The Bantay Ceasefire (BC) was invited by the Joint Coordinating Committee for the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) of the Philippine Government (GRP) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for the installation of its ceasefire monitoring outposts and “ceasefire billboards” in the conflict areas in Pikit and Maguindanao. The Joint GRP-MILF CCCH in a June meeting in Davao City agreed to put up joint monitoring outposts in Buliok and other conflict-affected communities “with participation of the Bantay Ceasefire”.
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The Fifth Asia-Pacific conference on East Timor (APCET 5) held in Dili, Timor Leste, resolves that the effective prosecution of the crimes against the people of the East Timor must be ensured through the creation of an appropriate tribunal of the United Nations. APCET 5 also enjoins the office of the Secretary General of the United Nations to take all necessary actions to ensure the expeditious establishment of this tribunal.
The Tribal Governance Conference is a series of consultations culminating in a conference that brought together leaders–Datus, Timuays and Baes–of the various tribes and sub-tribes in Mindanao to discuss the prospects, issues and concerns affecting their governance within their respective tribes, among the different tribes vis-à-vis the Philippine government and the mainstream society and majority culture it represents.
The series of bombings and killings in Sulu implicating the Marines is very alarming and has caused more anxieties among the innocent victims of these tragedies who ought to be afforded justice. The Mindanao PeaceWeavers, aside from strongly condemning these incidents in Sulu, calls on the Armed Forces of the Philippines to let the Police investigation takes its due course with the AFP’s paramount cooperation, rather than coddle the Marine-suspects.
The “Mindanao Peaceweavers” supports the holding of exploratory talks between the Philippine government (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on February 19-20, and hopes that the meeting if successful will lead to the resumption of formal talks. There is public impatience for the resumption of negotiations even if only exploratory, since the last round of exploratory talks was held last September 2003 in Kuala Lumpur. This impatience is also understandable considering that the formal GRP-MILF talks had opened in October 1999, was derailed by the “all-out” war six months later in April 2000, and after the February 2003 war in Buliok, has been moving forward largely through exploratory talks and back-channeling efforts.
The Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) is a Philippines-based advocacy institution promoting human security, democratization and people-to-people solidarity.
IID conducts policy advocacy and campaign programs on Burma, Mindanao, Southern Thailand, West Papua, and East Timor.