COMMITTED we remain. The Mindanao PeaceWeavers (MPW) is formally expressing its resolute commitment in support of the GPH-MILF peace process despite the Lahud Datu, Sabah standoff that embroiled the country in a crisis situation with Malaysia – the peace facilitator itself.
SADDENED we are and equally disturbed of the excessive military and police action that felled sixty seven (67) lives of Tausugs and Malaysians and detained ninety seven (97) Filipinos, and sacrificed thousands of distressed Orang Suluks and Sabahans fleeing to nearby towns in Sabah, or crossing the Sulu-Celebes seas.
ALARMED that in a month’s time, the conflict spiraled and spilled to other areas beyond Lahad Datu while disproportionate use of force by the Malaysian military against the “Royal Security Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo” continue unabated. More than a thousand Filipinos fled to Tawi-Tawi bringing with them their woes of police brutality and random crackdown of “halaws” (undocumented Filipinos).
BOTHERED and anxious that the growing animosity between Malaysians and Filipinos in Sabah, fueled by this escalating crisis situation – will lead to more hostilities and actual communal violence.
The Sabah crisis may be taking centerstage now, but MPW hopes that the process of politicization of the public on the issue will factor in the collective gains we continue to harvest from the GPH-MILF peace process.
Although we can’t totally insulate the GPH-MILF peace process from issues that have implications to the diplomatic ties between Philippines and Malaysia and the eventual repercussion on its role as peace facilitator but, nonetheless, we believe we can overcome this regional imbroglio in due time. Crucial to this is when both the GPH and MILF positively express themselves in public to allay fears and even diffuse tension here in the home front.
With utmost humility, we request both the GPH and MILF to release a joint statement on the Sabah issue the soonest – not only to serve as an assurance that the peace talks is moving, but also an affirmation believing that the power of dialogue will deliver the promise of humanity in the districts of Sabah and Tawi-Tawi, Sulu.
Once again, we reiterate our key message to the governments of Malaysia and the Philippines and the followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III : DECLARE AND IMPLEMENT A “HUMANITARIAN CEASEFIRE” IN THE CONFLICT-AFFECTED DISTRICTS IN SABAH.
- CEASE & DESIST MILITARY ACTION & ATTACKS of Malaysian police, army and the followers of Sultan Kiram III by declaring a bilateral ceasefire and cessation of hostilities until the humanitarian crisis is fully addressed.
- A PUBLIC CALL FOR HUMANITARIAN ACTION to adequately address the humanitarian crisis in Lahad Datu, Sabah and Tawi-Tawi, Sulu.
- ADDRESS the forced evacuation and deportation of Filipinos and provide immediate consular assistance as well.
- ALLOW & PROVIDE SAFFE PASSAGE of independent local and international humanitarian groups in the so called “green zones” to help conduct humanitarian action and monitor the situation;
- NEGOTIATE to arrive at a consensus mechanics on “disengagement” of all armed actors in the conflict areas.
- URGE for the governments and the followers of Sultan Kiram III to discuss issues on the table and exhaust dialogical means in conflict resolution.
- AGREE & IDENTIFY an external dialogue facilitator (specifically from among the ASEAN member-states) in bridging the process.
- DENOUNCE the reported increasing human rights violations caused by the OPS Daulat of the Malaysian Government in their mopping up operation against Kiram’s followers;
- DECRY the reckless abuse in rounding up Filipinos in Sabah whether documented or undocumented immigrants under the aegis of the Security Offence (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) as reinforced by OPS Daulat;
- ENCOURAGE independent and civil society-led fact-finding missions to study and investigate on the status of the human rights situation in the districts of Sabah.
And above all, we implore the guidance of our same God, Allah and call on all Filipinos and Malaysians to rise above from this storm as we continue to search our common ground peacefully. As peoples with common Malay ancestry, nurtured by the same womb of the South – let’s harness the language of dialogue in the deliverance of truth, justice, mercy and love.
MINDANAO PEACEWEAVERS CONVENORS :
Agong Peace Network (AGONG)
Bisayang Dako Alang saKalinaw (BISDAK)
Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS)
Interreligious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP)
Mindanao Peace Advocates Conference (MPAC) – Lawig Kalinaw
Mindanao Peoples Peace Movement (MPPM)
Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC)
Mindanao Solidarity Network (MSN)
MPW SECRETARIATS :
Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) – Lead Secretariat
Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc (BMFI)
Catholic Relief Services – Mindanao (CRS)
Sentrong Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (SALIGAN-Mindanaw)