Transitional justice and reconciliation will pave the way for normalization in BARMM

Transitional justice and reconciliation will pave the way for normalization in BARMM

Sourced from OPAPP by Tracy Cabrera

MANILA — With the approval of the proposed Transitional Justice and Reconciliation (TJR) Road map by the Inter-Cabinet Cluster Mechanism on Normalization (ICCMN), the government now expects the implementation of the normalization track for the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) assistant secretary Wilben Mayor, who is also a member of the government panel member and focal person for the sub-cluster on TJR, acknowledged that as the key component of CAB, the TJR is considered as “the heart of the (Bangsamoro) peace process.

Mayor likewise described the TJR roadmap as”a living document that is intended to guide government programs and interventions on TJR and a set of deliverables that can realistically be started and achieved within the Duterte administration.”

“This will demonstrate the government’s commitment in responding to the recommendations cited in the report of the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC),” he pointed out.

Based on the approved proposal, the normalization program of the CAB provides for a comprehensive strategy to promote healing and reconciliation among communities in the Bangsamoro that have been affected by armed conflict.

Mayor identified that an integral part of this approach was the establishment of TJRC in 2014 during the meeting held between the GPH and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Peace Panels in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Commission was mandated to undertake a study and recommend to the panels the appropriate mechanisms to correct historical injustices and address legitimate grievances, human rights violations, and marginalization through land dispossession.

This was followed by the creation of the ICCMN sub-cluster on TJR which was tasked to formulate the roadmap that would serve as a guide in carrying out recommendations made by the TJRC.

“The ICCMN, as a whole, aims to discuss ways to further accelerate the implementation of the normalization track of the CAB,” Mayor explained.

“In particular, the body was established to ensure the timely, appropriate, and efficient delivery of the Normalization Program through close collaboration and greater synergy among national line agencies,” he added.

Meanwhile, GPH Implementing panel chair and OPAPP undersecretary David Diciano reported the milestones that have been achieved under the security component of the normalization program.

“We have already trained and constituted fifteen joint peace and security teams (JPSTs) composed of 450 members from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and the MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces or BIAF,” Diciano announced.

The JPSTs serve as peacekeeping forces in areas mutually agreed by the national government and the MILF and out of its 15 teams that have been thoroughly trained for peace and order operations, eight have already been deployed in mutually identified conflict-affected areas.

“Since their creation, JPSTs have played a vital role in ensuring the security of the residents within the six government-acknowledged MILF camps during the second phase of the decommissioning process,” Diciano proudly noted.

“These teams will continue to perform their mandate until the Exit Agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the MILF is signed,” he added.

Diciano also highlighted the major accomplishments of the National Task Force for the disbandment of private armed groups (DPAGs), which include the disbanding of six private armed groups in Mindanao.

“The persistence of the NTF for DPAGs have yielded positive results with the disbanding of six PAGs in Western Mindanao in March 2021,” he stressed.

“With this, the NTF-DPAGs aims to strengthen its efforts and intensify the campaign of its Task Group. The NTF DPAG shall also endeavor to garner the pledge of commitment of partner LGUs to bolster initiatives against PAGs,” Diciano added.

For his part, joint normalization committee co-chair Ariel Hernandez discussed the socioeconomic interventions to be provided to the decommissioned MILF combatants, their families, and their communities.

These interventions include the provisions of social protection, capacity development, livelihood and employment, and infrastructure.

Under social protection, the MILF combatants were given immediate cash assistance right after their decommissioning. They were also provided with health coverage and civil registration.

Among the activities under capacity development value transformation, alternative learning systems, study grant programs, and technical-vocational education training.

According to Hernandez, livelihood and employment will also be provided to the former combatants “to ensure their daily needs and dreams for the future can become a reality.”

This component includes livelihood investment support, social entrepreneurship, short-term employment will be provided.

On the other hand, housing assistance, and other community-based interventions will be provided under the infrastructure component of the socioeconomic program.

Aside from these interventions, Hernandez also discussed the initiatives being carried out to transform MILF camps as show windows of peace and development. (AI/MTVN)

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