PMPI Task Force on Peace met last February 24 to 25 to tackle updates on the ongoing peace talks of the government, to discuss the plan on peace as one of PMPI thematic concerns, and to write a peace framework for the network.
The meeting was attended by members of the task force, PMPI Secretariat, Sr. Crescencia Lucero and Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma.
Updates on peace process
Peace negotiations entered by the government in the past few years were discussed during the task force meeting.
Joeven Reyes of Sulong CARHRIHL gave updates and chronology of what transpired before the stalled peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF), while Karen Tañada of Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute (GZOPI) discussed the recent developments on the peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
As a contribution to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), PMPI initially planned to conduct consultation on the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
But the task force saw the urgent need to conduct orientation and awareness on the agreement to a bigger number of people in Mindanao than to hold consultation in BBL.
Meanwhile, an invitation for a meeting with Luis Jalandoni last February 24 was also tackled that it was attended by PMPI National Coordinator Yoly Esguerra, Archbishop Ledesma and Sr. Cres.
Updates on the meeting with Jalandoni were brought up during the second day of the meeting highlighting that the greater challenge on the GPH-NDF peace talk lies on the civil society organizations (CSOs) by proposing agenda on the negotiating table, which the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) regarded as an important role for the CSOs.
Sr. Cres stated that CSOs should not depend all its peace efforts on the status of the peace negotiations; instead, it should work on teaching the value of peace and peacebuilding and the need to address the cause of unpeace in their areas of work.
Archbishop Ledesma discussed the peace framework which he drafted and presented in one of the NCC meetings.
According to this framework, the culture of peace is a way of life based on respect and protection of every person’s human dignity regardless of race, religion, class, and other differences and any peace groups can start from any continuum [Please see Table 1: The Peace Continuum].
Task force members considered the framework presented by Archbishop Ledesma as a starting point of the draft on peace framework of PMPI but they also argued to discuss it in cluster meetings to identify operative values in each dimension.
Plans for 2014
Aside from the planned public orientation on FAB and BBL, the task force agreed to conduct a National Peace Summit on September and a mobilization on the International Day of Peace on September 21.