In celebration of the National Peace Month, the 3-day Peace Village: An Exhibit of Davao Regions Milestones in Peace and Development was opened at in the SM City Annex Atrium on Monday.

The exhibit was spearheaded by the City Government of Davao, through its Peace 911 program, in partnership with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) and the provincial government units of Region XI.

The event was attended by Vice President Sara Duterte, Presidential Assistant for Eastern Mindanao Secretary Leo Tereso Magno, Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Renato Villa, OPAPRU Eastern Mindanao Head Atty. Elisa Lapiña, Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib, Davao Occidental Provincial Administrator Atty. Geoffrey Navarra, 1003rd Brigade Commander BGen. Marion Angcao, Davao City Councilor Marlisa Abella, Davao Light and Power Company President Rodger Velasco and SM Malls representative Engr. Jonthan Santos.

Various civil society groups and Friends Rescued turned peace champions also attended the event which features the progress in peace building efforts of the provincial government units of Davao Region in order to raise awareness on collaborative as well as individual responsibility to sustain peace.

Abella, reading a message from Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte, welcomed all visitors to the exhibit that features the region’s most significant peace gains through the various programs of the local governments.

“We have come a long way in our goal of achieving sustainable peace and development in the region. It has been a year since Davao Region has been declared insurgency-free and have continued to be so in the present,” the mayor said.

He added that the collaboration of local government units, private partners, and other concerned agencies paved the way for the successful peace effort in Davao Region.

Vice President Sara Duterte, in her speech, declared the terror of the National People’s Army in once conflict-ridden areas in the city to be over. This, she said, is why residents in these areas are now safer and better off as new economic opportunities open to them.

“As we open the Peace Village today, let us reflect on the victory of Davao City and the entire Davao Region in the fight to end the insurgency,” the vice president said.

“The Peace Village will serve as a reminder that cooperation between government agencies, civil society organizations, and like-minded individuals is a source of power to change our people’s course of life,” she added.

The Vice President also lauded the peace efforts of the OPAPRU, the Peace 911, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, Davao Occidental, and Davao Oriental. CIO