More than 300 volunteer professional bikers will pedal their way across five cities in Metro Manila to kick off the annual celebration of the 2009 National Peace Consciousness Month on Sept. 1, organizers said today.
Starting from the Ortigas Center in Pasig City, the bikers will pass by Marikina, Mandaluyong and San Juan before winding up at the Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC) in Quezon City.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Avelino I. Razon Jr. said the traditional ringing of the Peace Bell and the symbolic releasing of white doves will be held at the QMC and at the historic EDSA Shrine, respectively.
The annual celebration of Peace Month began in 2004 when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Proclamation No. 675 on Jan. 20 of that year, declaring September as National Peace Consciousness Month.
“For the past six years, we have been true to our aims of instilling in every Filipino a greater consciousness and understanding on the comprehensive peace process,” Razon said.
In support of the United Nations (UN), the Philippines has promoted a culture of peace based on non-violence, respect for fundamental rights and freedom of mankind based on tolerance, understanding, and solidarity, Razon said.
September has posted significant milestones in history in the peace process not only in the Philippines but all over the world.
It will be recalled that on Sept. 1, 1992, then President Fidel V. Ramos formed the National Unification Commission (NUC) through Executive Order No. 19 to undertake a one-year nationwide consultation to lay the foundation of the national government’s agenda for a just, comprehensive, and lasting peace in the country, Razon said.
Ramos issued E.O. No. 125 on Sept. 15, 1993 providing for the administrative and policy structures to pursue the 1992-1993 NUC-proposed comprehensive peace process agenda, including the creation of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
But the most significant peace process was the signing of the Final Peace Agreement (FPA) between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) during the Ramos administration, ending the more than 20 years of warfare in southern Philippines instigated by the MNLF.
Ten years earlier, the national government signed a Peace Pact with the Cordillera Peoples’ Liberation Army during the administration of then President Corazon C. Aquino on Sept. 13, 1986, Razon said.
He said the annual observance of the UN International Day of Peace is held on Sept. 21. (PNA)