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Calls for peace renewed in Misamis Occidental anniversary celebration

MANILA, Philippines — The Misamis Occidental provincial government was joined by the archbishop of Ozamiz City in urging people to cooperate to achieve peace following recent incidents of violence in the province.

Ozamiz City Archbishop Martin Jumoad, who officiated a mass wedding during the Kasalan sa Kapitolyo during the celebration of the anniversary of the province, appealed for public vigilance against crime.

“We can only attain peace, welfare and progression if there’s unity among civilians. Peace really depends on civilians. That’s why it is not advisable to shut up,” Jumoad said.

He encouraged civilians to actively coordinate with the police if they notice suspicious activities.

“I appeal to civilians, people of goodwill, to cooperate with our men and women in uniform so that peace and order will remain in the province,” Jumoad said. “Unity and cooperation as well as the kind of relationships that we have to care for each other will bring us to development.”

Speaking in behalf of Gov. Henry Oaminal, Vice Gov. Rowena Gutierrez stressed the need to “keep our determination, support one another and endeavor to further the development of our beloved province.”

Gutierrez recounted the night when her husband Lopez Jaena Mayor Michael Gutierrez was killed in a gun attack during a Christmas celebration.

She also cited an attempt on the life of Oaminal using an improvised explosive device and the recent killing of radio broadcaster Juan “Johnny Walker” Jumalon.

Gutierrez said the attacks were attempts to “divide and terrify us.”

“But in truth, their actions (only) bolstered our spirits and promoted our unit because we are stronger as a people,” she said.