“Reconciliation, healing and eventually forgiveness are needed to end violence in Lamitan City. I call for sobriety among the parties concerned and residents in the city. If left unaddressed, the situation could escalate and negate the gains of peace we have achieved in Basilan. This is something we would like to avoid at all costs,” the peace adviser said.

Galvez, who was the former battalion commander in Basilan and chief of the Western Mindanao Command, said that he had witnessed the amazing transformation of the province from a once conflict-ridden area into a showcase of peace and development. 

He said former mayor Furigay was instrumental in this remarkable turn-around, as she led the implementation of key peace and development initiatives that helped unleash the economic potential of the province. 

“I witnessed how the former mayor spearheaded peace and development efforts in the province. The best way to honor her memory is to sustain the initiatives she has started,” Galvez said. 

The peace adviser said that as the people of Lamitan mourn, interventions must soon be carried out to bring healing and reconciliation, especially those affected by these unfortunate incidents. 

“The incident should be a clarion call not only among Basileños, but among all Filipinos to come together and help ensure that situations of conflict in their communities do not worsen by addressing them the soonest,” Galvez said.

He said that OPAPRU, through its Social Healing and Peacebuilding Office (SHAPEO), is working closely with its peace partners in order to break down the walls of animosity, fear and mistrust and build bridges of peace, mutual understanding and solidarity.  

“Through our peacebuilding interventions under SHAPEO, we want to send out the message that situations of conflict can be effectively resolved and genuine peace can be achieved through open and meaningful dialogue,” Galvez said. 

“Healing and reconciliation can only happen if we are able to set aside our differences and put the common good as our priority. This is our hope and prayer for the people of Basilan and our nation,” he added. 


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