Political and religious representatives from all around the world gather to commemorate the establishment of religious and civil peace in Mindanao, Philippines since 2014.

MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES, January 28, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — On January 24th, 2022, over 22,000 representatives from 51 countries attended the virtual International Peace Conference celebrating Peace Day, the anniversary of the civilian-led peace agreement made between Islamic and Catholic communities in the Philippines 8 years ago.

In 2014, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international NGO, mediated the religious conflict in Mindanao, Philippines by proposing a peace agreement to the local religious and political representatives. Moderated by Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL, the peace agreement was signed by Esmael G. Mangudadatu, the Governor of Maguindanao, and Archbishop-Emeritus Fernando Capalla of the Archdiocese of Davao, representing the local leadership. Since then, the province of Maguindanao and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front declared January 24 as “HWPL Peace Day” and commemorated it as an annual event to reaffirm international cooperation and local partnership for peacebuilding in Mindanao.

In addition, peace monuments were built honoring the Mindanao peace agreement. The 1st and 2nd Peace Monuments were erected in 2015 and 2016. In 2021, the third peace monument was unveiled in Cotabato City. The first peace monument in Luzon, located in Dingras, Ilocos Norte, was unveiled January 24 as part of the 8th Anniversary event of the HWPL Peace Day celebration. Another monument located in Siniloan Integrated National High School is set to unveil next month.

The event, themed “Law of Peace in Heaven and on Earth”, aimed to promote interfaith harmony between religions and raise public support to establish an international law for lasting peace.

Influential guests shared congratulatory messages, including Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senator Panfilo Lacson, Senator Cynthia Villar, Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa, Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, and TV News Anchor Mariz Umali from the Philippines. Keynote speakers from various fields also presented commitment messages declaring their plans on promoting peace in their sectors including law, education, youth, women, private business and media.

Prabhu Mahendra Das, Temple President of Sri Sri Radha Madhava Mandir, said that he decided to participate in the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Office organized by HWPL as “a global platform for religious leaders to talk, share, discuss, learn, and grow together harmoniously and peacefully.” In regards to establishing peace amongst religions, he added, “I firmly believe that all religions should enter into a partnership through the form of a Memorandum of Understanding.”

Justice Raoul Victorino (ret), Chairman of Philippine National Prayer Breakfast (PNPB) and Dean of the College of Law of Philippine Christian University (PCU), shared how he was inspired by the “revolutionary movement” that HWPL initiated to endorse global peacebuilding through the draft of the “Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)”. The DPCW, an international law for peace, was created with the help of global experts in international law to advocate peace as a global culture and norm. He declared, “I will strive to get the support of the President of the Philippines for the National Solidarity Support of DPCW. At the same time, I will integrate DPCW [education] in the college of law by collaborating with the Philippine Association of Law Schools.”

Commissioner Ronald Adamat of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED, representing Philippines’ education sector) shared, “The CHED Commission en Banc has issued an endorsement to President Duterte, urging him to declare January 24 as ‘National Peace Day’, that will provide for simultaneous celebration and observance of peace through peace activities, events, and ceremonies by all instrumentalities and agencies of government, including the private sector. This shall also be celebrated and observed in the education sector.”

“Our purpose is to bring all people in the world together to create a world of peace and leave it as a lasting legacy for future generations. To make this world a peaceful place without war, let us become messengers of peace. Let us remind people around the world of that emotion—a longing for peace—and the Peace Day so they can remember all of this forever,” said Chairman Lee during the closing remarks.

To learn more about the work of HWPL and the DPCW, please visit us here: https://www.hwpl.kr/en/

Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international peace organization, was founded for global peace and cessation of war. It is a non-governmental organization in Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and associated with the UN Department of Global Communications (DGC) and the Seoul Metropolitan Government. With the mission to achieve global peace through heavenly culture and restore the world with light, HWPL is carrying out its peace movement around the globe, working with its partner, the International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG), and its affiliate organization, the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG). Moreover, leaders of different countries are cooperating as the HWPL Peace Advisory Council, and experts from all walks of life are active as HWPL Publicity Ambassadors.

HWPL’s peace movement will leave for future generations the greatest legacy—life instead of death and permanent peace instead of endless wars.

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