Duterte’s wish for Mindanao Week of Peace: soldiers, cops armed with bible

Duterte stressed the struggle to achieve peace in Mindanao, can neither be achieved through arms nor by the government alone.

He added achieving peace is a collaborative effort and "we, Filipinos, must put it all together."

Director Jaime Morente of Davao City Police Office said their presence in the Mindanao Week of Peace celebration means they also support the peace initiatives of the Bishop Ulama Conference.

"Our (PNP's) presence in the MWOP means support for the BUC. We wish that these activities will be done always so that we can participate in the preservation and achievement of peace,” he said.

The police official said in a press conference on November 26 that the police are most affected when conflict arises because they are the ones expected to respond first. He said he hopes the celebration would result in something good.

"We want to achieve peace more than we want to fight using our weapons," he added.

BUC’s Fr. Pete Lamata and Mr. Aleem Adilao, Catholic and Muslim representatives, respectively, also joined and delivered their speeches in an effort to spread the importance of unity in diversity between the two religions.

Lamata hoped that "this celebration of peace by the Christians and our Muslim brothers alike is not good only until this week but until the very end".

To show Muslims are supporting the celebration, 30 young Badjaos from Isla Verde were organized to lead the crowd in a procession to the San Pedro Cathedral for the opening of the MWOP exhibit for peace.

The ceremony officially opened on Nov. 29 with a Peacewalk from Roxas Avenue to Rizal Park. The event was also joined by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Navy, non-government organizations, student leaders from different schools in Mindanao, City Councilor Pilar Braga, the Davao Bikers Club (Karancho Club), students from the Mindanao South Korean Youth Camp, and the lumads (indigenous peoples) of Davao.