CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City - The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) highlighted the significant developments on various peace tables during the OPAPRU-AFP Peace Symposium held Thursday, September 29 in Camp Aguinaldo.

Among those discussed are the government's peace accords with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA), and other peace-inclined groups including ending the local communist armed conflict in the country.

OPAPRU reported that since 2016, Php 55.1-billion worth of socio-economic services have been provided to conflict-affected communities.

On the peace process with the MILF, OPAPRU highlighted the 19,345 MILF combatants decommissioned beginning in 2015 as part of the Normalization process. Also included in the Normalization was the dismantling of 15 private armed groups (PAGs) comprising 94 members and 84 firearms as well as the confiscation of 681 loose firearms.

On the peace accord with the MNLF, one significant milestone is the appointment of 14 MNLF members to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority.

Other milestones in the ongoing implementation of peace accords include the Mount Data Peace Accord with the Cordillera Bodong Administration-CPLA and the continuance of the peace agreement with the Rebolusyunaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Bongcayao Brigade (RPMP/RPA/ABB).

In a pre-recorded message shown during the program, AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro committed the AFP's support to the national government's peace and development efforts.

"With the significant gains of our peace process and the success of our collaborations with various peace stakeholders, it is imperative that we sustain the momentum of our efforts in order to contribute to the attainment of lasting peace and inclusive development for our country," Lt. Gen. Bacarro said.

OPAPRU Secretary and former AFP Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez Jr, who served as the Guest of Honor and Speaker in the program, expressed his sincerest thanks to the AFP for its role as peacekeepers and peacebuilders.

"Genuine peace cannot be achieved by force, but through understanding and dialogue. All of us have an important role to play in creating a better, brighter, and more peaceful future for the next generations," Secretary Galvez said.

Organized by the AFP Peace and Development Office and OPAPRU, the symposium was held in connection with the nationwide observance of the National Peace Consciousness Month that was established by Presidential Proclamation No. 675.///

(Photo by PO3 Viluan Ret/PAO, AFP)