PLARIDEL, Bulacan: A peace advocacy group has asked Pope Frances to help persuade to Philippine leaders and rebel groups to settle their differences and talk peace.
In an open letter to the pope, the “Yes for Peace-Bayanihan para sa Kapayapaan, Kaunlaran at Kasaganahan” informed the pontiff that about 11 million Filipinos have responded to the group’s call for the permanent cessation of hostilities between the government and all armed groups and hold peace negotiations in the Philippines instead of abroad.
Ernesto Alcanzare, lead organizer of the Yes for Peace-Bayanihan para sa KKK, also informed Pope Francis that “while we have reached out and convinced a substantial number of our countrymen, most of whom are Catholics, to respond to our call for Bayanihan and take initial steps toward an era of peace, progress and prosperity through leadership and voluntary efforts of thousands of public and private elementary and high school teachers nationwide, these calls…still have to be listened to and seriously considered by those engaged in a bitter decades old internal armed conflicts that they are waging in the name of the Filipino people.”
Alcanzare said he is glad that a formidable ambassador of peace is coming to the Philippines because he believes in the pope’s message: World Peace through love of God.
He said that before thousands of devotees in St. Peter’s Square and millions around the world, in his first window appearance, Francis expressed “the wish that there will never be more wars and that peace is always possible. We must search for it.”
Alcanzare and his group believe that if armed conflicts in the country will be resolved, the millions of pesos being used for wars can be used for education and alleviation of poverty.