WE, THE CONVENORS OF THE MINDANAO PEACEWEAVERS (MPW), VIGOROUSLY CALL FOR ALL STAKEHOLDERS & THE GENERAL PUBLIC TO COMMIT TO THE PEACE IMPERATIVE IN SITUATIONS OF ARMED CONFLICT AND NATURAL DISASTER IN OUR COUNTRY.
We believe that imprinted in our collective memory as peoples are the ebb tides and surges of our struggle to overcome every small and big war, every quake and storm, every social condition dehumanizing enough to tear us apart. And with our own humanity, we survived in every shooting war, displacement, violation of our rights and entitlements.
We seek a peace that is just whether after a storm, a quake, or an armed action – be it a skirmish or an all-out war. Because we firmly believe the imperative to interface armed conflict situations and natural disasters as part of the overarching peace process.
We assert that the peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and between the GPH and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) should be relentlessly pursued. Moreover, the resulting peace agreements, as well as all previously signed peace agreements such as between the GPH and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and other armed parties must be fully, justly and consistently implemented. We welcome the extension of the unilateral ceasefire of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in the Yolanda-wracked areas as well as similar calls from the GPH. We hope that these unintended convergence lead to the resumption of the talks and work towards a just and lasting peace in the immediate future.
We challenge all the peace actors to be consistent in standing by the policy of inclusion and public participation; taking stock from the gains in “other peace processes” that government and other armed non-state actors have engaged in and; bringing substantive concerns of Indigenous Peoples, Women, Youth and vulnerable communities in armed conflict and disasters to the peace table.
We promote that the peace talks and inclusive political processes must be our way to address the issues of poverty and inequality, human rights violations and injustice, social exclusion and discrimination which underlie the armed conflicts in the country exacerbated by calamities. Echoing the cry of many women, children and communities repeatedly blighted from the effects of armed violence and natural calamities, we appeal to the conflict parties to silence their guns and suspend armed hostilities especially near civilian populations and evacuation sites.
We commit to protect human rights, putting an end to extra-judicial killings and unresolved human rights violations. We denounce all forms of electoral violence and corruption that have sadly and embarrassingly become part of our brand of governance.
We work to build the peace that comes from meeting the basic needs of our people such as jobs, land and livelihood; homes, health, and education, and the safety and security of our communities – especially as we confront the present governance and economic crises and impacts of climate change and environmental degradation to our own vulnerable villages.
And finally, we believe that only a negotiated political settlement is the most feasible, practical and just path to peace and human security. We will together build a more peaceful and resilient future that our children deserve.
Relentlessly Pursue and Support Inclusive Peace Processes
Empower the Local Capacity and Public Participation on Disaster Management
Declare Cessation of Armed Hostilities in Zones of Conflict and Disaster
Integrate Peacebuilding Strategy in Managing Conflicts and Calamities
Develop a Conflict-sensitive and Disaster-responsive National Peace Policy
** this document is an enhanced version of the Covenant written by Advocates for a Peace Covenant with GZO Peace Institute, Inc, a member of the Mindanao Solidarity Network, Co-Convenor of Mindanao PeaceWeavers.