Tag: pepp

Jul 29 2011

KILOS: A NATIONAL CONVERGENCE OF PEACE NETWORKS IS FORMED

While Secretary Teresita "Ging" Deles (Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, sitting alone on the upper left corner) finalizes her presentation, Atty. Alex Padilla (Chair, Government Peace Negotiating Panel in talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines) was holding the microphone giving updates on the GPH-NDFP peace talks. Mr. Gus Miclat (Executive Director of the Initiatives for International Dialogue), in black jacket sitting next to Atty. Padilla, was facilitating the discussion between the government peace negotiators and members of the newly-formed Kilos Kapayapaan at Katarungan, a national convergence of all peace focal networks in the Philippines.

PeaceBuilders Community Inc. (PBCI) is one of the representatives of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) in the formation of a national convergence of all the peace focal networks in the Philippines. It is called Kilos Kapayapaan at Katarungan (Movement for Peace and Justice). We simply refer to it as Kilos. The formation of Kilos happened last July 27-28, 2011 at the Regalia Tower Suites in Cubao, Quezon City.

PEPP is one of the focal networks of Kilos. During the Ecumenical Church Leaders Summit on Peace last 19-21 July 2011, which was held in Mary Ridge Spiritual Center, Tagaytay City, I’ve been tapped to represent PEPP in this particular meeting of all peace networks that turned out to be Kilos. PBCI is a member of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC). PCEC is one of the federations making up PEPP.

Among the many things we have discussed were the following:

:: Kilos will be independent from the government and non-state groups, and will initiate partnerships with concerned peace funding organizations.
:: Kilos will initiate consultations with all parties involved in the peace talks — the Government of the Philippines (GPH), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the National Democratice Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
:: Kilos will develop a structure that will focus on each aspect and facet of the various peace processes; at the same time, Kilos will also have a comprehensive structure to look at the big picture as one peace process.
:: Kilos is planning simultaneous activities all over Mindanao, Visayas, and Luzon to make the whole country become aware of the need to have a political resolution to all unpeace situations in our land.

The formation of Kilos is a culmination of a series of consultations. At the national consultation with civil society organizations (CSOs) involved in peace advocacy convened by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) on August 4, 2010, it was agreed that there would be a continuing process of communication between the CSOs and OPAPP. Initially, five and later six focal networks were identified, to which the peace CSOs present were affiliated, namely –

:: Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform;
:: Sulong CARHRIHL;
:: Indigenous Peoples Network;
:: Boses Mindanao;
:: Waging Peace Philippines; and,
:: Mindanao Peaceweavers.

Follow-up meetings were done with representatives of these peace networks on December 7-9, 2010 and again on February 2, 2012.

After various developments in the GPH-NDF and GPH-MILF peace negotiations, as well as in the closure processes for the other peace agreements, it is quite urgent that there be an opportunity for the peace CSO networks to get direct updates regarding these developments from OPAPP and the GPH panels. Thus, all representatives of the above-mentioned focal networks decided to form Kilos.

Please pray that Kilos Kapayapaan at Katarungan would be empowered by God and by the people to continually work and advocate for peace, until we finally experience genuine and lasting peace in this beautiful land — not just for some, but for all.

 

Dann Pantoja, July 27-28, 2011
Antipolo Room, 15th Floor, Regalia Tower Suites
Cubao, Quezon City

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/07/29/kilos-a-convergence-of-convergences-among-peace-advocates/

Jul 20 2011

PCEC JOINS ECUMENICAL LEADERS’ PEACE SUMMIT

Senior leaders of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) actively participated in the Ecumenical Church Leaders Summit, held last July 19-21, 2011 at the Mary Ridge Spiritual Center in Tagaytay City.

The Summit was convened to talk about the role of the Church in the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The theme was “Proclaiming the Gospel of Peace: An Ecumenical Imperative.”

Rationale

Peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) have been going on and off over the past four decades. In February 2011, peace talks were resumed in Oslo with renewed hopes for a just and lasting resolution to this conflict.

It is in this context that the united voice of religious leaders representing the various religious communities in the country can play a significant role in ensuring the validity and sustainability of the peace process. As in other countries with a history of armed internal conflict (as in South Africa, Colombia, Ireland, etc.) religious leaders can play a crucial role in bringing about a just and lasting peace.

Objectives

Following the See-Judge-Act approach, the objectives of this summit of religious leaders are the following:
1) To understand the context and issues of the peace negotiations by listening to spokespersons of the GRP and NDFP panels;
2) To gain information about the current state of armed conflict and military operations in different regions of the country, as well as the estimated costs in terms of loss of lives and properties, and impact on the economy;
3) To be updated with the ongoing efforts of various Civil Society Organizations in monitoring and brokering the peace negotiations – e.g., the Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute (Waging Peace), Sulong CARHRIHL and Pilgrims for Peace.
4) To review and articulate Christian spiritual traditions from the Bible and social teachings for peacebuilding;
5) To form a Peace Constituency and to formulate an Ecumenical Plan of Action for religious communities at the local, regional, and national levels.

Participants

To ensure co-equal participation and a candid exchange of views, only active bishops, major church leaders, and major religious superiors were invited to the summit. No proxy representatives were allowed.

Five major federations of religious leaders we’re invited to send ten each participants to the summit. These are:
• Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC)
• National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP)
• Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)
• Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP)
• Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF)

The heads of these federations act as co-convenors of this summit, together with the PEPP co-chairpersons and secretariat head.

Participants were chosen along these guidelines:
1. They are based in ongoing conflict areas;
2. They are major church leaders ( i.e., bishop or equivalent head of a local diocese or denomination or major religious superior)
3. They are in active service and are involved in promoting the peace process in their jurisdiction.
4. They are ecumenical in their outlook , open to dialogue, and are ready to engage in inter-faith peacebuilding activities in their own areas of responsibility as a follow-up of this summit.

The sub-regions identified with significant conflict situations are the following:
• In Luzon: Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Bicol Region, and Metro Manila
• In the Visayas: Samar/Leyte, Negros island, Panay island
• In Mindanao: Caraga region, Northern Mindanao, South-Central Mindanao.

Please pray for the actual result of this conference in the lives of the common people who are experiencing unpeace within them and around them. Please pray that practical action towards holistic peace — that is, spiritual transformation, psycho-social transformation, socio-political transformation, economic-ecological transformation — would actually be experienced by the masses. Please pray for genuine shalom in our land.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/07/20/pcec-joins-ecumenical-leaders-peace-summit/

Jun 10 2011

TO THE GOVERNMENT AND COMMUNIST REVOLUTIONARIES: GO BACK TO THE NEGOTIATING TABLE

Teresita Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, GPH; Luis Jalandoni, Peace Panel Chairman, NDFP

We were dancing! We were celebrating the fact that last February 15-21, 2011, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) resumed their peace talks.

But last June 02, 2011,  Luis Jalandoni, Peace Panel Chairman of NDFP, proposed the postponement of their talks with GPH. The said talks is scheduled this month. Jalandoni communicated this in a letter addressed to GPH Peace Panel Chairman Alexander Padilla.

Jalandoni wants Padilla to free two political prisoners who are also consultants of the NDFP — Allan Jazmines and Tirso Alcantara.  The NDFP claims these two persons to be covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).

GPH said that the NDFP should not use the formal talks to secure the release of Jazmines and Alcantara. This GPH position was communicated through the Department of National Defense.

Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, said:

I would like to refer to the statements made in January of this year, of government chief negotiator Alexander Padilla, after the preliminary negotiations between the government and the NDFP. I quote negotiator Padilla, who said in his statement that “the government agreed to work, on best effort basis, for the release of NDFP consultants and personalities who are qualified under the JASIG so they may meaningfully participate in the negotiations.”

“The resumption of the formal negotiations with the NDFP will focus on the remaining substantive agenda on: socio-economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and end of hostilities and disposition of forces. To avoid unwarranted disruptions of the negotiations, the Parties also established sidetable mechanisms to review and address procedural and non-substantive issues such as JASIG implementation, the release of alleged political prisoners (APOs), and confidence-building and goodwill measures.”

In line with this, the Government reiterates its sincerity and commitment to this process. In fact, in February of this year, before the start of the formal talks in Oslo, Norway, we facilitated provision of travel documents for NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio Economic Reform (RWC-SER) members Rafael Baylosis and Randall Echanis.

From the WebSite of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

In response, Fidel V. Agcaoili, spokesperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, said:

Ms. Teresita (Ging) Quinto-Deles, the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process of the Government of the Philippines (GPH, formerly designated as the GRP), is mistaken in claiming that the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) is a mere side-table issue in the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations.

Ms. Ging Deles should be reminded that the primary purposes of the JASIG are “to facilitate the peace negotiations, create a favorable atmosphere conducive to free discussion and movement during the peace negotiations, and avert any incident that may jeopardize the peace negotiations.”

The JASIG is a very important agreement in the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations. It is what enables the Parties to directly engage in peace negotiations by providing safety and immunity guarantees to their respective negotiators, consultants, staffers, security and other personnel who participate in the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations. It actually tests the sincerity and commitment of the Parties to the peace negotiations.

As stipulated in the Joint Communique signed by the Parties and witnessed by Ambassador Ture Lundh of the Royal Norwegian Government on 18 January 2011 in Oslo: “The GPH Panel agreed to work for the expeditious release of detained NDFP consultants and other JASIG protected persons in compliance with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and in the spirit of goodwill.”

The NDFP proposal to defer the talks of the Reciprocal Working Committees on Social and Economic Reforms (RWCs SER) and the Working Groups on Political and Constitutional Reforms (WGs PCR) scheduled in Oslo this month is meant to allow the GPH to comply with the JASIG.

From the WebSite of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines

 

As a concerned peace-building fieldworker, our hearts resonate with the statement of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform:

As a church-based peace advocate, we urge the two parties to remain focused on seeing the peace process through. We stand by our previous call that the two parties honor the previously signed agreements like The Hague Joint Declaration and all other bilateral agreements.

Specifically, we urge both parties to honor the terms of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) agreed upon in March 16, 1998 and in so far as practical measures in pursuit of this concern have been reiterated in the Oslo Joint Statement dated 21 February 2011.

We call on the two parties to follow the spirit of the JASIG as it is a crucial issue around the formal peace talks. Its faithful implementation enables the two parties to resume the negotiations in earnest. On the agenda of the formal peace talks are the social and economic reforms. This second substantive agenda is very central to the negotiations as it seeks solutions to address the roots of armed conflict that has afflicted our land for decades.

Finally, we reiterate our unceasing call for the people to support the peace negotiations. Primarily, our task is to be vigilant lest groups or acts that undermine our aspiration for a just and lasting peace take the upper hand. A just and peaceful country is possible if we remain focused on the road to peace. We owe it to ourselves and the future generations.

From the WebSite of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform

 

 

Thank you for continually praying for the peace in the Philippines.

May the Peace of God embrace our hearts, our minds, our communities, our people, our land, and our world!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/06/10/gph-and-ndfp-please-return-to-the-negotiating-table/