The winds of change a-blowing under the crescent moon

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By Gingging Avellanosa-Valle

Bahin sang buhay

Friday, May 23, 2014


A FEW days’ visit in Central Mindanao some time ago buoys the spirit of the many stakeholders and advocates for peace who are now working doubly hard for the fulfillment of a dream that is almost within reach. The question on whether or not the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) will make it to the finish line has become moot and academic, as clearly, there is a seeming mood of general acceptance and a great anticipation among peoples in the air, wherever one may come upon in Maguindanao and Lanao areas of Mindanao.

While we do not see the countless banners welcoming the Bangsamoro government in the many municipalities and cities of the Moro lands as a sign of general concord in the peace process, the colors that greeted travelers along the roadside tells us that indeed the people of Mindanao especially among the marginalized do welcome these changes.

Meanwhile, the leaders among the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), especially the great men and women of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) are geared in making everything ready in place and doing whatever it takes to ensure that nothing is left to chance. Watching them from a distance as they poured every effort in building the blocks of good governance with the help of other outside stakeholders to peace in Mindanao makes one wonder at the faith they have in this undertaking.

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In one such occasion recently, a civil society organization based in our city has made its contribution by imparting some ideas regarding the socio-economic development that the Bangsamoro are building on. The Succeed Solidarity for Global Peace, Ecology and Inclusive Economic Development, Inc. (SUCCEED Global) has discussed some concepts on how the Bangsamoro government may approach the transformation of the main MILF camps and surrounding areas into peaceful, progressive and sustainable communities.

This is in line with the normalization process that had been inked by the GPH-MILF panels sometime in March. In the words of Mr. Joselito Libres, the Chief Executive Officer of SUCCEED Global, and quoting the annex on Normalization, “(it) is that which defined as “the process through which communities affected by the decades-long armed conflict in Mindanao can return to a peaceful life and pursue sustainable livelihoods free from fear of violence and crime.” And these include the three main main components: security aspect; socio- economic development; and transitional justice.

In a few minutes, Mr. Libres shared some guiding Development Frameworks and Concepts that delve, among others that, he said “Development can be inclusive - and reduce poverty - only if all groups of people contribute to creating opportunities, share the benefits of development and participate in decision-making.” He added that such “Inclusive development follows the United Nations’ Development Program’s (UNDP's) human development approach and integrates the standards and principles of human rights: participation, non-discrimination and accountability (UNDPs).

In such a brief engagement that the CSO was given the chance to be a part of that historic event in this stage of development of the Bangsamoro government, it was hoped that things will turn out for the advantage of the greater populace in Mindanao. This far however, it looks like nothing can go wrong when most people in Mindanao are working for the true and lasting peace that we have all been waiting and working for.

Insha’Allah!

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 24, 2014.

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