Last night, after two days participating in a Joint Advocacy Planning, I had a great time with my friends and colleagues from the ‘All-Out Peace Network’ and ‘Mindanao PeaceWeavers’ — Yols Rafol Esguerra, Violeta M. Gloria, Ryan Rosauro, Edsal Edres, Randy Ponteras, and Lyndee Prieto. We had laughters, food, and great espresso-based beverages at Coffee For Peace Bistro.
We missed most of our colleagues from various parts of the country who needed to fly back home.
I’m grateful for friends and colleagues who are so committed to love this land and people by advocating justice and peace. Being around these folks energizes me to continue working for peace and reconciliation in this beautiful land.
Just before this relaxed evening, this same group were part of a conference among the leading peacebuilding and human rights advocates from all over the country. We were expanding our constituency base.
The Mindanao PeaceWeavers, with whom PeaceBuilders Community is affiliated, served as host to this national conference we refer to as ‘All-Out Peace Network’. I was assigned to welcome the delegates and to give a keynote address to help set the theme and atmosphere of the conference:
“We hope to forge joint actions in promoting an advocacy agenda on the peace process and humanitarian appeal… prolonged armed conflict and humanitarian crisis in Marawi/Lanao… taking into account the growing uproar on the culture of impunity with the killing of Kian delos Santos as a potential tipping point…”
The conference objectives were:
a. To draw reflective analysis on the various conflict milieus and contextual factors that underpin the peace process and change agenda;
b. To identify the crucial role of civil society actors in engaging the peace process and addressing the security challenges brought about by the human rights situation and the threat of violent extremism;
c. To develop a common action agenda and civilian advocacy roadmap as basis of concrete collaborative actions on peace and human security of participating networks
Some of the major tasks that were accomplished were:
a. Defining a scope — we formulated a desired change, vision, idea, measure, or project. (What will be different?)
b. Mapping the forces, ideas, people, happenings that may impact successful implementation of desired changes.
c. Assigning scores as to weight of the identified forces, and tried to see what total force combined.
I learned a lot from this seasoned community organizers and movement leaders. One of the highlights of my learning was an approach to process people and organizations towards a broad coalition of justice and peace advocates.
Some questions that assisted us in determining who should be involved and why are as follows:
:: What roles do various stakeholders play in the process (authority, role)?
:: Who will participate in the process?
:: Who are the potential beneficiaries?
:: Who will be adversely affected?
:: Are the stakeholders organized?
:: Who has existing rights? Who has control over resources?
:: Who are likely to be voiceless?
:: Who are likely to mobilize resistance?
:: Who are dependent on whom?
:: Who are responsible for the intended plans?
:: Who has money, skills, or key information?
:: Whose behavior has to change for success to be reached?
:: What power gaps exist between staleholder groups? How to deal with them?