ANAHEIM, Calif., July 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In light of ongoing world conflicts, the achievements of the international peace organization Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) and the organization’s Chairman, Man Hee Lee in the contribution of peace in Mindanao, Philippines presents a ‘New model of peace’ to the world.
In the 2010s, Mindanao was the site of the largest armed conflict in Southeast Asia, between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine government, lasting 40 years and resulting in over 120,000 casualties. In September 2013, Antonio Ledesma, former Catholic Archbishop from Cagayan de Oro, requested Chairman Lee to mediate the settlement of this conflict.
On January 24, 2014, Chairman Lee visited Mindanao, held a Peace Walk with over 1,000 participants, and called to stop any acts that might encourage conflict in the name of religion.
The government and MILF agreed on the final annex of the Preliminary Peace Agreement on January 25, 2014, which would recognize Muslim autonomy and gradually disarm the MILF in the Bangsamoro region. In May 2014, the Philippines Parliament began to enter the Bangsamoro Basic Law into the legislative process, and the civil war of Mindanao ended when President Rodrigo Duterte finally signed the law in August 2018.
Starting with signing MOUs with 70 educational institutions in February 2016, HWPL has implemented peace education to the students and citizens in the Philippines. HWPL signed an MOU with The Commission on Higher Education in 2018, which managed to train 2,551 teachers from 557 educational institutions, to teach peace education to up to 23,000 students.
As a result of efforts to achieve peace in the Philippines, peace events are held every year. On May 25, 2015, the 2nd anniversary of the Peace Walk was held in Buluan, Maguindanao Province. On January 24, 2016, an HWPL Peace Monument was erected in Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat in Mindanao, to commemorate the Civil Peace Agreement, and MILF Chairman Hon. Ahod Ebrahim declared January 24 as ‘HWPL Day.’
In 2022, John Rommel Garces, Chief Branch Manager of HWPL’s Philippines, said they will focus on the establishment of peace monuments in Mindanao, realization of the autonomy in Bangsamoro’s Muslim region, cooperative projects for peace building and establishment of the HWPL interfaith Religious Peace Office in Davao City and other places.