The Mindanao Peaceweavers (MPW) is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our co-convenor, Mr. Rey Magno Teves. Rey succumbed to a bad case of pneumonia early today.
Last Tuesday, he was merrily presiding over a Convenors meeting that was finalizing plans for the launch of MPW’s Mindanao Peoples Peace Agenda (MPPA), and a series of dialogues with Presidential candidates in next year’s elections. MPW is currently winding up analysis of its respective network consultations on the MPPA. Two area consultations in Central and Western Mindanao are scheduled this month before the MPPA launch at a Peoples’ Assembly in January. The MPPA will be MPW’s framework for engagement of the peace process in Mindanao.
The dialogues with the Presidential candidates will start with MPW’s constituencies engaging them on their respective platforms on Mindanao in the context of the MPPA.
Rey presided over the Nov. 3 MPW meeting with elan spiced with his usual flair for deadpan humor. He was full of life.
Rey represented the Mindanao Peace Advocates Conference (MPAC) at the MPW. The MPW is the broadest coalition of peace networks in the country composed of the following aside from MPAC: Agong Network, Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS), Inter Religious Solidarity Movement (IRSM), Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC), Mindanao Peoples Peace Movement (MPPM) and the Mindanao Solidarity Network (MSN). It is anchored by four NGO secretariats led by the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) along with the Catholic Relief Services, Saligan and TACDRUP- where Rey was also Executive Director.
Rey has been a fixture in Mindanao civil society, media and political circles since his student days. Astute and accommodating, Rey is best remembered as some sort of a Don Quixote who braved the minions of Marcos and traditional politics running independently a few times for councilor in the city with only his solid ideals, passion and trusty guitar on hand. He was eventually appointed by Cory Aquino to Congress to represent the Urban Poor sector. He then became synonymous with Kusog Mindanao – the platform that has tried to gather and unite the different, if not, disparate sectors in the island on a common development agenda. Rey may have mellowed through the years, sitting in the board of a government bank, content in advising young, impatient activists on how to engage policymakers, how to launch campaigns, but he could still regale friends and a conference or two with his Elvis-inspired musical stunts. But like most of us, Rey believed in peace, peace-building, inclusiveness, rigorous debate, and engagement and was thus one of MPW’s sturdiest pillars. He was always concerned when a network member was absent at MPW meetings.
MPW, along with the thousands of Mindanaons and Filipinos he touched will continue to be inspired by his wisdom, his music, his laughter, his ability to reach out to others whatever the persuasion. Indeed, Rey was a man of peace, was a man for all seasons.
We salute Rey and will always remember him with fondness and a smile. Our deepest condolences and prayers to his loving family.
Mabuhay ka Rey, yes, you will be sorely missed, but you will always be around us!