Staying the Course, Challenges to Peace (A Statement on the Mamasapano Tragedy)

It is with profound shock and sorrow that we view the events as yet unfolding in the surrounds of Mamasapano in Maguindanao. Our hearts bleed at the carnage wrought and the needless loss of Filipino lives brought on by a series of decisions, events, judgment calls and developments that may never be fully and publicly unraveled. We extend our deepest condolences to those who’ve lost loved ones, and bear with those now undeservedly suffering in its aftermath. We can even understand the grief, rancor and rage now simmering as a visceral response by many to these events. We are aware and empathize with these feelings and emotions to a degree. Yet despite this and to all we still say, stay the course of peace, for it remains our best recourse.

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The Imperative of Human Security in the Bangsamoro

So today, “Peace” is no longer a slogan but a living reality we can actually grasp and nurture. The Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) and its allied networks such as the Mindanao Peaceweavers (MPW), Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) and the Friends of the Bangsamoro (FoBM) appreciates that the process of crafting of the BBL has expanded our country’s assets for peacebuilding and created favorable conditions for genuine peace. However, IID is aware that even if Congress passes the BBL into law, it will not automatically produce Human Security.

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FRIENDS OF THE BANGSAMORO: Rallying Behind the Promise of HB 4994

We, members and supporters of the nascent coalition “FRIENDS OF THE BANGSAMORO (FoB)”, express our appreciation and support for the open and participative process in the Ad Hoc Committee of the House of Representatives tasked to guide the birth of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). We are encouraged by the openness and willingness of the committee and other House members to engage with civil society organizations and their supporters, both outside as well as in the halls of Congress. The first Committee hearing on the BBL (House Bill 4994) gave an encouraging sign towards an open, participative and inclusive law-crafting process in the enactment of HB 4994 also known as Senate Bill 2408.

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THE RIGHT TO HUMAN SECURITY IS THE RIGHT TO PEACE: GPPAC-SEA Statement on the Celebration of the International Day of Peace

Today, September 21st, the community of nations and the peoples of the world commemorate the International Day of Peace, with the UN’s theme “The Right of Peoples to Peace”.

In the face of continuing oppression of Muslim Rohingyas and other indigenous ethnic peoples in Burma, martial law in Thailand and unabated political repression in Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia, the wars and the deaths of hundreds of thousands in Syria, Libya and Iraq, the persistent killings and violence in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Congo, Mali and South Sudan, as well as the brewing tensions in Sabah, in the South China Sea and in the East-Timor maritime borders, we wonder how much we can celebrate. However, starting from the realization that we have not done enough, today, it is important for us to renew our commitment and reinforce our efforts for peace.

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