The City Government of Davao, with the 1003rd Brigade from the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and the City Council Committee on Peace and Public Safety, on Wednesday commemorated the first anniversary of the victory declaration against insurgent forces in Davao City at the Rizal Park here.

The commemoration, with the theme ‘A Year of Insurgency-free Davao City, A Tribute to the Community’, was attended by Vice President Sara Duterte, Vice Mayor J Melchor Quitain Jr., EastMinCom Commander Lt General Greg Almerol, 10 ID Commander MGen Jose Eriel Niembra, PRO XI Regional Director PBGen Alden Delvo, 10ID-1003rd Brigade Commander Col Marion Angcao, city councilors, department heads, Peace 911 officials and peacebuilders.

Under Resolution No. 115-22, the City Council declared Davao City insurgency-free as of March 24, 2022.

In her speech, the Vice President honored the efforts and sacrifices of the country’s security forces while emphasizing the importance of civilian-led community programs in the anti-terrorism campaign.

She said the security situation of the city and the Davao region is “a shining example of a successful anti-terrorism campaign made possible by the collaboration of various sectors through the program Peace 911 of the local government of Davao.”

Peace 911, Duterte said, “won the hearts of the people of Paquibato through projects and programs” that empowered and capacitated individuals as well as their communities. She said Peace 911 gave the people of Paquibato and Davao City a voice and served as an educational tool that “allowed the people of Paquibato to unmask the enemies.”

She said the city’s insurgency-free status must be sustained as it symbolizes hope for peace in the whole country. This can be achieved, the Vice President added, by educating the younger generations in peace-building and community relations.

Meanwhile, EastMinCom Commander General Almerol said the declaration is a remarkable achievement of the collective effort of all sectors, especially those of the Indigenous People’s sector whose “remarkable determination, resilience and commitment to the cause of peace” became instrumental in “building bridges and fostering understanding” which paved the way to unity and inclusion.

“This achievement means more than the absence of armed conflict. It symbolizes hope, progress, and a future with limitless potential. It has created a favorable environment for development, allowing residents to pursue their goals and businesses to flourish while their families enjoy peace and harmony,” Almerol said.

Vice Mayor Quitain, reading City Mayor Sebastian Duterte’s message, commended the commitment and sacrifice of the region’s security forces.

The city’s insurgency-free status requires the people’s active participation to be maintained, Quitain said as he urged all Dabawenyos to support the city’s peace-building programs to sustain the peace.

“And so, we ask everyone to support the peace-building initiatives being introduced by the government. Let us ensure continuous community involvement in an inclusive environment to propel Davao City toward a more progressive and peaceful future,” Quitain said. CIO