From the Philippine Information Agency
A memorial peace shrine built by the Kalinga Peace Makers Movement at the Tabuk Pastoral Center (TPC) here was unveiled on March 15 with Governor Floydelia Diasen and City Mayor Camilo Lammawin Jr. leading the wreath laying at the foot of the marker.
It was dedicated to those who sacrificed their lives in the name of service for the people of Kalinga, particularly the four Catholic priests killed in recent years and those victims of violence.
The inscription at the peace shrine reads: “In memory of Rev. Fathers Conrado Aquino, Elias Bareng, Leo Vande Winkel, all CICM priests and Franciscus Madhu, SVD and all those who sacrificed their lives due to tribal or criminal violence. May the blood they shed be the seed of lasting peace in Kalinga.”
A text drawn from the gospel of Luke 6:27: “Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you” was hanged on the wall to always remind peace makers on the virtue of humility.
Lighted candles were also put under names of other victims after which the eternal light was raised proclaiming the birth of the movement.
Bishop Prudencio Andaya Jr. said the occasion was momentous when two family victims of violence, Gov. Diasen and Mayor Lammawin, wholeheartedly embraced the way of peace and openly gestured to one another and other victims to discard hatred and instead work together for non-violent solutions to killings.
“How beautiful it was for two persons losing their own love ones to tribal violence cheerfully met together and led other victims to set aside vendetta but instead promote love for enemies,” Andaya said.
“The movement was really organized for healing and reconciliation among aggrieved parties and perpetrators of crimes including victims of tribal violence. It works on prevention of further killings,” Andaya explained.
The solemn unveiling of the anchor for the peace movement in Kalinga was immortalized by the message of Gov. Diasen when she said: “it is only when we find a place for the enemies in our hearts that we know peace.” She leveled a biblical teaching of loving ones enemies, as key to genuine peace and unity in Kalinga.
“As governor and leader of the province, I exhort our people the spiritual teaching of loving our enemies, for this could only be the start for genuine peace to stay”, Diasen stressed adding that for the rest of her term, she offers this for the attainment of genuine peace in Kalinga, “where we find every tribe at peace with one another”.
Let us leave the act of vengeance to the Lord and instead fill our hearts with forgiveness for unless we do this, we will hardly find a peaceful province to stay, she said.
The occasion was made more symbolic by the two doves released by Diasen and Lammawin that flew separately then perched on one branch.
“It was so touching, some people cried while a pleasing musical background was being played by the 501st Army band, the day was so meaningful for the province everyone to throw away hatred and embrace the way of peace,” Andaya remarked. (PIA Kalinga)