1st National Peace Convention Held to Promote Unity
The 1st National Peace Convention was held on January 25, 2023 with
the theme, “Peace Builds One Nation, One Future: Peace is Here”, attended by over
1,500 peace advocates to build a holistic roadmap towards the attainment of national
unity through peace in consonance with the Marcos Administration’s agenda.
Dr. Ronald Adamat, Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and
Founding Chairman of Volunteer Individuals for Peace (VIP), spearheaded the event.
"We want peace to reign in our country. We want peace to be the language everyone of
us will speak and every Filipino and every foreigner will understand. Today, let's declare
peace as a pandemic. Infect people not to rest in peace but to live in peace," said Dr.
Dr. Adamat is the first Filipino recipient of the prestigious Mahatma MK Gandhi Prize for
Non-Violent Peace awarded last year in recognition of his contributions to peace-building
including the higher education
In attendance also is Chairman Lee Man-hee of Heavenly Culture, World Peace,
Restoration of Light (HWPL), a 92-year old Korean war veteran.
“Peacebuilding in Mindanao after conflict is becoming known worldwide. This is the case
of transforming death into life for peace. Starting with Mindanao and the Philippines,
when we unite in love, peace will come to our world. For this reason, everyone in the
Philippines has to become one and work together as messengers of peace,” said
The two peace advocates first met in 2017 during HWPL World Peace Summit held in
South Korea. As an expression of their shared commitment to promoting peace, CHED
and HWPL signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in 2018 to integrate peace
education in the higher education curricula.
The convention commenced with the first Plenary Session followed by parallel sessions in
the afternoon. The parallel sessions were conducted separately for five sector
groups—lawmakers and non-government organizations, academe and youth, religious
and ethnic groups, women, and media. Each session drafted a resolution which
contained their solidarity with the organizers’ peace-building efforts.
The five resolutions were consolidated during the second Plenary Session to call for
President Bongbong Marcos to proclaim January 24 as ‘National Peace Day’ or “Truce
The date January 24 was proposed in commemoration of a civilian-led peace agreement
signed at General Santos City in 2014 to boost reconciliation among the local
communities. It was proposed by Chairman Lee to mediate between the existing conflict
in Mindanao at the time. The date was later declared as ‘HWPL Peace Day’ by then
Maguindanao governor Toto Mangudadatu in 2015 and BARMM Chief Minister and MILF
Chairman Ahod Ebrahim in 2016.
The organizers believe that the declaration of a National Peace Day shall be the
mechanism by which every year, peace-related activities are observed and celebrated
across the country.