Book on firerarms proliferation and armed groups launched Wednesday

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/28 April) — A book on weapons proliferation and armed groups in Mindanao will be launched Wednesday afternoon at the Apo View Hotel.

Titled “Primed and Purposeful: Armed Groups and Human Security Efforts in the Philippines,” this “comprehensive book on Philippine armed groups” has limited copies only.

Two organizations co-published the book written by lawyer and peace advocate Soliman Santos: the South-South Network (SSN) for Non-State Armed Group Engagemetn ( which is Filipino-led, handled the research and writing while Small Arms Survey in Geneva ( handled the editing and production. The latter will be represented by its managing editor Eric Berman.

The Mindanao launch, which will also have a forum on “the policy prospects for dealing with the two [Moro and Communist] major insurgencies in the next administration,” will be at the Garden Pavilion of the Apo View Hotel at 2:30 to 5:30 Wednesday afternoon. It is co-organized by the (Davao City-based Initiatives for International Dialogue).

In its press statement,  the organizers said  there is an “urgent need to address weapons proliferation in the Philippines—and it cannot await the outcome of stop-again/start-again peace talks.

“This publication arrives at a critical time for the Philippines. History suggests that the run up to elections in 2010 will lead to a cyclical heightening of levels of political violence. But it also provides an opportunity—a new administration must prioritize peace efforts,” the press statement read.

“This book provides an objective analysis of the issues underlying the ongoing conflicts, and of the interests and modus operandi of the parties involved. Neither romanticising nor demonising the various armed groups, the analysis points to ways to engage these groups with a view to promoting human security. It situates such efforts by providing the historical context, so essential to understanding the motives of the groups and why conflict persists in the Philippines,” it added. (MindaNews)