Archive for the ‘Statement’ Category

LET NOT THE GPH-MILF PEACE PROCESS BE A CASUALTY OF THE MAMASAPANO INCIDENT

Tragic and horrific as the Mamasapano Incident was, it indeed made us sad and even mad. With the large number of lost lives of troops of the PNP Special Action Force, Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and including civilians and a five-year old girl.

Thus, we convey our sympathy to the bereaved families of those who were killed on January 25, 2015 in a tragedy that could have been easily obviated had there been a prior coordination by the PNP-SAF with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the PNP assigned in the area as well as with the BIAF guerillas who are natives of the place.

Yet, we find it as tragic and horrific the call of some quarters for an all-out war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) or, at least, for the delay of the deliberation on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that is now pending in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

We strongly believe that war should not be an option. War will inevitably result to more unnecessary deaths and irreparable damage to properties. Who will suffer most the brunt of war but the elderly, the women and the children.

Against this backdrop, these are our pleas, to wit:

  • For the GPH and the MILF to view the Mamasapano Incident more as a reason to push persistently the Peace Process than a stumbling block;
  • For the International Monitoring Team (IMT) to conduct an impartial investigation on the incident to ferret out the truth;
  • For our honorable senators and congressmen to immediately pass the BBL into law without mangling its provisions but, instead, keeping them as faithful as it can be to the letter and spirit of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro;
  • For the media not to engage in sensationalism by referring, for instance, to the killing of the PNP-SAF members as ‘massacre’ given the fact that they fought it out as much as they could but it just so happened that they were overcome by the superior force of the BIAF guerillas, and
  • For all peace-loving people to rally behind and not let our trust to the GPH-MILF Peace Process be eroded by the unfortunate incident.

YES TO PEACE! NO TO ALL-OUT WAR!

United Youth of the Philippines-Women

UnYPhil-Women Statement on the signing of Normalization Annex

Kulintang: The Sound of Peace
Reverberating the Call for Genuine and Just Peace in Mindanao
January 26, 2014

We have reached another milestone on the peace negotiation between Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Government of the Philippines (GPH). The last annex which is the Normalization was finally signed on January 25, 2014 by MILF and GPH peace panel in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. The Normalization is said to be the process for the Bangsamoro constituency to achieve their desired quality of live and security and to live without fear of any forms of violence or social and political injustice.

UnYPhil-Women congratulate the GPH and MILF peace panel and Tengku Dato’ Ab Ghafar Tenku Mohamed, the Malaysian facilitator, in completing the remaining annex of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and its continuing commitment to end the decades of conflict in Muslim Mindanao. The FAB, the Normalization Annex, and the three other annexes which had been previously signed – Transitional Arrangements and Modalities that was signed on February 27, 2013; the Wealth Sharing Annex that was signed on July 13, 2013, and; the Power Sharing annex that was signed on December 08, 2013 – comprise the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that will lay down the foundations of just peace in the new political entity.

With the completion of the four steps of the roadmap to peace, we are now proceeding on to the crafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). UnYPhil-Women perceive this phase of the negotiation as crucial for the women among IP, Moro and Non-Moro to present a unified agenda and participate on public discussions to ensure women’s inclusion in decision-making processes and adoption of women’s perspective on meaningful political participation and freedom from all forms of violence and discrimination.

We, from UnYPhil-Women, are actively calling for support from all sectors and Civil Society Organizations for ensuring the inclusion of women’s issues and agenda on the crafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). We are also calling the support from our legislators to fast-track the passing of the BBL and stand firm in upholding just peace in Mindanao.

We are urging everyone to actively support the peace process and to continue accompanying the peace panel members and commissioners until the desired peace will be enjoyed by all the people in Mindanao.

United Youth of the Philippines-Women

UnYPhil-Women Welcomes the Transition Commission

Finally, the list is out.

The United Youth of the Philippines-Women, Inc. (UnYPhil-Women) salutes both the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for finally coming out with the composition of the 15-member Transition Commission that is primarily tasked with drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

We also greatly applaud the inclusion of four (4) women commissioners in the Transition Commission headed by Chairman Mohagher Iqbal, namely Hon. Atty. Raissa Jajurie, Hon. Atty. Johaira Wahab, Hon. Fatmawati Salapuddin, and Hon. Froilyn Mendoza. Women stand much to gain when peace finally reign as our struggle for peace is inextricably linked to our concern for life. With the inclusion of these women, we are confident that the Bangsamoro Basic Law will importantly take into account the specificity of women’s sufferings and end the seemingly endless state of war even in peacetime.

Our hopes are well placed on the Transition Commission that they will significantly contribute to the realization of the just and lasting peace defined in the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro. We, in unison, also renew our vow to be effective agents of peace and we will continue supporting the long and arduous process towards the establishment of a new political entity.

Long Live the Bangsamoro People!

Long Live the Women in the Bangsamoro!

PREVENT IGNORANCE AND PREJUDICE FROM SPOILING THE PEACE PROCESS

We, at United Youth of the Philippines-Women, express our earnest gratitude to the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for nurturing a calm response to Southeast Asia’s longest running internal conflict. It seems that we are now just 14 steps away from our vision of a society where justice and peace are the pillars of development and good governance.

But to reiterate, the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro is just the foundation of a comprehensive reconstruction program conceived for our region. To anticipate a durable solution to the Bangsamoro Question, it is imperative that the Filipino people, regardless of religion and ethnicity, own and guard the peace process against spoilers and their scare tactics that might ruin again what has been established in the negotiating table. Let us depart from the cultural drama and establish an inter-faith and inter-cultural understanding to reclaim our linkage as one nation.

While it is verifiable that there is an overwhelming support on the peace process, there is also diversity and discrepancy on public perception about the conflict and the current peace process. It is therefore the urgent task of civil society organizations and peace advocates of putting forth a common narrative that will be disseminated to all possible venues, from grassroots to national and international, and will complement the apparent inadequate awareness to the roots of the conflict and the tangible solutions to it. Only with a common understanding about the issue at hand can we bring into the fold all stakeholders and bystanders and put up a united front that will advocate the thorough steps of peace building in Muslim Mindanao.

To the Philippine Government and to the Central Committee of the MILF, we fervently hope that both parties will be undaunted in their commitment to bring justice, peace, and development in our region even with the imminent threat of unscrupulous elements fueling ignorance and prejudice and banking on vicious military dispute from both parties to advance their egotistical interest to the expense of the Filipino community.

To other Moro armed groups, let the Framework Agreement demonstrate its capacity to provide an enduring solution to the grievances of the Bangsamoro people and to provide just peace in Mindanao. To the political leaders of our country, let us dispose our skepticism and work toward enhancing the minutiae of the whole peace process.

To all our Muslim, Christian, and Lumad brothers and sisters, let us espouse the validity of a comprehensive peace agreement in our region. Let us all promote harmony and uphold the integrity of our Filipino nation.

UNYPHIL-WOMEN CALLS FOR VIGILANCE ON THE SIGNING OF THE "FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT ON THE BANGSAMORO"

United Youth of the Philippines-Women applauds the initiatives of the Government of the Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front to end the decades-long conflict in Muslim Mindanao. The commitment of GPH and MILF to the peace process is most beneficial to the Bangsamoro People who, for a long time, has been suffering from injustice and negligence that is aggravated by continuous conflicts in their communities. Thus, the Framework Agreement is a substantial victory for the Bangsamoro People.   We are hoping that it will finally pave the way for a just and lasting peace for all Muslims, Christians, and Indigenous People in our region.

The Framework Agreement is the manifestation of the struggle for self-determination of the Bangsamoro People; however it is not yet the conclusion. It is just the foundation of a long and arduous process towards self-governance. Our society is still ridden with human rights violations and gender-based violence, the provision of basic social needs and services is still inadequate. Our society cannot undergo efficient transformation overnight.

It is the crucial role of all civil society organizations and all who are aspiring for justice, peace, and development to continue addressing the current situation of our war-torn region, especially the plight of the women and children who are most vulnerable to injustice and abuses brought about by war. It is a collective effort from all state and non-governmental institutions to uplift the socioeconomic situation of our region, in accordance with the transition and eventual establishment of the Bangsamoro Government.

More importantly, all stakeholders should be extra vigilant that the mechanisms of the transition period, the stipulations of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, and the components of the Bangsamoro Government will uphold human rights and promote gender justice and gender balance. We should carefully analyze the details of the Framework Agreement to ensure that there are no underlying schemes that will result to unilateral benefits but detrimental to the interests and aspirations of the Bangsamoro People. We should keep an eye to both GPH and the MILF that they may remain firm on the peace process and resolute to bring about social, political, and judicial reforms in the region.

Ultimately, UnYPhil-Women is beckoning all women to get involved in the process of transforming our society; we should impart our wisdom and compassion for the betterment of our sector and of our children.