The Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Constitutional infirmity was due to lack of consultation and transparency.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo requested the Bishops Ulama Conference (BUC) to help draft a new memorandum.
Responding to Pres. Macapagal Arroyo’s request to lead in the peace process the BUC crafted, with the help of experts a proposal for community dialogue and consultation.
The proposal is “to conduct extensive community consultations and dialogues in the service of the GRP-MILF peace talks as well as the broader peace process in Mindanao”.
Objectives. Broadly, the aim of the consultation is the greater participation of the greater number of stakeholders in the Mindanao peace process. Specifically, the project wants to:
1) expand the constituency of peace through broader consultation beyond the peace talks with revolutionary groups, to reach the grass roots communities and the diverse sectors of Mindanao society;
2) draw out the diverse perception of contemporary conflict situation, and derive a common vision of peace in Mindanao, and enkindle personal commitment to its realization;
3) generate new ideas on how to proceed toward the continuation of the peace process;
4) learn more lessons that can enrich continuing peace education.
Three pronged strategy
Duyog Mindanao shall employ a three-pronged approach, involving regional and multisectoral consultation, communication program, and supplemental research.
Consultation and dialogue. At the heart of the consultation are two major questions, one on the formal peace talks, and another on the broader peace efforts outside the peace talks.
Communication program. Primer, interactive website, media relations, etc.
Research, analysis, monitoring and publication.
Process of consultation: focused group discussions.
Scope and speed. Entire Mindanao, multi-regional and multi-sectoral. Project expected to last ten months.
• Advisory Board (BUC Convenors: 3)
• Project Management Team. Project Director
• 8 regions: Caraga, Davao, Northern Mindanao, Central Mindanao, Lanao, Basulta Pal, Zamboanga and Socsargen.
Socsargen. Research Center: MSU. Dr. Domingo Non – Coordinator. Fr. Angelo Buenavides – Bishop’s representative, Mr. George Gunay, Mr. Danny Sabino, assistants.
April 21, 2009. Focused Group Discussion for Catholics at MSU, High School, Oval Plaza, GSC. 14 groups: women – 24; youth – 20; farmers – 19; academe – 18; BEC-KVA – 17; business – 16; BEC-MEDA – 16; NGOs – 15; religious – 15; BEC-AVA – 15; professionals – 15; BEC-GAMMA – 14; fishermen – 12; BEC-MAKIMAMI – 11. Total 227.
April 22, 2009, second day, the protestants and lumads had their focused group discussion.
Protestants. Religious – 25. NGOs – 24. Women – 21. Rural Poor – 21. Youth – 18. Business people – 16. Academe – 15. IDP – 13. Young professionals – 12. Urban Poor – 12. Total 172.
Lumads. Youth – 22. Farmers/fisherfolks – 20. Women – 19. Tribal leaders – 15. Urban Poor/professionals – 13. Babaylan – 11. Total 100.
Over-all total: 504 participants. Muslims will have their focused group discussion soon.
(Report by Fr. Angelo Buenavides).
Questions for the focused group discussion.
1. What is your vision of peace? (social justice, cultural harmony, communal unity, and respect over one’s religion and belief)
2. What are your recommendations on the peace talks between the GRP and the MILF? (ideas on information sharing, transparency mediation, composition of the peace panels, etc.)
3. What can you recommend on the broader peace process? (reconciliation, healing, culture of peace seminars, inter-faith dialogue, peace education as part of school’s curricula in all levels, etc.)
4. What can you personally contribute – or even sacrifice for the peace in Mindanao? (time for peace education, time to participate ion dialogue for peace, financial contributions, etc.)
Partial over-all assessment. Participants learned to listen and respect other’s ideas. Atmosphere is one of happiness and peace is possible.
We congratulate all the participants for their sharing. We thank the Mindanao State University for offering their high school facilities. Praises to Dr. Non and his team, the facilitators, documenters, caretakers and others for sharing their time, managerial skills and interpersonal expertise.
LET PEACE BEGIN WITH EACH ONE!
Source: Communication from the Bishop (No. 527, 24 April 2009)