Posted on September 15, 2018
By Marj Ibanez
September 14, Pasig City - Close to a hundred participants from the Bangsamoro communities and CSOs, NGOs, donors, media, and academe gathered to discuss how third parties may be assist in delivering commitments to the Annex on Normalization in preparation for the implementation of the newly-legislated Bangsamoro Organic Law.
FES Resident Representative Dr. Johannes Kadura welcomed the participants and highlighted the centrality of the fate of the Bangsamoro people in the security of the Philippines and the region. He related the various ongoing discussion initiated by FES about regional security, particularly focusing on security sector reform. He noted that today’s forum will help illuminate an area that is probably not so familiar to most civil society groups and national-based organizations in the country. He expressed appreciation for having this opportunity to provide support to INCITEGov in this particular endeavor.
The forum started with a presentation of the general timeline of the peace process and the implementation of the peace agreement by Ms. Teresita Quintos-Deles, followed by Atty. Anna Basman’s overview of the aspects of normalization as embodied in the Annex on Normalization and various related documents and reports.
Experiences were presented on the three major strands of normalization, by key experts on the field, namely: on Security, by Commissioner Zenaida Brosas, former Co-Chair of the Joint Normalization Committee; on Socio-Economic Development, by former Secretary Senen Bacani, former member of the Government Panel for talks with the MILF, and Atty. Cecilia Jimenez, former member of the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission. Dr. Mario Aguja member of INCITEGov and of the Independent Decommissioning Body, also presented updates on the processes being undertaken at the ground level for the decommissioning of MILF forces and weapons.
The open forum that followed the presentations dealt with the questions related to the process of decommissioning, and the sustainability of interventions for communities and combatants in terms of livelihood support, provision of basic services, community-based peace building mechanisms, and the like.
INCITEGov Chair Deles thanked the participants and the resource persons for enabling a thoughtful discussion on how third parties can play a role in the monitoring and actual implementation of specific aspects of the program for normalization will be generated. She thanked the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation for having been prompt in providing support to make the event possible despite the short notice. #