ORGANIZERS and participants of the Peace Conference conducted by Bishop-Ulama Conference and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP) last December 16 to 17 are hopeful that their recommendations based on a Konsult Mindanaw research in 2009 will be considered by peace panels.

Dr. Hamid Barra of the Ulama League of the Philippines in an interview with SunStar Davao last Saturday said that with the success of the two-day event, they are hoping that they suggestions from the participants from all over Mindanao gathered in the event will be considered, as it was also a form of continuation of the Mindanao wide multi-sectoral BUC consultations in 2009.

The event served as an update of the Konsult Mindanaw research entitled Visions, Voices and Values People’s Platform for Peace in Mindanao which established six platforms in which people can attain peace.

The study was a product of multi-sectoral and cross-regional consultations all over after the failure of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain wherein several regional focus group discussions are organized.

Barra said that they are hopeful that the recommendations gathered from the peace conference will be considered in the crafting of the new enabling law of the Bangsamoro Basic Law now being done by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.

Barra added that there is still a need to further involve the people in consultations about peace as they in their part are doing peace discussions everywhere including in their private sermons and programs.

Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla said that he is overwhelmed with the success of the recent peace conference as it gathered substantial recommendations for peacemaking efforts in Mindanao.

“(There is) enthusiasm with values recommendation for peace involving Muslim, Christians, and IPs. There is a sense of hope that peace will eventually happen in Mindanao,” he said.

He added that the conference expanded the six platforms of peace which came initially from Konsult Mindanaw, these platforms include sincerity: to address fear and hunger, security: to address lack of awareness, sensitivity: to address lack of participation, solidarity to address lack of moral and spiritual values, sustainability, among others.

“It is successful it should be replicated to other region of Mindanao so that what ideas will be recommended here could be validated to Muslims and people from other areas,” he said.

They were told that all regions of Mindanao were represented in the conference, although he has not verified this information.

He said that the event became more special as for the first time in 20 years in BUC, it was the first time that the groups answered to their invitation. Indigenous Peoples, Children, Christians, Academe and youth are well represented in the program.

“Something like this can make Mindanao more united more informed so that the aspirations for peace in Mindanao can level up,” he said.

Capalla also lauded the willingness of the participants to sacrifice for peace.

“What is impressive is their readiness to commit themselves to sacrifice for peace as they stated that they are ready to die for peace if needed. It is impressive that they people are not afraid anymore because they know that they are part of a bigger group,” he said.

IP Representative Jimid Mansayagan said he hopes peace conferences will also be done outside Mindanao and will involve other IPs who also compose populations in Luzon area.

He said that the BUC has the capacity to provide an avenue wherein IP’s voices can be heard.