DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 April) – A symposium to tackle the Bangsamoro peace process as it transitions from the Aquino administration to the next will be convened by Mindanao’s lone Cardinal, Orlando Quevedo, OMI, at the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) here on April 21.
Entitled “Titayan: Bridging for Peace (Inclusive Political Transitions in the Bangsamoro),” the symposium intends to “rebuild and expand” the constituency to protect the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed by the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on March 27, 2014 and “energize implementation via existing and emerging peace-building infrastructure.”
Convened by the Friends of Peace and the Ateneo de Davao University’s Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Identities and Dialogue, “Titayan,” which means bridge in Maguindanao, will be followed by workshops on April 22 until noon of April 23.
A press conference is scheduled noon of April 23, a day before the last Presidential Debate for the May 9 elections.
International and local speakers will tackle various themes at the Finster Auditorium from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 21.
In the morning, Ateneo de Davao University president Joel Tabora will welcome participants while Quevedo will deliver the keynote address.
Also in the morning, Panel 1 will tackle the theme “Protection and implementation of peace agreements during political transitions even without legislation.”
Chetan Kumar, Advisor on Peacebuilding for the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in the Philippines, will discuss international good practices and Prof. Rufa Guiam, Director of the Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao at the Mindanao State University in General Santos City, will discuss local good practices.
The peace process between government and the MILF is on its implementation phase. A major part of the implementation process, however, was derailed when Congress failed to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) before it adjourned on February 3.
The BBL would have paved the way for the creation of the Bangsamoro, the new autonomous political entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
With the non-passage of the BBL, elections in the ARMM for 2016 to 2019 will be held during the synchronized elections on May 9. Passage of the Bangsamoro law is needed within the next two years to allow for a transition from the ARMM to the Bangsamoro and to ensure that the decommissioning of the MILF’s weapons and troops, which is tied up with the passage of the law, will continue, as part of the normalization process.
Another aspect of the Bangsamoro peace process that needs to be attended to are the recommendations of the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) on dealing with the past.
In the afternoon of April 21, Panel 2 theme will be on “Interim arrangements to maintain momentum and security during political transition.”
Maj. Carlos Sol, head of the secretariat of the GPH-Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH), will do a joint presentation with Rasid Ladiasan of the MILF-CCCH while Shabdia Marhaban will tackle the Aceh Experience
The theme for Panel 3 is “Widening participation of political and civic actors in the peace process and delivery of community-owned peace dividends.”
Dr. Alma Jadallah will focus on Yemen and the Middle East while Datuan Magon, Project Officer of Building Peace in Mindanao through public participation in governance and Deputy Secretary-General for Administration of the United Youth for Peace and Development (Unypad), will discuss Local Good Practices.
Marhaban fled to the United States in 2003 due to her activism in the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), but returned as a member of the GAM negotiating team that ended the 30-year conflict in 2005. She co-founded the Aceh Women’s League (LINA) to oversee the reintegration programs and training in political participation for women ex-combatants. Working with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari, she has traveled across South and Southeast Asia promoting women’s engagement in post-conflict management. Mrs. Marhaban has a degree in Political Science from Jakarta’s National University and was a Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, United States. She is currently based in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
Jadallah is President and Managing Directore of Kommon Denominator, Inc., an award winning private consulting firm providing technical expertise to strengthen national and local capacities in peace building and conflict transformation. She has field experience in crisis and post-conflict settings relating to identity based conflicts, political processes design, and intra and inter-group relations. In 2014-15, she served as the Coordinator and Regional Expert on Yemen and was a UN Expert to the National Dialogue Conference in Yemen.
Before serving as peacebuilding advisor to the UN in the Philippines, Kumar served as Senior Conflict Prevention Advisor with the Headquarters of the United Nations Development Programme. Currently he focuses on building capacities for the prevention and resolution of conflicts, the promotion of dialogue, and the constructive management of diversity. He has helped in the development and implementation of such initiatives in 21 countries in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.
For more information contact the Ateneo de Davao Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Identities and Dialogue at [email protected] mobile 63.927.868.1641 or land line 082.221.2411 loc. 8246.