Saturday, December 24, 2022

[HWPL] Peace Tours of Man-Hee Lee (25): Zamboanga City holds Peace Festival with Peace Messenger & Peace Forum is Held at Philippine National Police


[HWPL] Peace Tours of Man-Hee Lee (25): Zamboanga City holds Peace Festival with Peace Messenger & Peace Forum is Held at Philippine National Police 

On August 13, 2014, Chairman Lee is giving a peace lecture at Saint Joseph Pro-Cathedral of the Philippine National Police located in Manila, Philippines

Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) Chairman Man-hee Lee and the peace delegation completed their 13th Peace Tour in August 2014, one month prior to the hosting of the WARP Summit in September 2014. The 13th Peace Tour was centered on the Philippines, which HWPL was visiting for the 4th time since the launch of the world peace movement. A particularly warm welcome was given to the HWPL delegation, which had mediated a civil peace agreement that brought a permanent end to the long bloody conflict in Mindanao on January 25 of that year.

The first place Chairman Lee visited on August 10, 2014 was a convent in the Philippines, which he had visited during the 8th Peace Tour in January 2014. Sister Auda Mangaron, who had previously become a member of International Women's Peace Group (IWPG), invited Chairman Lee and his peace envoy to her convent for a homemade meal. Chairman Lee and Sister Mangaron held a meeting about “peace,” which was reported throughout the Philippines by the state-run television broadcaster PTV. PTV reported on Chairman Lee's visit to the Philippines and all interviews were aired on camera on that day.

On August 10, 2014, the first place Chairman Lee visited after arriving in Manila, Philippines during the 13th peace tour was a convent in the Philippines. Sister Auda Mangaron (left) invites Chairman Lee for a home-made meal and discussion 

After the meeting with Sister Mangaron, Chairman Lee and his peace delegation arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Manila Airport) in Manila, Philippines. In the airport lounge, Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, the then mayor of Zamboanga, was waiting in eager anticipation for Chairman Lee and the peace delegation. After Mayor Climaco's invitation to Chairman Lee and the peace delegation to Zamboanga City, she found out that the flight ticket had been issued incorrectly and so swiftly travelled to Manila Airport to change the flight.

Mayor Climaco is known locally for her active legal activities for human rights and social welfare as a former member of the National Assembly. Zamboanga City, where she served as mayor, is a port city in the southwestern tip of the Zamboanga Peninsula in the western part of Mindanao Island in the Philippines. It is nicknamed the ‘City of Flowers’ because of its natural scenery, but a civil war broke out in September 2013, resulting in 100 injuries and 61 deaths in 10 days. In addition, 110,000 refugees were subsequently displaced due to the ongoing civil war.

On August 10, 2014, after moving to Zamboanga, Chairman Lee and his peace delegation visited Zamboanga Chinese Temple and had a meeting with the chief monk

The city of Zamboanga, suffering from hurt, found hope through Chairman Lee's peace movement and the potential for a civil peace organization to bring the 40-year conflict in Mindanao to an end. Chairman Lee arrived late evening at Zamboanga International Airport, where an enthusiastic welcome ceremony was held by a military band. 

Chairman Lee and the peace delegation visited Zamboanga Chinese Temple as their first stop for a discussion on religion.  Zamboanga Chinese Temple is a large Buddhist temple with an attached school located in Zamboanga City, Philippines.

Chairman Lee met and spoke with Masters Daoyuan and Sichuanchan of Zamboanga Chinese Temple. Chairman Lee's visit took the monks by surprise.
 “There are so many churches and cathedrals in the Philippines, but no one has yet visited our temple like Chairman Lee or engaged in open dialogue (to overcome religious barriers),” said head priest Venerable Sichuanchan with admiration. The monks signed a peace agreement with the HWPL peace delegation and promised to work together.

On August 11, 2014, a Peace Walk was held in the City of Zamboanga, attended by 12,000 students. Prior to the launch of the peace walk, a commemorative event is being held in front of Zamboanga City Hall, and participants are actively participating in the event despite the scorching heat

On the 11th, Mayor Climaco greeted Chairman Lee at Zamboanga City Hall. Mayor Climaco held a press conference to announce the news of the Peace Walk held by Chairman Lee and the Peace Delegation. About 30 local media outlets, including ABS-CBN, the largest media company in the Philippines that opened as Asia's first private broadcasting station, reported on the movements of Chairman Lee and the peace delegation.

The section of Zamboang City where the peace walk took place was about 600m long. About 12,000 young people and students gathered there. On that day, universities in Mindanao ceased operations and students were encouraged to attend the Peace Walk. This Peace Walk has become a common festival throughout the City of Zamboanga.

At the opening of the Peace Walk, Pastor Paulino Ersando of Zamboanga gave the representative prayer. After the opening ceremony, where Chairman Lee delivered a message of peace, the Peace Walk opened with a performance led by students of Zamboanga International High School. Following the lead, Chairman Lee and the Mayor of Zamboanga walked together. On both sides of the street were students waving palm branches, and colorful confetti was scattered all over the street. The students marched with national flags, hand signs, and joyful shouts of ‘We Want Peace’.

At the end of the peace walk, HWPL and local religious leaders held a peace signing ceremony in the presence of 10,000 young people. Before the event, Chairman Lee had held a meeting with religious national leaders in City Hall.

On August 12, 2014, Chairman Lee is giving a lecture on peace at the indoor gymnasium of Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology with 2,000 students in attendance

All events on that day were covered and reported by UNTV from the beginning to the end. The next day, the 12th at 8:00 AM, Chairman Lee appeared on GBPI TV-11, the largest broadcaster in the Zamboanga region, for a special live broadcast for an hour. After the broadcast, the hosts of TV-11 also became members of HWPL.

Following the live broadcast, Protestant and Muslim leaders visited the hotel where Chairman Lee was staying while he was preparing for an interview with Net 25, a Philippine television network. The visitors were Pastor Paulino Ersando and Professor Ali Yaqub, an Islamic peace activist, who came to visit after hearing the broadcast. Chairman Lee conveyed to them the message that religions must unite, and they agreed.

On that day, Chairman Lee visited Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology (ZSCMST) following a request he received to give a peace lecture to the youth. When Chairman Lee stepped into the indoor gymnasium, the young people, numbering roughly 2000 in attendance, shouted ‘I Love Peace’, ‘I Love World Peace’, and ‘MABUHAY’ ('Welcome') with resounding cheers. Following Chairman Lee's peace lecture, ZSCMST President Milavel Nazario presented Chairman Lee with a vinta on behalf of all students. Vinta is a traditional outrigger boat with colorful stripes originating from the island of Mindanao. The colorful stripes represent the colorful culture and history of Mindanao, Philippines.

On the 13th, Chairman Lee and the peace delegation visited the Philippine National Police in Manila, Philippines. Established in 1991, the Philippine National Police was established under the Philippine government and has about 140,000 police officers. There was a large church inside the police station. The peace forum held there was recorded as the first peace forum by a national institution since the launch of the HWPL peace tour.

Father Lucio Rosaroso Jr., vicar-general for the police from the Military Ordinariate, explained the significance of the forum, saying, "Today's historic meeting is a solid foundation for love, transcending the barriers of race, culture and religion."

In his presentation, Chairman Lee appealed, “The only thing I can do is to ask for unity under the banner of ‘peace’”. After the forum, Philippine police officers flooded Chairman Lee with a barrage of peace-related questions.

A police officer made reference to Chairman Lee's prior speech in Mindanao and said, "Please tell me about your solution to the Islamic issue." Chairman Lee pointed to the sculpture of Jesus on the podium and said, "Isn't that the person who bore the cross on our behalf? If we had beautiful hearts that could carry sin and hardship the way Jesus did, the world would already be united and peace would have come.” Chairman Lee's wise response was met with a standing ovation. Officials from the Philippines National Police presented Chairman Lee with a plaque as a token of their gratitude.

On August 13, 2014, Chairman Lee and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle (left) held a peace discussion at Manila Cathedral, signed a peace agreement, and took a commemorative photo

Afterwards, Chairman Lee and his peace delegation met with Philippine Catholic and Muslim leaders at Quiapo Cathedral in Manila. Quiapo Cathedral is a prominent basilica because of the statue of Black Nazarene, which is said to cure diseases when touched. After completing his visit to Quiapo Cathedral, Chairman Lee visited Manila Cathedral, founded in 1579 by Gregory VIII and designated a minor basilica by Pope John Paul III, for a meeting with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle.

Cardinal Tagle has been engaging with the public with humility and interest in the poor, and has a reputation for emphasizing the role of youth to revive the church. Cardinal Tagle asked Chairman Lee, “Would you like to invite people from areas currently experiencing conflict, such as Ukraine, Russia and Iraq (to the WARP Summit)?” Chairman Lee replied, “I will invite everyone.” Cardinal Tagle signed a peace agreement on the spot and joined the peace movement.


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