We, the civil society of Lanao, who have committed our passion for peace and development, commiserate with families of the elite police forces who unfortunately died at Mamasapano, Maguindanao during the course of serving a warrant of arrest to two alleged suspected terror group members;
We likewise empathize with the families of the members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who died during the encounter at the same zone;
We express our grief and sympathy for the survivors of this tragedy which could have been avoided if only appropriate coordination and communication were channeled within the joint security mechanism as stated within the GPH and MILF’s Peace Agreement;
We are saddened on the entailing effects of this violence to civilian communities who have long suffered the cycle of dehumanizing effects of perpetual displacement and insecurity -- specially the aged, children and women in marginalized circumstance;
We note that this tragedy happened too at a political climate when anti-corruption investigation at the legislative body heightened thus, causing turmoil amongst legislators who earlier professed commitment for national peace and for the eradication of this culture of corruption. We are sad when some changed hearts after seeing this heartbreaking violence;
We call for an impartial, collaborative, cooperative and inclusive investigation of the incident by the International Monitoring Team (IMT), the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) of both panels, the Adhoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG), human rights groups, and community traditional leaders to prevent the escalation of conflict and to provide policy recommendations that will improve the coordination mechanism, especially when serving warrant of arrest to suspected member of alleged terror group within the vicinity where there are presence of MILF, MNLF and BIFF;
We ask both GPH and MILF Peace Panels to convene this investigation team and ensure inclusive stakeholders’ participation for peace in Maguindanao—including the traditional and interfaith leaders at the grassroots—to acknowledge their roles in building a community of peace and help discourage the entry of any terrorist in Mindanao;
We reiterate our call for sobriety, especially for our policymakers, pleading and imploring kind-hearts not to derail nor halt the legislative hearing on Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and to pro-actively pursue the Road Map for Peace in Mindanao as the paramount agenda of our national government;
We ask media workers in the Philippines to practice peace journalism; stop further brewing violence and hatred amongst populace and instead help lessen dissension, prejudices, and discrimination against Muslim brethren;
We discourage disinformation and lack of self-restraint in posting and commenting from uninformed positions in social media;
We affirm our commitment, collaboration, and cooperation for peace in Mindanao and vowed not to be blinded by anger, trauma and pain to ensure that we attain the desired outcome of the peace process between the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF);
We place a high value on the sacredness of life and pray for mercy and compassion to sustain these peace processes for social justice and total conflict transformation.
- Balay Integrated Rehabilitation Center for Total Human Development Inc.
- Local Monitoring Team in Lanao del Norte Area- GPH-MILF NGO Representative
- Interfaith Council for Peace in Mindanao
- Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute
- Lanao Alliance of Human Rights Advocates
- Civil Society Organizations in Lanao del Norte Partnership for Peace and Development Inc.
- Pasaka Inc.
- Bantay Kalilintad
- United Religions Initiative-South East Asia and the Pacific
- PAKIGDAIT Inc.
- Jesuit Refugee Service Philippines
- Pailig Academy for Grassroots Democracy
- Kauswagan Ulama Forum
- Ranao Disaster Response and Rehabilitation Assistance Center
- Lanao Peace Partnership—Pailig Development Foundation Inc., Kapamagogopa Inc., MSU-IIT Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao, Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits Inc., Civil Society Organization Forum for Peace Inc.