Mohagher Iqbal (center, white shirt), Chair of the MILF Peace Implementing Panel and Member of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, updated the CSO leaders on the Peace Process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). He also shared his views on the Marawi Crisis. Inspite of the Marawi Crisis, the MILF will still pursue the Peace Process and will continue partnership with the GPH in implementing the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) through the enabling law called the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

The All-Out Peace (AOP) network, as follow through of our recent Solidarity Mission to Marawi, held a conflict mapping, scenario analysis, and strategy session of the nexus of ‘Marawi Crisis – Martial Law – Peace Process’ last 25-26 July 2017 in Davao City. Our allied peace partners in Lanao joined us and became a part of a coming together of 35 peace advocates and Human Rights defenders.

We all agreed on the rationale for coming together:

In just over two months until this day, the entire country stood witness in an all-out military solution double whammy that besieged Marawi City and whole of Mindanao—the imposition of Martial Law and a prolonged urban armed conflict that led to massive displacement, loss of lives, and the continuing destruction of an entire city of nearly half a million residents. The crisis has far reaching implications to the overall health of the peace process and post-reconstruction of the city. Structures can be rebuilt, but lives and even dreams can’t. Damage is irreparable especially when dealing with intergenerational trauma.

Complicating the unsteady ground are the recent collapse of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations due to armed skirmishes and the Congress approval of an extension of Martial Law. Such situation will intensify the conflict spirals and spillover across communist strongholds in the coming months. Moreover, the two parallel political processes-both the Federalism project of President Rodrigo Duterte and the Bangsamoro legislative agenda take center stage in the political reform agenda of the government in the light of an internal security crisis.

This landscape bodes ill for the country’s human rights situation and negotiated political settlements which are often waylaid by President Duterte’s brinkmanship on criminality, securitization in drugs and enacting his version of counter-insurgency and war on terror.

It is in these recent developments that the civil society actors have to come together and redefine its role and participation in the peace process. And this can only be possible if they collectively assess the complexities of the presenting issues including that of violent extremism before scaling up advocacy and peacebuilding.

This all-CSO leaders conference will be hosted by the Mindanao PeaceWeavers (MPW), in coordination with the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), All-Out Peace (AOP) and its allied peace partners from Manila, Visayas and Mindanao.


This caucus of key CSO leaders was guided by the following objectives:

  1. Understand the various narratives on the current conflict milieus, draw reflective analysis, and recommend civilian-centered proposals and policy actions.
  2. Identify the crucial role of civil society actors in engaging the peace process and addressing the security challenges brought about by the human rights situation and the threat of violent extremism.
  3. Revisit previous civil society consensus agreements and redraft a common action agenda as basis of concrete collaborative advocacies on peace and human security.

Lakan Sumulong represented our community in this strategic leadership conference.



A quote from Mohagher Iqbal:


Permanent link to this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


We are sent by Mennonite Church Canada Witness in partnership with our international community.