“ The conflict in Mindanao involves a visible war and an invisible war being fought in the vertical and the horizontal arenas. The vertical arena is the formal Peace Talks between the GRP and the MILF. The horizontal arena is the peace process within and among communities at the grassroots level. A comprehensive approach to the peace process must address these two interrelated problems.” - -- Fr. Bert Layson, OMI
Schools and Religious Institutions in Mindanao
“ Schools, colleges and universities, acknowledged as neutral agents of change, can play a strategic and leadership role in helping craft a Mindanao peace roadmap, build broad support around it, and provide timely assessments and inputs as to its implementation.
The conventional notion that education is the long-term solution to peacelessness “self-limits” the vast potentials of educational institutions as credible and effective platforms for peace-building and peace-making in the short and medium term.” --- (Atty. Beny Bacani)
IN THE SERVICE OF
Mindanao Development Authority
2. Human Development & Social Cohesion: Where We Are Now
7 Mindanao provinces among the 10 with lowest HDI; ARMM provinces remain among the 10 poorest
Region 13 Banana, Palm Oil, Coffee, Fish/Fish products, Citronella Oil, Wood & Wood Products Region 9 Processed fish products, Rubber, Seaweeds, Bottled Sardines, Ceramics, Shellcrafts SOURCE: DTI Major Industries and Investment Opportunities Region 10 Pineapple, High-value crops&vegetables, Aqua-marine, Tourism, Fiber-base (silk, abaca) Region 11 Banana, Coconut, Processed fruits, Processed food products, Wood Industry, Housewares Region 12 Rubber, Palm Oil, Pineapple, Processed Fruits, Fish/Fish Products ARMM Seaweeds, Fish/fish products
Source of Raw Data: NSCB/GVA per sector Processed by: MEDCo Secretariat Mindanao is an Agri-based Economy Major Regional Agri Products oil palm
One-third of Mindanao’s land area is devoted to agriculture
One-third of the labor force is employed in the agriculture, fishery and forestry sectors.
Contributes more than 30% of the national food requirements
pineapple canned sardines seaweed banana tuna
VISIONS, VOICES AND VALUES People’s Platform for Peace in Mindanao Bishops-Ulama Conference February 2010
Number of FGDs & Participants by Group GROUP Number of FGDs Percent FGDs Number of Participants Percent Participants Catholic 98 31.5 1502 30.6 Muslim 92 29.6 1486 30.2 Protestant 74 23.8 1150 23.4 Lumad 47 15.1 778 15.8 Total 311 100.0 4916 100
Number of FGDs by Sector Sector Number of FGDs Sector Number of FGDs Professional 36 Ulama 9 Women 34 Farmers 8 Youth 32 Tradtional Leaders 7 Academe 25 Madrasah 7 Business 25 Tribal Leaders 6 Urban Poor 25 Babaylan 3 NGO 22 Media 2 Rural Folks 23 GKK 6 IDP 18 Community leaders 2 Religious 13 Others 7
PLATFORM FOR PEACE IN MINDANAO
S INCERITY people’s mistrust
S ECURITY people’s fears
S ENSITIVITY people’s hurts
S OLIDARITY people’s desire to participate
S PIRITUALITY people’s faith and symbols
S USTAINABILITY people’s institutions
OPAPP Communications Plan Dialogue Mindanaw Reflective Dialogues on the GRP-MILF Peace Negotiation Alta Cebu, Cordova, Cebu
Questions for Group Discussions
How do you feel about the ongoing peace talks between the GRP and the MILF?
What issues are clear to you? Unclear?
Which issue is most important to you? How do you think it should be handled?
What other related issues do you think should be attended to?
Presented by: Mrs. Mercedes R. Abad JC10-0182 April 2010 Project Amity Project Amity (Peace Process Survey)
Index 4.0 4.1 3.8 3.8 3.7 4.2 4.2 4.3 3.9 4.0 4.3 3.6 Power Crisis / Shortage Morong 43 or arrest of 43 health workers on suspicion that they were communist rebels Peace Process Negotiations with Communist Rebels Awareness of News Events (cont’d) Index 2.5 3.1 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.6 2.3 2.2 2.3 2.7 2.4 1.9 Index 2.9 3.4 2.8 2.8 2.9 2.9 2.6 2.5 2.9 3.3 3.3 2.5 Followed very closely Followed somewhat closely Just a little Not at all followed Just heard about this now
Attitude Towards Proposal of Changing the Philippine Constitution in Relation to Searching for Peace in Mindanao
1. Understand Religion, Culture and Conflict
Civil Society must understand more rather than less the dynamics of religion. E.g.Religion initiates individuals into a community. Community building, however, builds not just identity but boundary. Identity markers both define who one is as well as who one is not. Formation of identity involves oppositional identity. This distinction, when taken too sharply, or too exclusively, can lead to fundamentalism or chauvinism.
Distribution of Rido Cases in Mindanao Rido Incidents
Family 2 Family 1 Family 3 MILF Local Command Politician Tracing the Interplay of Large Scale and Community-Level Conflicts Armed Forces CAFGU/CVO MNLF Local Command
Explore Indigenous Conflict Resolution
Traditional communities and leaders may have a lot to contribute to peace efforts. Their peace pacts and boundary agreements have to be taken seriously in the peace talks. Informal tribal caucuses may be good venues for maintaining intra-tribal unity and exchange. Funding agencies have money for conflict resolution but not for public rituals that promote intertribal unity.
Warning: Corruption as Violence
Mindanao has been the “favorite” destination of official development assistance (ODA) projects from international donor agencies and INGOs. But until now, at least seven provinces in Mindanao are still among the country’s poorest. This is because of corruption. Corruption is another form of violence.
INSTRUCTION AND FORMATION
IN THE SERVICE OF
Challenge to Christian Schools
“ The Catholic Church in general and Catholic educational institutions in particular are weighed down by “ baggages ” as a repository of confessional and historical biases against Muslims and Lumads. The success of peace-building programs of Catholic educational institutions must be gauged among others on how they move Christians into admitting that they play a part in the historical marginalization of minority groups and that there can be no just resolution to the Mindanao conflicts without their support.”
Training in Dialogue
A study reveals that both Muslims and Christians have developed prejudices against each other, but that Christians seem to have stronger prejudices against the Muslims. One problem is the prevalent lack of training in dialogue. Much of education is monologue, or debate. While we have debating teams, we do not have dialogue clubs.
Existing peace initiatives are closing the gap between “dialogue Christians” and “dialogue Muslims”. But it is not clear whether we are closing the gap between the “dialogue Christians” and the “prejudiced Christians”, or between the “dialogue Muslims” and the “armed Muslims.” Intrafaith dialogues open up space for acknowledging one’s participation in “sin” of history as well as in contemporary sources of hope, reconciliation, and wellbeing.
POPULATION CHANGE IN COTABATO 1918-1970
Challenging “Majority-Minority” Habit of Thinking
The majority now has not been the majority in the beginning.
Christians form the majority in the Philippines, but we are minority in the rest of Asia.
While Christians feel we are the majority in the country, actually, in some places like Basilan, Christians are a minority.
Project: “RIGHTING HISTORY”
Production of Philippine history textbooks ---for the use of Catholic schools---that clearly and fairly integrate Mindanao and peace perspectives.
TAYO-TAYO MUNA! Intrafaith Dialogue among Catholics in the Service of Interfaith Dialogue with Muslims and Lumads
SCHOOLS AS CHANNELS
OF PEACE COMMUNICATION
Peace Communication Program
How can ordinary people be informed (cognitive) and get involved (affective) in the Mindanao peace process, especially in the GRP-MILF peace negotiation?
How can we make this communication program really effective?
What do we address?
1. EMOTIONS. People feel hurt, harbor mistrust, but could also be hopeful. And these emotions could vary from personal experiences to regional or sectoral differences. We cannot equate one emotion with one whole ethnic or regional block. Communication Program must make people feel that their feelings are being acknowledged.
2. IDEAS . Many people still do not understand the difference between MNLF and MILF; but some other people are already asking about foreign intervention in the peace process. We cannot presuppose that what is familiar to active CSOs or academe are clear to the people. Or whether what is clear to the people is actually accurate.
Call for Sincerity
(a) Both panels are sincere. First, we need to tell the people that the two panels have actually agreed on a number of good things. It is not true that the talks are not going anywhere. The two peace panels, for example, have agreed on measures cessation of hostilities, rehabilitation, and even on the non-use of landmines. And it is good for people to know this.
(b) There are really difficult issues. Try to explain the validity of many positions and interests, thus helping people understand why these things are not as easily resolved. During our consultations and dialogues, we realize how appreciative people could be once they themselves see the difficulty of finding readymade solutions to deep-seated problems.
(c) Create a channel for feedback. The Communications Program must also offer a clear channel for people to express their updated sentiments: could be in the form of an office with email, fax, fone number, twitter, facebook, forums, etc. In the mean time, other forms of sincerity must be felt by the people, e.g. real effort to confiscate loose firearms, arrest war profiteers, and security cluster reform.
(d) There must be a “face” that represents all these sincere efforts. By “face” is meant a real person or a small group of persons, who embody and exudes the sincerity of the main peace stakeholders, especially the government. The members of the peace panel must be known to the people, but, the political task of facing the public may be done by more charismatic personalities.
Don’t exclude the people!
“ Even the best efforts of government leaders constantly face constraints and limitations. It may be that if people own the process, they will work hard to ensure viable outcomes and overcome the inevitable obstacles that arise once the agreement is in place. 2)
… The earlier we engage in the task of building the social infrastructure of peace, the sooner societies will come closer to another reality where the dignity of difference is celebrated, political tolerance observed and a just peace becomes possible .” ---Ed Garcia, Accord. Owning the Process: Public Participation in Peacemaking (200
At the end of the day…
“ While governments and revolutionary groups may sign peace agreements, ultimately, it’s the people who have the burden---and the joy---of rebuilding schools and houses, re-trusting institutions, welcoming ex-combatants, looking for new breed of leaders, nourishing the environment, energizing tired bodies, bridging gaps across mindsets, healing painful memories, and appeasing the spirits of the land.”
“ Sometimes, the healing of memory is the only way left for us to do justice.” ---Paul Ricoeur
BEYOND THE FORMAL PEACE TALKS
The Role of Education in Peace Communication
ALBERT E. ALEJO, SJ Mindanawon Initiatives for Cultural Dialogue/ Ateneo de Zamboanga University