Manobo-Matigsalog Celebrate IP Month with Mass Mobilization

Sinuda, Kitaotao, Bukidnon, October 29, 2011 – More than three thousand members of the Federation of Matigsalog Manobo Tribal Councils, Inc. (FEMMATRICS) joined the mass mobilization in the national highway of Davao-Bukidnon road.  Leaders, elders, women and youth in their complete Indigenous attire held placards and streamers along the highway with the following messages:  Ancestral Domain is not for sale, Respect Customary Laws, Our Ancestral Domain is for our next generation. The rally was also to inform the public and the government that they are united in protecting their rights and their ancestral domains.

Datu Lito Gawilan, chair of FEMMATRICS further emphasized part of their protest is to affirm and strengthen consolidated efforts at protecting their ancestral domain.  The street activity was also part of the national Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) month celebration.

There have been continuing harassment and rampant land grabbing of Matigsalog and Manobo Ancestral domains.  Some of the settlers also deliberately do not pay any respect to the tribes’ sacred places.

The route of the peace caravan started from Palacapao, Kipolot of Quezon Bukidnon to Raware, Tawas, Lorega of Kitaotao and headed towards Salumay, Baganihan, Katipunan, Kampo Uno, Ladian, Marahan, Balite, Marilog proper of Marilog District, Davao City.  For each station, a speaker of such activity shared a 10-minute sharing on updates and issues and concerns of their Ancestral Domain.

During the street mass mobilization, the participants distributed leaflets outlining their demands to the bystanders.

The peace caravan ended at 6:30 in the evening.

Reaffirmation on the Peace Pact Agreement

Datu Vic Saway, Talaandig Tribal Leader. During the interview on the Reaffirmation of the Peace Pact Agreement at DXGO Radio Program

Dakong Seremonyas Himoon Kalabot sa Panaghiusa sa mga Lumad ug Bangsamoro

Kaniadtong Hunyo 12, 2011 didto sa Cagayan de Oro ang membro sa MILF Peace Panel ug mga Lider sa Lumad nga katilingban nagkasabot nga ipahigayon ang dakong seremonyas kalabot sa paghiusa ug panagsoon sa mga Lumad ug Bangsamoro nga gipatunhay pinaagi sa tradisyonal nga kasabotan sa kalinaw o Tradisyonal Peace Pact.

Ang maong kasabotan nakab-ot sa dialogo nga gipahigayon sa Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC) tali sa mga Lumad sa Probinsiya sa Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon ug Iligan City ug membrosa MILF Peace Panel didto sa Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City.

Atol sa maong pagtagbo, gipadayag sa mga Lumad ang unang mga baroganan ni inikabahin sa pag-ilaug pagrespeto sa tradisyonal nga kasabotan sa pagbahin sa teritoryo sa mga Lumad ug Moro pinaagi sa sagrado nga ritwal nga gitawag ug Tampudahu Balagon. Kining maong kasabotan maoy naka husay sa komplikto tali sa tribo ug Bangsamoro kalabot sa tertoryo ug pagdumala sa kinaiyanhong bahandi sulod niini wala pa moabot ang langyaw nga pang goberno sa Pilipinas. Nagpabilin kining buhi ug gitamod sa mga Lumad pinaagi sa buhi nga mga monument sama sa Duliyan didto sa Barangay Ticalaan, Talakag Bukidnon, Balagen ha Lintukan didto sa Landang, Barangay Tagbac, Talakag Bukidnon, Sampawa ug Telendanen didto sa ulohan sa suba sa Tagulwan, Kibalabag, Malaybalay City, Linembakan o Lantung didto sa Pangantukan, Bukidnon ug Pintuhu Nangkatibud ha Lana sa Lantapan, Bukidnon ug sagrado nga mga lugar didto sa Bayug, Iligan City.

Sumala sa napatik nga kasaysayan, ang tribu Talaandig, Malanaw, Magindanao, Manobo ug mga Higaonon sa Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon ug Iligan managsoon ug tanang kaliwatan ni Apu Agbibilin. Ang panagsoon sa mga Lumad ug Moro gisuportahan usab sa kasaysayan ni Apu Mamalu ug Apu Tabunaway sa tribung Teduray ug Subanon sa Upi Magindanao ug Zamboanga Peninsula ug uban tribo sa Mindanao.

Ang dakong seremonyas nga pagahimoon tali sa mga Tribo ug Moro tibook Mindanao isip pagpukaw ug paglig-on sa tradisyonal nga kasabotan sa kalinaw o Traditional Peace Pact nga nagasentro diha sa doktrina sa panagsoon gitakda nga ipahigayon sa umaabot nga bulan sa Oktubre 2011 atol sa pagsaulog sa bulan alang sa mga Lumad o IP Month Celebration nga gisaulog tibook Pilipinas kadatuig.

Isip pangandam sa umaabot nga seremonyas, ang mga lumad sa Mindanao misugod pagsubay sa ilang mga kasaysayan sa Tampu dahu Balagen, mga Diyandi, Pakangug Sapa labina ang mga doktrina, prinsipyo ug mga baroganan nga gisubay niini aron pagkab-ot sa malungtaron kalinaw.  Lakip sa pagsubay sa mga kasaysayan mao ang pagtumbok sa tradisyonal nga mga dulu na sa teritoryo o traditional boundaries isip timailhan sa pag-ila ug pagrespeto sa katungod sa matagtribo. Gisugdan usab pagsubay sa mga lumad ang kaliwatan sa mga PASAGI o Konseho  sa Tribo nga mipahigayon sa sagrado nga seremonyas sa kalinaw ug maoy nag preserba ug nag kinabuhi sa kasaysayan niini. Ang ubang kalihokan nga nalambigit sa maong preparasyon mao ang pagsubay sa Census sa mga lumad, dokumentasyon sa mga dapit nga gilangkoban sa Lumad nga Titulo o Native Titles ug pagtukod sa Konseho o Panel nga maoy molingkod kauban sa Panel sa Bangsamoro aron ilatid ang detalye sa dakong seremonyas nga pagahimoon.

Bantay Ceasefire volunteers join bike for peace to Upi

Cotabato City, May 31 – Members of the Bantay Ceasefire volunteers, grassroots monitors of the Mindanao Peoples Caucus, joined the 36-kilometer ride “Bike for Peace” from Cotabato City to Nuro, North Upi last May 29, 2011 sponsored by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

The first ever Bike for Peace outside Manila aims to create an event that will mobilize news makers to get involved in the peace process. An event that will inspire the Filipino people and show them that what may seem to be improbable is possible. This is to relate to all stakeholders on the ground that there is an ongoing talks and the government is really sincere to have politically negotiated settlement with the MILF.

The unwavering bikers took off courageously early in the cloudy morning from the Cotabato City hall at Malagapas. Cold wind of the morning contributed much as the persistent bikers pedaled their bikes. The toilsome and crooked road were not even an obstacle for them to reach the finish line. Along their way, there were six pit stops such as the Tenorio Public School, CAFGU Detachment, Datu Andong Public School, Katiguesen Public School, Kibleg Upi Shariff School, Upi Agricultural School and Upi Municipal Gymnasium as the finish line where plenty of bananas, mineral waters and some energy drinks were offered to avoid severe dehydration.

At the gymnasium, everyone was inspired by the warm acceptance of the people of Upi. In his speech, Dean Marvic Leonen quoted as saying his analogy in the ongoing peace talks: Peace negotiation is not easy, like biking which you need preparation first. You must have perseverance, endurance and strong determination to reach your aim the finish line as your goal (final agreement).

In an interview with Wendell Orbeso, a Peace Program Officer-5 of the GPH Peace Panel Secretariat for the talks with MILF said this is the first time Bike for Peace outside Manila and he described the event as very successful. “Ang sarap ng feeling eh na parang makita mo yung enthusiasm ng mga bikers na matapos. All and all it exceeds our expectations. As what I have mentioned, 490 bikers have confirmed the night before but more than 600 bikers participated” he said.

Mahmod M. Tulino, MPC Bantay Ceasefire Provincial Coordinator of Maguindanao, told in an interview that the event was good. It strengthens everyone and serves as an awareness as well. “Ito ay isang pamamaraan para makumbinse ang mga tao sa paligid na tumulong sa pagsulong ng peace process para maiwasan ang nangyari sa MOA-AD” he disclosed.  “Kumbaga sa nakita nila na maraming sumali, yung matigas ang puso ay seguradong lalambot at makisali na sa pagpasulong ng usaping pangkapayapaan” he added.  He observed the full support of the government forces in the event with several troops posted along the highway from Cotabato City until Upi to assure the security of the participating individuals.

An estimate of 600 bikers and motorcyclists excluding those in the vehicles and civil society organizations participated in the said event. Among the list were: Government Peace Negotiating Panel for Talks with the MILF (GPNP-MILF) headed by Dean Marvic Leonen; Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) headed by Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles; International Monitoring Team (IMT-6), headed by MGen. Datok Mahdi bin Yusof; IMT-HoM, Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) under the leadership of GPH-CCCH Chairman BGen. Ariel B. Bernardo; AFP Peace Process Office (AFP-PPO) under Col. Dickson Hermoso -AFP-PPO Head; Malaysian Embassy (Davao Consulate) headed by Consul General Mohammad Azhar Mazlan; Mr. Ednar G. Dayanghirang form the Government Peace Negotiating Panel for the talks with the CPP/NPA/NDF (GPNP-CNN); Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP); Initiative for International Dialogue (IID) with 4 bikers, 5 from Upi Bikers; PNP-Civil Security Group (PNP-CSG) with 8 bikers, EastMinCom under Lt. Gen. Arthur Tabaquero-Commander, EASTMINCOM, with 54 bikers; 6th Infantry Division (6ID) with 82 bikers; Cotabato Off-Road Enthusiast (CORE) with 300 bikers; Karancho who served as marshalls with 52 motorcyclist; 9 motorcyclists form MPC Bantay Ceasefire, and many more.

Women Peacemakers kicks off Philippine visit with CPC Women launch

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May 24, 2011 – The Women Peacemakers, namely, Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice Deputy Director Dr. Dee Aker, Women Peacemakers Program Officer Ms. Jennifer Freeman, and 2005 Woman Peacemaker Ms. Thavory Hout from Cambodia are currently on a visit to the Philippines from May 19 – 27, 2011 to meet with the IMT-CPC-MPC Women, the International Monitoring Team and other partners in peace and civilian protection work, in order to share and learn strategies and on the ground experiences on how women in the conflict affected areas can effectively assert and operationalize the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSC 1325).

They are joined by 2010 Woman Peacemaker Ms. Merlie “Milet” Mendoza, CPC-MPC Coordinator Ms. Analiza Ugay (also of Balay Rehabilitation Center), and fellow Woman Peacemaker Atty. Mary Ann Arnado of MPC.

In solidarity with the recently launched “All Women Contingent in the Civilian Protection Component of the International Monitoring Team,” these women peacemakers from Cambodia and the United States started off their Philippine visit with a solidarity launch of the IMT-CPC-MPC Women Cotingent in Manila last May 20, 2011. The launching was held at Miriam College in Quezon City and was attended by members of the diplomatic community, members of the International Monitoring Team 6 led by Head of Mission Major General Mahdi Bin Yusof, GPH peace panel representatives led by panel member Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Armed Forces of the Philippines led by Peace Process Office Chief Col. Dickson Hermoso, some Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and international NGOs. The Women Peacemakers warmly welcomed the opportunity to personally engage with the IMT and the women involved in the CPC—to learn from their experiences and help build their competencies.

Among the speakers, Dr. Dee Aker highlighted how women’s participation in peace processes and humanitarian work “deliver a fuller security picture” and helps provide a “new framework for dispute resolution,” coming from their common strength and ability of hearing and addressing the grievances of all stakeholders involved. Prof. Ferrer reinforced her statement by sharing her own observation on how there are now major changes among key players in the peace process – pointing out that conflict is no longer viewed as merely military in nature, but with social, political and gender components.

Froilyn Mendoza, a Teduray CPC Women Contingent member from South Upi, shared her own experiences and those of her fellow CPC Women from other protection sites in Central Mindanao. Heartwarming stories of women in different cultural contexts who overcame initial resistance from their own families and communities, to later gain overwhelming respect, admiration and support from the same people who used to doubt their capacity.

The three military men — IMT Head of Mission Maj. Gen. Yusof, Brig. Gen. Ariel Bernardo, Chair of the GPH CCCH, and Col. Hermoso of the AFP — also expressed their support to the Women Peacemakers and CPC-MPC Women as well as shared their efforts on monitoring and civilian protection that is in line with the human security framework that was mentioned by Dr. Aker and Prof. Ferrer.

A day after the launch, the Women Peacemakers and the CPC Women flew straight to Davao—the first stop in the Mindanao leg of their visit. They are scheduled to visit the Mothers for Peace of the Talaandig tribe in Songco, Lantapan, Malaybalay Bukidnon to learn about Traditional Conflict Resolution; the Bantay Ceasefire and CPC Women in Aleosan protection site, North Cotabato; go on a community Visit in Pagatin, Datu Saudi Ampatuan; have a forum with Moro Women; have some courtesy calls with military camps and a meeting with the International Monitoring Team in their field office.

MPC Opened its CPC Outpost in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte

The Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC) has opened its second Civilian Protection Component (CPC) all-women contingent outpost in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte on November 15, 2010. The field office will cover the provinces of Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte.

The opening of the CPC-MPC in Kauswagan was attended by the top officials from the Office of the Presidential Advisers on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Government Peace Panel, International Monitoring Team (IMT), GRP and MILF Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH), provincial and local government units, civil society organizations, police and military, and the media.

Atty. Maryann Arnado, Secretary General of MPC, said during the opening that “the all-women contingent of MPC to the CPC is considered a breakthrough in our advocacy effort to institutionalize United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and a golden opportunity to promote the meaningful participation of women in peace and security processes, particularly in the areas of civilian protection, human rights and relief and rehabilitation efforts.”

MPC is a member of the CPC of the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team (IMT). The CPC has the following responsibilities of the CPC: to monitor violations of human rights against the civilians in the conflict-affected areas; to monitor the security and safety fo the civilian communities, and to monitor the needs of the internally-displaced persons (IDPs) and to facilitate “relief and rehabilitation support” in the conflict areas of Mindanao.  The CPC teams will also strengthen the linkages and sharing of information between the IMT and the peace panels.

During the opening, Kausawagan Mayor Rommel Arnado expressed his gratitude to MPC and IMT for having chosen their municipality to set up one of the CPC teams led by MPC. He also expressed that CPC-MPC and CPC-IMT can expect support from his administration since the people in the municipality and provinces also longed for a peaceful life.

The CPC-MPC field office was provided by the municipality of Kauswagan.

In October 5, 2010, the MPC launched CPC-MPC all-women contingent in Aleosan and also opened the first CPC-MPC field office at the municipality building of Aleosan provided by the mayor.

The towns of Kauswagan and Aleosan were chosen for the setting up of the CPC-MPC field offices because these were severely affected during the resurgence of clashes between the government and MILF forces after the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) was aborted.

The CPC of the IMT was agreed to be formed by the government and MILF in order to establish a functional system and effective mechanism for monitoring, verifying and reporting of the compliance and non-compliance to their commitments to the international and national humanitarian and human rights laws to take constant care to protect the civilian population and civilian properties against dangers arising in conflict areas.

Statement on the Launching of Change for Peace (C4P) Peace Talks Watch

We members of civil society organizations and peace advocacy groups in Mindanao announces the formation of the Change for Peace (C4P) a grassroots campaign whose objective is to develop and strengthen a broad grassroots peace constituency who would monitor developments in the ongoing GPH-MILF peace negotiations, help the public to form an informed and principled stand on the issues concerning the negotiations, and organize grassroots actions and activities that supports the realization of an agreement that will finally conclude the Bangsamoro conflict through a peaceful negotiated political settlement.

While we are encourage by the positive pronouncements both on the side of the government and the MILF that a peace agreement can be achieved within the time period of this current administration we feel that there is still a lot to be done in terms of implementing measurable and realizable actions that will put in concrete terms the steps that would be taken to address the challenges and possible pitfalls facing the negotiation process.

It is in this context that we in C4P have formed a GPH-MILF Peace Talks Watch. The rationale for its formation lies in the realization that each and every one of us are stakeholders to peace in Mindanao and us such we also bear responsibility for ensuring that the current peace negotiations will not be held hostage or derailed by the machinations of spoilers to the peace talks, and by hardline partisan political sentiments of some groups. We need only to recall the events that lead to the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) debacle to stress the importance of building a grassroots constituency is to the success of any peace negotiation.

Concretely the Peace Talks Watch campaign aims to ensure that:

  • Grassroots communities will not be misled by disinformation or unfounded speculations about the agenda of the talks and its processes by institutionalizing grassroots dialogues, community discussions, and developing information materials that will popularize the issues that are discussed by the GPH-MILF panels;
  • Both the GPH-MILF panels are reminded of their commitment to resolve the talks within the specified timeframe that they have set by organizing peace talks watch volunteers that will monitor and actively engage the process through solidarity actions that addresses potential stumbling blocks to the negotiations;
  • An active lobby will be conducted to influence legislators, and government officials to support the peace talks and develop a direct link between Congress and key government agencies to the peace panel and the outcome of the negotiations.

We also feel the urgent necessity of launching this Peace Talks Watch because in the end it is us, the people who will have to contend with the failure of the negotiations. It is our communities that will be bombed, our families who will be displaced, our properties that will be destroyed, and our future that will put in jeopardy. It is for this reason that we see the need to be vigilant, to be pro-active, and to be concerned about the outcome of the peace talks for in the final analysis what is at stake is the human capital that we have given – our tears, our joys, our aspirations – to build a community, a Mindanao where there is finally peace based on justice, and where there is unity based on the recognition of the right of its peoples to self-determination.

Signed,

Mindanao Alliance for Peace (MAP)

Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC)

Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID)

Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS)

Civil Society Organizations-Forum for Peace (CSO-FP)

United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD)

Bangsamoro Center for Just Peace (BCJP)

CPC-MPC Conducts its First Orientation Seminar

February 14, 2011 – The Civilian Protection Component – Mindanao Peoples Caucus (CPC-MPC) of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) conducted its first Orientation Seminar on February 10 – 13, 2011, at Mergrande Ocean Resort, Dumoy, Davao City. The three-day activity was participated by 30 women contingent coming from different tribes and places in Mindanao.

The seminar aimed for participants to have a common understanding on the Operational Guidelines, Humanitarian Protection framework, Tasks, Function and Role of Civilian Protection Component in relation for the overall peace process; to have working knowledge of basic ceasefire mechanism and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325 and 1820; to have deeper understanding and awareness on gender sensitivity, feminist theory and concepts; and to develop teamwork and cooperation among its member.

The event enabled the participants to establish camaraderie and teamwork among themselves through sharing of experiences and team building activities. It also became an opportunity for them to define their roles as women contingent to the IMT.

Among the speakers who share their knowledge and expertise are Atty. Mary Ann Arnado, Secretary General of the MPC, Analiza Ugay of Balay Rehabilitation Center, Mr. Rasid Ladiasan, head secretariat of MILF CCCH, writer and feminist Sheilfa Alojamiento, Janice Pinky Aragon of the Integrated Gender and Development Office of the City Government of Davao, and Danilo Caspe, Program Director of MPC.

The seminar ended with a planning activity which will serve as guide for the CPC-MPC women contingent for the next twelve months.

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MPC Members & Partners

Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) SOCKSARGEN ChapterGeneral Santos City
Archdiocese Center for Ecumenical and Inter-religious Dialogue (ACEID)Davao City
Balay Rehabilitation CenterQuezan City, Manila
Balik KalipayNorth Cotabato
Balo-I Muslim-Christian Movement for Peace, Inc.Lanao del Norte
Bangsamoro Center for Just Peace, Inc. (BCJP)Cotabato City
Bangsamoro MNLF-Arakan CooperativeArakan, North Cotabato
BIRTH Dev., Inc.Iligan City
Cotabato Council of EldersKidapawan, North Cotabato
Federation of Manobo Matigsalug Tribal Council (FEMMATRICS)Brgy. Sinuda, Kitaotao, Bukidnon
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)Davao City
GINAPALAD TAKANorth Cotabato
Immaculate Concepcion Parish (ICP)Pikit, North Cotabato
Initiatives for International  Dialogue (IID)Davao City
Integrated Mindanaoan Association for Natives (IMAN)Pagalungan, Maguindanao
IQRAA Islam FoundationTagum City
Kabacan Islamic FoundationKabacan, North Cotabato
Learned Kagan Muslim Foundation, Inc. (LKMFI)Pantukan, Compostela Valley
Mahad Multi-Purpose CooperativePikit, North Cotabato
Manobo Lumadnong Panaghiusa sa Arakan (MALUPA)Arakan, Cotabato
Maranao People Development Center (MARADECA)Marawi City
Moro Women Development and Cultural Center, Inc. (MWDECC)Cotabato City
Muslim-Christian Agency for Advocacy Relief and Development, Inc. (MuCAARD)Marawi City
Organization of Teduray and Lambangian Conference (OTLAC)North Upi, Shariff Kabungsuan
Pakigdait Inc.Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte
Panagtagbo Mindanao, Inc.Davao City
Pigsabalukan Bansa SubanenPagadian City
Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong ManggagawaNCR
Social Action CenterButuan City
Suara Kalilintad Association, Inc.Pagalungan, Maguindanao
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)Davao City
Task Force KalilintadCarmen, North Cotabato
Task Force Ugalingan Limbalod (TFUL)Carmen, North Cotabato
Tripeople Partnership for Peace and DevelopmentIligan City
Tulung Lupah SugJolo, Sulu
United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD)Cotabato City
United Youth in the Philippines (UNYPHIL)Cotabato City

MPC Vision, Mission Goals

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Vision

Mindanao Peoples Caucus envisions peaceful, self-governing and sustainable nations in Mindanao that respect the sacredness of human life in harmony with nature”

Mission

MPC works in partnership with grassroots communities and nations in Mindanao towards cultural empowerment, self–governance and sustainable development.

Goals

  1. To create a sustainable economy and livelihood of nations founded on customary governance on traditional territories with an empowered cultural and well-beings.
  2. To strengthen the formation of a critical mass of peace constituency that can influence, pressure and rally behind an acceptable and just political settlement of the armed conflict in Mindanao.
  3. To create an enabling environment where rights of the civilians and all the vulnerable sectors will be protected through capacity building, policy reforms, and institutionalization of protection mechanisms.
  4. To facilitate the effective participation of grassroots women in peace, governance and development processes through capacity building on transformative leadership, continuing advocacy on UNSCR 1325, and providing opportunities for economic empowerment.

Ceasefire Campaign

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One of the major accomplishments of MPC during this dark period of the peace process is its leading role in the national campaign for a ceasefire in Mindanao which galvanized massive support from the church, academe, business, and the war-affected communities themselves.  While this achievement is of course attributable to so many interlocking efforts, MPC has been at the forefront of the campaigns from the grassroots to the halls of Malacanang to appeal for a ceasefire and bring national attention to the humanitarian crisis in Central Mindanao.  After 17 months of open-armed hostilities which displaced over 600,000 people, Mindanao has finally reverted to a ceasefire, with the International Monitoring Team back in Mindanao.

In November 2009, the Bantay Ceasefire Assembly was convened in Marawi City.  The assembly succeeded in launching the new thrust of Bantay Ceasefire which is on Humanitarian Protection.  Dubbed as “Sagip Sibilyan”, Bantay Ceasefire’s work will now focus in alleviating the suffering of the civilians who are caught in the conflict through a programmatic humanitarian protection work.  This will cover work on early warning, disaster response and promotion of human rights.  This will also include providing legal services or referral of cases involving violations of human rights and war crimes in order to break the impunity for these abuses.  This will not however mean that BC will no longer conduct its regular monitoring of the ceasefire agreement.

There are clearly good lessons that can be drawn from the MOA-AD experience which can shed light on how to move forward.  The key here is that civil society and peace advocates recognize, accept and learn from those lessons.

One lesson that MPC offers is that peace education and peacebuilding efforts fell short in educating our communities, schools, families, and the public at large on the root causes of the armed conflict in Mindanao which include the legitimate claim of the Bangsamoro and indigenous peoples to their ancestral domain.  The peace movement in general, and that includes MPC, has failed to raise the awareness of ordinary Mindanaoans on the historical background of the conflict and why we should all work for the finding of a just and mutually acceptable political solution to the problem.  The peace movement cannot simply afford to be an onlooker to this lingering armed conflict.

In November 2009, the Bantay Ceasefire Assembly was convened in Marawi City.  The assembly succeeded in launching the new thrust of Bantay Ceasefire which is on Humanitarian Protection.  Dubbed as “Sagip Sibilyan”, Bantay Ceasefire’s work will now focus in alleviating the suffering of the civilians who are caught in the conflict through a programmatic humanitarian protection work.  This will cover work on early warning, disaster response and promotion of human rights.  This will also include providing legal services or referral of cases involving violations of human rights and war crimes in order to break the impunity for these abuses.  This will not however mean that BC will no longer conduct its regular monitoring of the ceasefire agreement.

There are clearly good lessons that can be drawn from the MOA-AD experience which can shed light on how to move forward.  The key here is that civil society and peace advocates recognize, accept and learn from those lessons.

One lesson that MPC offers is that peace education and peacebuilding efforts fell short in educating our communities, schools, families, and the public at large on the root causes of the armed conflict in Mindanao which include the legitimate claim of the Bangsamoro and indigenous peoples to their ancestral domain.  The peace movement in general, and that includes MPC, has failed to raise the awareness of ordinary Mindanaoans on the historical background of the conflict and why we should all work for the finding of a just and mutually acceptable political solution to the problem.  The peace movement cannot simply afford to be an onlooker to this lingering armed conflict.