The Mindanao PeaceWeavers (MPW) and the All-Out Peace (AOP) Network, with the leadership of the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), spearheaded a solidarity gathering of Mindanao survivors, defenders and healers last 23-25 January 2019 in Davao City. Dubbed as “Healing the Past: Mindanaw Survivors Solidarity Assembly,” the official document states that this is “a solidarity gathering and consensus building exercise of Mindanao survivors of the armed conflict and human rights violations — past and present.”
“This maiden conference,” the organizers said, “endeavors to provide a safe space for all while affirming both pains and hopes, diversity, local knowledge and expertise, and the possibilities that await even in the continuum of conflict and violence towards healing the past.”
“Transitioning into a post-conflict era is to segue into the phase of dealing with the legacy of past large-scale violence and armed conflict,” according to Gus Miclat, Executive Director of IID. “Thus we need to roll up our sleeves once more since seeking justice and building peace are continuing tasks towards a sustainable future,” Miclat further said.
The organizers also envisioned that apart from listening to each other’s stories, “interdisciplinary practitioners and policy actor who were invited to this event may help shed light on how societies can move on especially in the Philippines wherein the Bangsamoro region is already going through a political transition while other parts of the country are still besieged due to the worsening armed conflict, culture of impunity, failed talks with the communists plus an extended martial law regime.”
This is part of the transitional justice related efforts of IID that are small scale, low-key and often, community-oriented, which are complemented by bigger meetings of survivors, defenders and healers — the first of which was this event, held at the Davao Eagle’s Ridge Resort.