METRO MAYORS TO HOLD RALLY FOR PEACE AT QUIRINO GRANDSTAND

MANILA, September 11, 2003 (STAR) By Evelyn Macairan  - Some 500,000 people from all walks of life are expected to attend the prayer rally for peace being organized by the Metro Manila Mayors League (MMML) on Friday at the Quirino Grandstand.

Nine of the 17 Metro Manila mayors were in Pasay City yesterday to sign a one-page manifesto that sealed their commitment to work toward the promotion of peace, unity and democracy in the country.

Atienza, MMML president, said "all the mayors agreed that we should do away with political differences and offer prayers. We are currently encountering problems that divide sectors in our society and this is not good for the country."

The prayer rally is scheduled from 4 to 5 p.m. on Friday and the mayors are inviting religious leaders, students and those from the business sector to join the gathering.

Atienza said they extended the invitation to join the peace gathering to President Arroyo and former Presidents Fidel Ramos and Corazon Aquino. They likewise appealed to members of the opposition political party to grace the event, he said.

"Let us end the mudslinging and be united in instituting reforms. Although mayors come from different political parties, we should look beyond alliances with parties and focus on the loyalty to our country," says Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi.

Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr. echoed Fresnediís sentiment and said the country would not move forward in an environment filled with division, finger pointing and mudslinging.

"We want the voices of the Filipino people to be heard, put things in proper perspective to know what is important and not allow ourselves to be sidetracked," Belmonte said.

He added that people should no longer sit at the sidelines but rather let their opinions be heard.

Pasay City Mayor Pewee Trinidad said they are also planning to invite mayors of nearby provinces such as Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Batangas.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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