CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – The 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division, Philippine Army supports the first ever People’s Organization, Non-Government Organization and Civic Organizations (POs, NGOs, COs) forum for sustainable peace and inclusive development facilitated by the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) Northern Mindanao at Acacia Hall, Chali Beach Resort and Conference Center, Cugman, Cagayan de Oro City yesterday, December 2, 2019.

The forum with the theme “Forging Stronger Ties for Sustainable Peace and Inclusive Development” was participated by 112 participants coming from POs, NGOs, COs and Government Agencies from Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro City, Bukidnon, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental.

The activity aims to inform the participants about the Convergence Areas for Peace and Development (CAPDev), the region’s peace and development agenda, EO 70- Whole-of-Nation Approach, their significant role in pushing forward the region’s peace and development agenda and further enlist their support to the implementation of programs and projects in the CAPDev areas in the region.

Meanwhile, the activity started at around 9:30 in the morning with an ecumenical prayer officiated by catholic, muslim and IP religious leaders followed by the messages from the key personalities. Mayor Oscar S Moreno of Cagayan de Oro City gave his welcome remarks while MGen Franco Nemesio M Gacal, the TWG chairperson of RTF-ELCAC Region 10, addressed the participants with an opening message. Most Reverent Antonio J Ledesma, Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro City, delivered his inspirational message and Mr. Ariel Hernandez of Balay Mindanao Foundation, Inc. representing Sec Carlito G Galvez of OPAPRU expressed his message as the keynote speaker of the forum.

On his inspiring message, Archbishop Ledesma emphasized the importance of local peace conversation in addressing inequalities. “It is a picture of convergence, a dialogue towards harmony, to be able to listen carefully to each other and share our resources, talents and services offered. A challenge to open our understanding to the root causes of inequality and lack of services to the remote communities. Let us join hands for peace and development,” Ledesma added.

MGen Franco Nemesio M Gacal, Commander of the 4ID said, “I have high hopes with this forum, the civil sector composed of all your organizations will be the last component that would interlink the three major sectors of the society: the government, private and civil. If this happened, the impacts of these efforts will be massive and it will be something that everyone can benefit from”.