MANILA In line with ongoing efforts to counter violent extremism, actor and Philippine Army (PA) reservist, probationary 2nd Lt. Matteo Guidicelli, on Tuesday went to Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao to talk about the youth's role in peace-building.
Around 500 persons participated in the forum, which was dubbed "Role of Youth in Peace Building and Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism", said PA spokesperson Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala in a statement Thursday.
Violence is not the key, violence is not the solution to anything, said Guidicelli, even as he recognized the heartbreaking experiences of the people who witnessed innocent lives perish because of armed conflict.
"The Philippine Army recognizes the efforts of Matteo Guidicelli who volunteers his time and influence to spread the message of peace and unity among our people in support of preventing and countering violent extremism in the south. His spirit of volunteerism reflects the attitude of our soldiers who carry on their daily tasks in order to secure our people in all parts of the country," said Army chief, Lt. Gen. Albert Macairog of the actor's efforts.
Although his management forbids him to go to certain areas, Guidicelli's military commitment enabled him to visit a conflict-affected community in Mindanao.
"It is an honor to be in this place, gusto ko ipakita sa ibang tao na (I want to show other people), there are people here, there are people that need love here, there are people that need attention here. And with the help of the Armed Forces, they (the soldiers) are not just here to fight a war, they are here to make peace with the other people and really convince the people that we are one. Kapag nagsusuot kami ng uniform ng military, hindi naman ibig sabihin na pupunta lang kami sa giyera (When we wear military uniform, it doesn't necessarily mean that we are going to war). Ibig sabihin (It means), we want to promote peace. Ako nandito bilang isang (I am here as a) peace ambassador from the Philippine Army, he added.
Guidicelli also called on the Filipino youth, particularly the participants from the municipalities of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Shariff Saydona Mustafa, Mamasapano, Datu Salibo, and Datu Piang, to value the education that the government provides as they aspire to become successful and contribute to national peace and development in the future. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency