We Stand in Solidarity with the Suffering Farmers of Kidapawan!

The Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) first and foremost stands for and supports universal respect for human rights and human dignity. It is thus with a heavy heart that we now view the remains and still simmering aftermath of the violent dispersal of farmer-protesters last April 1 in Kidapawan City, claiming three lives and injuring scores of others. Six thousand suffering and hungry men, women and children, battered by three months of drought and left with little option but to demand the release of emergency food aid, should have been met with utmost compassion and speedy humanitarian action, not by insufferable violence and bullets, buttressed by bureaucratic apologies.

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Solidarity! (Volume 1 No. 2), a quarterly publication of IID

The articles published in this issue highlight the TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE as an overarching theme. Transitional justice is not only a timely concern in a number of countries experiencing post-conflict or post-authoritarian transitions, in which IID and our partners are active. It also allows for a confluence of all the issues lying at the core of IID’s work. Peace and human security, self-determination, human rights and democratization are concerns that underpin transitional justice issues.

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The Bangsmoro Basic Law (BBL) could have been the legacy of a visionary 16th Congress, working to inspire an entire nation, uniting all Filipinos in a common desire for a just and sustainable peace in our time. The 16th Congress’ passage of the BBL would have provided the clearest answer yet to the long-simmering Mindanao Question that has drawn tears, sweat, blood and lives from many of our generations, past and present alike.

The BBL could have been a lasting legacy of an administration that vowed to straighten the path on a failed experiment, granting the Moro people an equal place at the table, an equal voice in the discourse, a homeland to govern with Moro pride and dignity.

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Seeking Healing and Peace on Mamasapano and for Mindanao

Today January 25, we remember with grieving the tragic event that took the lives of 5 civilians, 44 members of the PNP Special Action Forces (SAF) and 18 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and other armed Moro combatants. Each life so suddenly ended and leaving families, communities, and our nation in lingering pain.

Despite investigations by both Houses of Congress and the Department of Justice, as well as by the PNP Board of Inquiry, the MILF, and the International Monitoring Team among others, the truth of the tragic event still has to be fully known. Unfortunately, the variations in the initial reports of these bodies indicate that the way to this truth will never be easy, and may not be helped by further investigation at this time when the electoral season has begun.

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