Lidasan: Moral imagination before moral governance

Lidasan: Moral imagination before moral governance

PEACE process and peace building does not end by mere signing of peace agreements. The challenge has always been on the monitoring and evaluation on the agreements of both parties (the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front) Moreover, measuring the success of the peace process does not rely mainly on the number of combatants and firearms being decommissioned. I pose this question, how can we all work together for the future of the Bangsamoro?

Aside from the livelihood projects, infrastructure programs, and economic development, an effective peace process and peace building program needs strong and effective psychosocial interventions for the former combatants, their families, and communities.

In my previous article, I asked another set questions, What exactly is the change we want to bring about in the Bangsamoro? As community development workers, we ask "what is our "theory of change"-or, how does change happen? "

The mantra of the BARMM is moral governance. But how do we define moral governance?

For me, moral governance means that all government and community leaders are accountable for their actions, and that social justice exists and is enforced by all sectors of society."

Aside from moral governance, I would like to introduce another term which is also important: moral imagination. Lederach, one of the experts on peace studies, describes this as the capacity to recognize turning points and possibilities in order to venture down unknown paths and create what does not yet exist. According to him, this has reference to peacebuilding, the moral imagination is the capacity to imagine and generate constructive processes that are rooted in the day-to-day challenges of violence and yet transcend these destructive patterns. In his view, the moments of possibility that pave the way for constructive change processes do not emerge through the rote application of a set of techniques or strategies, but rather arise out of something that approximates an artistic process. He maintains that the art and soul of social change should inform peacebuilding efforts.

We recognize that to arrive at transcending violence we need to to generate, mobilize, and build the moral imagination. Lederach points out moral imagination requires the following: the capacity to imagine ourselves in a web of relationships, one that includes even our enemies. It requires the ability to embrace complexity without getting caught up in social schism; it requires a commitment to the creative act; it requires an acceptance of the risk that necessarily goes along with attempts to transcend violence.

These thoughts are very relevant in the Bangsamoro peace process today.

As I have lived my entire life in Mindanao, I realized that we, Muslims, Christians, and Indigenous peoples, are all limbs of the same body. We should cease focusing on the differences that violates our very union. We should find a way that will unite us and, we should clear the way to unite our people. It would serve as best to set aside all ideas and feelings that pull us apart.


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