Tag: cotabato city

Aug 25 2011

WE REMAIN POSITIVE ABOUT GPH-MILF PEACE NEGOTIATIONS

While Dann Pantoja (PBCI President) looks at his facilitator's notes, Rev. Norman Naromal (Senior Pastor, Davao Bible Community Church) asks the MILF Peace Panel members -- Michael Mastura, Mohagher Iqbal, and Aboud Sayed Lingga -- about the nature and intention of the proposed Bangsamoro Substate during the PCEC-MILF Inter-Faith Dialogue, March 09, 2011, KFI Bldg., Cotabato City. It was described by the MILF panelists as "heart-to-heart conversation." The event was organized by the Mindanao People's Caucus (MPC) and PBCI.

The PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI)—a fellowship of Conflict Transformation specialists who are dreaming and working for a just, radical, and active non-violent transformation of our land—is confident that the peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will continue towards the path of peace and reconciliation between the Filipinos and the Bangsamoros.

We expressed our enthusiasm regarding the August 4, 2011 meeting of President Benigno Aquino III and Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim in Japan as a positive move towards peace and reconciliation.

We were praying as the 22nd Exploratory Talks in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur started last August 22nd.  We appreciate both peace panels for their hard work.

  • We thank God for the GPH Peace Panel delegation: Chief Negotiator Marvic Leonen; panel members Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Mr. Senen Bacani, Mr. Ramon Piang; panel consultant Prof. Hamid Barra; and panel secretariat Ms. Iona Jalijali, lawyers Juhaira Wahab and Armi Bayot, both legal counsels.
  • We thank God for the MILF Peace Panel delegation: Chief Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal; panel members Atty. Datu Michael Mastura, Maulana Alonto, Abhoud Lingga, Abdulla Camlian and alternate member Antonio Kinoc, and MILF panel secretariat Jun Mantawil, with Mike Pasigan and Mohajirin Ali.

We respect the MILF peace formula that calls for “the creation of a substate for the Moros.” We are aware that “this entity is not an independent state” and that “the powers over national defense, foreign relations, coinage and currency, and postal services are still the sole jurisdiction of the central government.”   We have nothing to fear in the MILF proposal, because “the substate, as the name connotes, is still part of the Philippines.”  We are aware that the proposed substate will have “no army, except police and internal security forces, tasked to do policing within the substate.”

We respect GPH Panel Chair Marvic Leonen’s “3 for 1″ Proposal—that is, one solution with three components, such as “massive economic development,” “political settlement with the MILF,” and “cultural-historical acknowledgment.”   We are aware that this approach was a result of the GPH Peace Panel’s extensive consultations with various sectors in Mindanao.

We respect MILF Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal’s commitment “to reframe the consensus points with the end in view of moving towards the comprehensive compact to bring about a negotiated political settlement of the conflict in Mindanao.”  We are aware that, for the Bangsamoros who have been suffering from decades of war and historical injustice, “the peace negotiation cannot be delayed anymore.”

We listened carefully when Mohagher Iqbal announced last August 24 that the MILF Peace Panel did not accept the GPH’s proposal because of the following reasons:

  • The GPH peace panel draft is way below the MILF expectation. The MILF peace panel thought that the Aquino administration had a better formula than the previous administrations in addressing the Moro Question and armed conflict in Mindanao;
  • The draft has no meeting point with the MILF peace panel draft; hence, will not fast track the negotiation as agreed by President Aquino and Chairman Murad in Japan last August 4;
  • The GPH draft is not solving the Moro Question and the armed conflict in Mindanao but it is a formula to prolong it;
  • The unbridled domination of the Philippine government over the Moros through the unitary setup of government is not only maintained but reenergized or reentrenched; and,
  • Practically, the GPH draft derogated all signed agreements or documents including the historic Tripoli Agreement of Peace of 2001.

We listened carefully when Marvic Leonen announced early today, August 25,  that “the government is standing firm on its proposal” and that “the government rejects the MILF’s rejection of our proposal.”  He cites the following reasons:

  • The government proposal is the most principled, realistic and practical approach to resolving the decades-old armed conflict in the south;
  • The “3 for 1” proposal or three components for one solution to the Bangsamoro problem was crafted within the bounds of the Philippine Constitution, which allows a lot of flexibility;
  • The 20-page proposal was the result of the series of consultations the peace panel conducted with various stakeholders in Mindanao;
  • It seeks not only to provide a just and lasting peace to the troubled south but more so to improve and uplift the lives of the people who have long suffered from the brutality of decades-long armed conflict;
  • The GPH proposal reflects the sincere desire of the President for permanent peace in Mindanao obtained in a fair, just and transparent manner.

On one hand, the MILF is emphasizing a prompt action on the part of the GPH to arrive at thefinish line of this journey—which is mostly a journey of suffering on the part of the Bangsamoros because of historical injustice. On the other hand, the GPH is emphasizing awell-processed action towards the same finish line, when the final agreement will be embraced by all segments and sectors of the whole Philippine society, and therefore be effectively and efficiently sustained permanently. The finish line, we believe, is a comprehensive agreement where the Bangsamoros, the Indigenous People, and the Migrants can claim themselves to be enjoying their respective rights to self-determination in this beautiful land of Mindanao.

We have met and have interacted personally with both GPH and MILF peace negotiators in various occasions.  We are confident that both parties have the characters and skills of a genuine and sincere set of peace-builders.

Along with all the Filipinos and the Bangsamoros, we await a reciprocal show of sincerity, openness and commitment from both the GPH and the MILF to move the peace process forward.

For more information, contact: Rev. L. Daniel Pantoja, PBCI President & CEO, telephone +63 908 888 8017 or email: daniel@peacebuilderscommunity.org.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/08/25/pbci-remains-positive-about-gph-milf-peace-negotiations/

Jun 18 2011

METRO-COTABATO MINISTERIAL FELLOWSHIP ORGANIZES PAR COMMUNITY

The MetroCotabato Ministerial Fellowship (MCMF) formally organized the MetroCotabato PAR Community from among their key leaders.

This journey started last November 08, 2010 when key staff of the PeaceBuilders Community Inc. (PBCI) was introduced by Ms. Joy Raguine to the MCMF leaders. PBCI presented the concept of peace and reconciliation (PAR) ministry. Since then, a partnership journey grew between MCMF and PBCI into a mutual commitment to advance PAR ministry in Cotabato City and the whole Maguindanao Province.

Last March 09, 2011, 32 MCMF pastors and key Christian leaders participated in an inter-faith dialogue between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) which was held at the Kadtuntaya Foundation Inc. in Cotabato City.

After finishing PAR Seminars 1-3, the MCMF established a PAR Community among their ranks, with an intention of forming 4 PAR Teams of 15 members each, around Cotabato City and Maguindanao Province.

God willing, these Christian leaders in MetroCotabato will be one of the 80 PAR Communities in the Philippines who would advance as a Peace and Reconciliation Movement, with an integrated framework for peace-building, who are organized in partnership with various parts of the People of God, who are mobilized to do ministries of justice and peace in the name of Jesus, and who will lovingly serve all the peoples of our land unconditionally regardless of religion, ethnicity, or political ideology, to the end that our land will experience holistic transformation!

We welcome the MetroCotabato PAR Community to the growing number of PAR Communities in the Philippines!

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/06/18/metro-cotabato-ministerial-fellowship-organizes-their-par-community/

May 10 2011

EXPERIENCE HISTORY, ART, & PEACE AT “DATU’S BREW”

 

We thank the Hon. Datu Kharis Baraguir and his family for inviting us at the Grand Opening of Datu’s Brew, the first Bangsamoro-conceptualized fair trade coffee shop in the Philippines.

Joji and I are a native Tagalog couple. Through the Baraguir Family, we have learned to love, respect, and appreciate the history and culture of the Bangsamoro in general, and of the Maguindanao people in particular.

Our experience at Datu’s Brew encapsulated — through sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste — our formerly-abstract and academic idea of the term Maguindanao.

As a social enterprise, the Baraguir family explored the values that are relevant to them. The three terms they chose to characterize their advocacies are history, art, and peace.

History. At Datu’s Brew, we got immersed in this people’s time, memory, and territory. “Time, memory, and territory,” according to a Bangsamoro statesman, “are the historical antecedents of a people’s identity.” Identity results in community. The blood and soil of the Bangsamoro and of the Maguindanaons characterize their nativity.

Inside Datu’s Brew, we had a grasp of the Moro people’s nationhood. A nation is said to be a territorial community of nativity.

Datu’s Brew is not just a story of business interest which is merely characterized by labor and market.

Datu’s Brew is the story of a native people’s journey in their native land — that of blood and soil.

Art. Datu’s Brew re-tells the journey of Mindanao through the lenses of the Bangsamoro narrative using arts and crafts. The pieces of artistic items and textiles presented to their guests represent certain segments of history and aspects of their culture.

Products of Ginis Arts and Crafts are displayed for sale at Datu’s Brew.

Ginis Arts and Crafts and Datu’s Brew both bring light and understanding to the Bangsamoro’s vision of a land where beauty and freedom is Reality.

Peace. Our experience at Datu’s Brew gave us the indicator that the visionaries behind this social business understand that genuine peace comes from Salaam.

The Arabic word “salaam” basically means “completeness, soundness, welfare, and peace.” Completeness has the idea of being whole — that is, all the parts are connected with each other. Soundness can be understood also as safety of the body and clarity of mind. Welfare can be viewed as wellness — that is, holistic health and prosperity.

Peace can be read as tranquility, contentment, and healthy relationships.

The ultimate meaning of Salaam is total submission to the Creator.

Peace is harmony with other human beings, and thus, the absence of any hostility or war.

Having said all these essential characteristics of Datu’s Brew, it must be emphasized that Datu’s Brew serves the best 100% Arabica beans that has been ranked as Premium Coffee in accordance with global cupping standards.

The food menu and serving at Datu’s Brew is at par with international standards, appreciated by foreign aid workers and peace building executives in Mindanao.

In our role as co-founders of Coffee for Peace, we are privileged to be a partner in this business: we supply Datu’s Brew with global standard quality and fair traded Arabica coffee beans.

Again, we thank the Baraguir Family for inviting us in this social entrepreneurial endeavour.

::  May 10, 2011  ::  Davao City  ::

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/05/10/experienced-history-art-peace-at-datus-brew/

Nov 10 2010

COTABATO CHRISTIAN LEADERS EMBRACE PAR MINISTRY

Reported by
MS REGINA MONDEZ, Development Communication Specialist, PeaceBuilders Community

On November 8, 2010, PeaceBuilders Community Inc (PBCI) Field Operations Team traveled to Cotabato City to explore the possibility of organizing a Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Community in this area. The team met with 15 participants from various Churches and Christian organizations to discuss and reflect on PAR ministries.

The meeting began with a presentation of PBCI’s vision to establish at least one PAR Community in each of the 81 provinces in the Philippines.  Rev. L. Daniel Pantoja, Founding President of PBCI, shared the sad realities we are currently facing: “Unjust Globalism—poor countries are oppressed and suppressed by powerful nations and multinational corporations.  Conflicted Land—our government is wasting huge amounts from our scarce resources due to armed conflicts against our own people.  Violence of Injustice—our people are enslaved in poverty while warlords run many of our local governments.”

But he also emphasized the fact that God is at work in our land and we are in a crucial time when God’s waves of grace and mercy are sweeping our land towards a taste of God’s shalom: “This is a kairos-moment for the Church in the Philippines.  We, at PeaceBuilders Community, sense that the Spirit of God is prompting the Body of Christ to be a mediator among various conflicting groups in our land.  What would be your response as Christian leaders in Cotabato City?”

An open forum followed.

During the forum the pastors expressed their reactions about PAR ministry. They confirmed that PAR ministry is needed in the area both within the church and with the greater community. Generally, the participants felt that PAR is both important and time sensitive for the area. They acknowledged their need to come together to have a voice in the conflict situation in their province.

It was also mentioned that getting involved in PAR ministries will require a change of mindset among the Christian community regarding their Muslim neighbors. They are aware of the gap between these two communities due to Christian prejudice against Muslim, and the need for efforts to be made to overcome this.

During our time together, we observed that the Christian community is confused about what some Muslim groups are fighting for in terms of territory and how that would affect their lives. Therefore, more dialogue between the Muslims and the Christians  is required to build mutual understanding.

The pastors in Cotabato City and surrounding areas embraced the idea of peace building and PAR ministry during this exploratory meeting. As one participant put it, “I am so happy!  With all my heart, this is the kind of peace building that I long for. This is concrete.”

The participants have confirmed, through the chairman of Cotabato City Ministerial Fellowship, Pastor Valentin Juan, that they are interested in training and will begin PAR Seminar Series in January of 2011.

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2010/11/10/1142/