Posted on September 15, 2018
By Marj Ibanez
September 15, Pasig City – Leaders and representatives of various Marawi civil society groups and the private sector launched Dansalan Tano sa Kalilintad Movement with the aim of pursuing the return of genuine peace in Marawi. Dansalan, the old name of Marawi, means “going home” while Kalilintad means “peace.”
The resolution came after a whole day discussion among the participants on transitional justice and the various redress mechanisms under international human rights law. Atty. Cecilia Jimenez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, served as the resource person. Atty. Anna Basman served as host and facilitator.
The activity began with discussions on the need to review the transitional justice and reconciliation mechanisms in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, with a view to accommodating new and emergent peace and security concerns in Mindanao, particularly in Marawi.
The first session included presentations on the status of Marawi residents, a briefer on the relevant mechanisms recommended by the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC), and relevant domestic laws and international conventions that may inform actions pursued for redress of grievances under existing transitional justice framework. Atty. Jimenez provided a thorough discussion on the four pillars of transitional justice, namely: the right to know, the right to justice, the right to reparation, and the guarantee of non-recurrence.
In the plenary following the first session, the participants raised questions related to its possible implication and the mechanics of implementation in the Philippines, particularly for Marawi. The questions included the role of local executives in providing redress to grievances, the technical requirements of documentation and the cultural sensitivities that affect it, and on how land issues are framed within the Bangsamoro peace process and the transitional justice framework.
The second session dwelt on international humanitarian laws and its basis. Atty. Jimenez expounded on the principles of international humanitarian laws. These include humanity – which means no tortures, no massacres, and that only combatants may be harmed. This also includes distinction, which pertains to how the legal use of force in armed conflict must only be directed at combatants and not civilians. The third principle, military necessity, pertains to how the means used must be intended to aid the military defeat the enemy, or how the attack must only be on military objectives. The final principle, proportionality, prescribes that the means of war must not be excessive in relation to concrete and direct military advantage. Atty. Jimenez also discussed the UN Human Rights Special Procedures and the roles and function of UN Special Rapporteurs.
The open forum following the session discussed the requirements and challenges of making submissions to UN Special Rapporteurs, questions about which jurisdiction fall particular grievances related to internal displacement and land issues, and the various options for taking recourse in the special procedures mentioned.
At the end of the session, the participants agreed to continue convening in pursuit of actions that will assist in the return of genuine peace in Marawi. They outlined next steps and actions towards capacity-building, linkaging, networking, and advocacy.
The forum was convened by INCITEGov with support from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation.