Monthly Archives: March 2007

OVERVIEW OF the bangsamoro youth congress

Bangsamoro Youth Congress

To strengthen unity of the Bangsamoro Youth


Theme:

“Breaking Barries: Building bridges of Understanding and Cooperation”

It is an attempt to strengthen the unity of 13 Bangsamoro ethno linguistic tribes & group that were separated and divided by their cultural/traditional differences and geographical location

Objectives
To develop a process of consultation and dialogue from a broad range of identified Bangsamoro youth leaders in Mindanao;
To promote unity and alliance among Bangsamoro youth, their organizations
To create at least five venues for dialogue and advocacy between the youth and the government and MILF peace panels

To discuss particular and common issues affecting the young people

To share ideas, stories, culture, passions, longings, and struggles
To look into their respective and common condition experiences from their own perspective
Main Activity

To hold a 3 days activity called “Bangsamoro Youth Congress” as culminating activities of the caucus which will be chosen from the different organization who participated in the consultation. The said congress it self will benefit at least fifty (50) participants who are chosen from the series of cluster caucus.

Major activities


Conveners Meeting
Cluster Caucus
Bangsamoro Youth Congress

Target Participants

18-25 years of age
Decision-maker of their Organization
Tribal and geographical Representation

Expected Output

developed alliances with peace groups Popularized the call for a strong and meaningful participation of the youth and
The Bangsamoro youth and children have established a solid alliance and strengthened their role in order to collectively reassert their legal and fundamental rights to determine their own future and political status vis-à-vis the on-going peace talks.

The Conveners Meeting

UNYPAD Inc
MINSED Foundation
UnYPhil Inc.
UnYPhil-Women
MYRO
MYB
BCJP

Cluster Caucus
Central Mindanao
Venue: Fiesta Cotabato , Cotabato City

Date: November 18,2006
Participated by 23 persons representing 11 youth organizations from different provinces in Central Mindanao

SoCSarGen CLUSTER

Venue: Isla Parilla, Alabel, Sarangani;
Date: December 22, 2006
Participated by 23 youth leaders from 10 Youth organizations from Different provinces in SoCSarGen.areas

Davao Region

Venue: Norul Hidaya, Upper Salazar, Mati, Davao Oriental;
Date: December 28, 2006
Participated by 22 youth leaders from 7 Youth organizations from Different provinces in Eastern Mindanao Region


Outputs FROM THE 3 CLUSTER CAUCUS

Overview of the project has been presented (e.g. Proposal submitted to HATAG KALINAW competition & shirt listing, online voting and defend to the panel)
Provide inputs on Bangsamoro situation

Inputs on Conflict Transformation (Moro Perspective)
Inputs: Children’s Rights : Islamic & Non-Islamic Perspective

WORKSHOPS (on particular issues that is commonly affecting the Bangsamoro youth)


Have shared ideas, stories, culture, passions, longings, and struggles

Identified common recommendations/alternatives (to be discussed during the proper Bangsamoro Youth Congress)


Position Paper addressed to the GRP & MILF Peace Panel to continue the impasse peace process

One representative was able to attend in a 3 to 4 months long SCHOOL OF PEACE in Bangalore, India

Has been discussed in the Media through several interviews (DXMS & DXMY)

Category: Uncategorized

Bangsamoro Center for Justpeace in the Phil’s. Inc.

Organizational Profile
A Brief history:
Bangsamoro Center for Justpeace in the Philippines was established out of the need for complex Human Rights issues, Peace and Development and Environmental problems of the Bangsamoro communities in the Philippines. This initiative of dynamic Peace, Human Rights and Environmental Advocates create an atmosphere for a collaborative effort of the Bangsamoro youth and people’s organizations and other social entities in working together for comprehensive and non-violent solutions to the present social and economic crisis in the poor and marginalized communities in the country.

Organized in late 2003, CENTER FOR JUSTPEACE has been registered to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as non-profit, non-stock and non-political organization, where environmental issues, peace and development as well as gender issue are its primary concern.

In the last Three (3) years of operation, CENTER FOR JUSTPEACE has already significantly acquired, developed and enriched its experiences in various fields such as:

ADVOCACY/CAMPAIGN/NETWORKING
PEACEBUILDING
&
INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING

CENTER FOR JUSTPEACE Advocacy is done in close collaboration with multi sectoral groups that has concerns with Human Rights, Peace and Development, Gender, Environmental protection and the differently able Persons.

CENTER FOR JUSTPEACE is a member—network of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS), Mindanao People Caucus (MPC), Mindanao Emergency Response Network (MERN), Kutawatu Coalition of Development NGO (K-CODE), Cotabato City Transparent and Accountable Network (CCTAN), Bantay Ceasefire, Mindanao Invisible Link – Cotabato Cluster and Tiyakap Kalilintad

Convenor/Founding member of Young Moro Forum (YMF), Mindanao Interfaith Human Rights Advocates (MIHRA), Taskforce Tiyakap Mindanao (TTM)., Mindanao Interfaith Coalition Against Injustice (MICAI) and founding member of the CENTER FOR JUSTPEACE IN ASIA, a network of peace movement from all over Asia based in Hong Kong Sar.

VISION

Bangsamoro Center for Justpeace in the Philippines Inc. (BCJP) envisions a community where people live in harmony, peace and in tranquility through individual, family, social and community transformation.

MISSION

To identify individuals and groups who are involved with grassroots communities using traditional methods of peacemaking, conflict transformation and development and to help create critical solidarity and collaboration among these groups to help counter the various forces of oppression and exploitation of natural resources work and defend the rights of the marginalized Bangsamoro communities and facilitate their initiatives to uplift their living condition

GOAL

Established a Self Reliant community that promotes peace; enjoy human rights; observe justice; equality and freedom; and protects environment through culturally relevant peacemaking, peacebuilding conflict transformation and development

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

1. Document Human Rights and environmental abuses in the communities where few other organizations can safely operate
2. Strengthen unity among Bangsamoro Civil Society Organization and indigenous peoples groups.
3. Uphold and defend the rights and welfare of the marginalized sector of society
4. Launch educational campaigns aim at raising the consciousness of the Bangsamoro people and their communities on issues affecting their lives
5. Support and participate in any non-violent solution of the Bangsamoro people for genuine development and Justpeace restoration in Mindanao
6. To mobilize financial resources for community-based development project and support self-reliant efforts of the community
7. To foster interfaith and inter tribe dialogue with the purpose of developing a common contemporary challenges.

Present Programs:

Human Rights:

Human Rights Violation Documentation – Bangsamoro Political detainees and other victims of abduction – in collaboration with the Taskforce Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP and the Consortium of the Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS)

Advocacy/Campaign
a. Against Anti-Terror Bill –
b. Anti E.O 546
c. Supporting the Anti Torture Bill
Through a series of Fora, Symposia and Seminars, Signature Campaign, Press Releases/Statement/Conferences – target of this activity is the Civil Society Organization, Students, the Academe and the Moro communities – assisted by the taskforce Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)

Human Rights Education/Orientation – Beneficiaries of these initiatives were various civic, sectoral and religious organization and Moro in Davao Oriental province- in collaboration with the taskforce Detainees of the Philippines. (TFDP)

Peacebuilding:

Bangsamoro Youth Congress – an attempt to unite Bangsamoro youth from the 13 ethno-linguistic groups divided by cultural/traditional practices and geographic location. The project assisted by the British Council through its HATAG KALINAW Mindanao program. Major provinces in Mindanao who are dominated by Moro were clustered into 4, Cluster 1 comprising Central Mindanao, Cluster 2 is SoCSarGen, Cluster 3 Eastern Mindanao and Cluster 4 is Western Mindanao. After cluster caucus for these 4 clusters, Bangsamoro Youth Congress will be conducted as culminating activities where the major issues and concerns as well as the recommendations from the caucus will be discussed and given due action which will be identified by the participants in the Congress.
Awareness Raising on the GRP-MILF Peace Process – To strengthen the participation of the Bangsamoro youth in the GRP-MILF peace talks with the end in view of responding to the special needs and protection of children in armed conflict situation. The project is supported by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
Launching of a Young Moro Forum – Series of Youth consultation to the Bangsamoro youth it will be culminated in a launching of the Young Moro Forum – in partnership with the Mindanao People Caucus (MPC)

School Of Peace – identify and send participants to attend 4 – months School Of Peace in Bangalore, India to encourage young people from around Asia to become agents of transformation in the task of building cultures and communities of justpeace. – the project is supported by the Center for Justpeace in Asia (CJPA)

Conceptualization and Development of Module/Manual of Culture of Peace in a Moro Perspectives

People with Disability Empowerment – the project is supported by the Handicap International (HI) where differently people persons organize and train.

Programs and Initiatives

1. PEACEBUILDING
2. HUMAN RIGHTS
3. RESEARCH AND ADVOCACY
4. SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
(SEED)
5. RELIEF AND REHABILITATION

Project Management Staff
(PMS)

BOBBY BENITO
Over All Coordinator

NORODIN ‘ford” SAMAD
Executive Director
&
Social Empowerment and Economic Development
(SEED)

AILYNNE M. BENITO
Writer/Admin

HALIMA C. ABDULLAH
Human Rights/Bookkeeper

RASUL KULAT
Peacebuilding/Finance Officer

RAIDAH ABUBAKAR
Program Officer Relief & Rehab

WILLIAM D. BANZALI
Advocacy Program Officer/Spokesperson

SARAH SALIK
Research

KAHAR BENITO
Logistics

ANWARUDIN ESMAEL
Volunteer

BOBBY ASIM
Volunteer

NASH SALIAO
Volunteer/Photographer

ISMAEL LULAYVolunteer

Category: Uncategorized

Calling Mindanao Peace Mediators To Account I: A Failed Peace Agreement

FROM THE PLAINS OF KUTAWATO
By: Atty. Zainudin S. Malang

CALLING PEACE MEDIATORS TO ACCOUNT
(Part I – A Failed Peace Agreement)

In a few weeks from now, early February, a tripartite meeting between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) will be held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in order to sort out the problems in the implementation of the 1996 peace agreement between the two. The fact that this meeting has to be held only highlights the problem the 1996 peace agreement encountered in its implementation.

At this point, to call the agreement successfully implemented, rather than describing it at the very least as having a problematic implementation would be the height of chutzpa. In 1996, people within and outside the autonomous region were expecting the agreement to herald in an era of peace and prosperity not seen in decades. Instead, ten years hence, the component provinces of the region are still the poorest among all of the Philippines’ provinces. Its regional government has the lowest of fiscal allocations of all regions. Its residents have the lowest infant mortality, life expectancy, educational attainment, etc. Moros outside the region are still subjected to all forms of discrimination both by public and private institutions.

On the security side, the region is also the most militarized. Large-scale fighting between the MNLF and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) still occur. Terrorist groups like the ASG still operate. And if that is not enough to convince anyone of the failure, the MNLF’s signatory to the peace agreement is under arrest. The tri-partite meeting itself had to be postponed several times and that in itself an indication of that failure. How can a meeting be held between the GRP and the MNLF when the latter’s signatory won’t be able to attend because he is being incarcerated by the former?

Thankfully, during ceremonies marking the 10th year of the agreement on September of last year, no one dared to refer to those ceremonies as anniversaries or celebrations, not even the government. People are not that blind or insensitive after all.

Thus, the most obvious question on everyone’s minds is why the failure? Under whose watch did it fail? Who dropped the ball in settling the Mindanao conflict?

Analysts of the Mindanao peace process have not been remiss in addressing these questions. There are those who point out the government’s lack of sincerity as well as fiscal support for the regional government. Some even point to the constitutional and democratic limitations faced by the government in implementing the agreement. On their peace partner’s side, others point to the MNLF’s inability to transform itself from a revolutionary organization into one that is more political and administrative. I also heard someone observe the MNLF’s exclusivism in running the affairs of the ARMM and seemed to have forgotten that it fought not for the sake of its members and officers but for the sake of the Bangsamoro.

Most of the existing analyses, however, only look at the responsibility of the GRP and the MNLF in the failure of the agreement. For sure, there is so much blame to go around for these two. However, few look at the responsibility of the mediator, the OIC or more particularly the Committee of the Eight. The MNLF-GRP Peace Process after all is a tripartite peace process – there are two main protagonists (GRP and MNLF) plus the supposedly neutral mediator (OIC).

For purposes of simplicity, one may say that a mediator has two roles. The first is to facilitate the parties’ coming to an agreement as to how they will settle their differences. Success in this aspect is evidenced by a peace agreement. Once that agreement is signed, the mediator’s second responsibility kicks in and that is to make sure that the signatories live up to their end of the agreement. What evidence shall we look for success in this regard? Peace, or lack of fighting, and steady even if slow progress on the development side. In short, everything that is not in the autonomous region now.

Given these two roles, how do we now assess the OIC’s performance? The answer is obvious so perhaps so we should just ask ourselves how did the OIC fail dismally? To answer this question, we may need to look at who in the OIC actually oversaw the GRP-MNLF peace process. In other words, under whose watch did the process fail? Who dropped the ball?

For the unfamiliar, the OIC had delegated to six (now eight) of its member countries the responsibility of mediating the resolution of the conflict, hence the name “Committee of the Eight”. During the crucial 10 year period after the signing of the ’96 agreement, this committee was chaired by Indonesia. Libya is an influential member of the committee simply because it brokered the much-earlier 1976 peace agreement.

Last year, the OIC sent a senior adviser to its Secretary-General to Mindanao on a fact-finding mission to find out what went wrong with the agreement. During several forums and meetings he held with civil society groups, he pointedly told his audience to be candid and frank with their views and to relay those views to him directly. I took that to mean that the Secretary-General’s office suspected the Committee of the Eight was sanitizing its previous reports to the OIC about the status of the agreement to the OIC by downplaying serious problems or disagreements over its implementation. I still recall a statement by the Libyan Ambassador a few years back to the effect that there are no such problems with the agreement. He said this even as widespread fighting broke out between the MNLF and AFP, on a scale not seen since the 1970s.

True enough, the subsequent report of the Office of the Secretary-General itself, as opposed to the Committee of the Eight, was blunt in its assessment. There was none of the sugar-coating of or silence over serious problems or the glowing praises for the implementation of the agreement that was typical of statements coming from the Libyan or Indonesian missions here in the Philippines. A quote from the Secretary-General’s report makes one wonder if the current conditions of Moros would exist if the problems in the implementation of the agreement were not that serious:

“Muslims in southern Philippines, whose population is estimated at 8 to 10 million, are still living under deteriorating political, economic, and social conditions, which are evident in the extreme backwardness and acute lack of educational and health services. These conditions are in fact due to the central government’s control of natural resources in the Muslim areas, in addition to the political marginalization of Muslims that is manifest in the absence of fair representation in government and judiciary posts. Moreover, military operations have continued, leading to the displacement of more and more Muslims from their villages and towns on top of the continued demographic reengineering that has encouraged the migration of non-Muslims to the south in order to turn the Muslims there into the minority.”

(Part II next week – The Mediator’s Accountability)