Sunday, 4 September 2011

REAFFIRMING TRADITIONAL PEACE PACTS AMONG INDIGENOUS INHABITANTS IN MINDANAO

What is this traditional peace pact all about?

• The traditional peace pact was an agreement that settled the boundaries of the traditional territories of the indigenous inhabitants of Mindanao particularly between the non-Islamized groups and the Islamized groups who are the Bangsamoro.
• The traditional peace pact was an unwritten TREATY BETWEEN AND AMONG INDIGENOUS NATIONS that existed before the government of the Philippines was created.
• The traditional peace pact clearly defined indigenous governance over the territories covered by the Native Titles of the Indigenous Peoples.

Why do we need the reaffirmation ceremony?

• First, there is the on-going negotiations between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front involving lands and territories, governance and management of resources that affected the traditional boundaries covered by the traditional peace pacts between the non-Islamized groups and the Bangsamoro.
• Second, the non-Islamized groups had consistently demanded the recognition and respect of the traditional peace pacts relative to the GPH-MILF peace negotiations. Last June 12, 2011, during the dialogue on the MILF Draft Comprehensive Compact , the MILF Peace Panel and the indigenous leaders coming from Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and Iligan City agreed to conduct a ceremony to reaffirm the traditional peace pacts considering the changes that occurred over time since the last execution of the traditional peace pacts. The idea is to hold one reaffirmation ceremony between all Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao and the Bangsamoro.

Who will be involved in the reaffirmation ceremony?

• The reaffirmation ceremony on the traditional peace pacts will involve the 18 major groups and subgroups of non-Islamized Indigenous Inhabitants of Mindanao and the 13 ethno-linguistic groups of the Bangsamoro.
• The descendants of the peace pact holders who serve as living witnesses of the traditional boundaries will be specifically involved during the preparation of the affirmation ceremony.

What is the implication of the reaffirmation ceremony on the traditional peace pacts to the GPH-MILF peace negotiations?

• First, the animosity between the non-Islamized groups and the Bangsamoro on land, territory and governance will not hamper the peace negotiation like what happened to the MOA-AD.
• Second, the non-Islamized groups will have an assurance that whatever happened with the GPH-MILF peace negotiations, the traditional boundaries covered by the traditional peace pacts are recognized and respected.

What are the necessary activities in preparation with the reaffirmation of the traditional peace pacts?

• Identification of Indigenous Governance Structure (COUNCIL) that promoted indigenous nationhood as carried out by the descendants of Peace Pact Holders
• Review of Ideology, Principles, Doctrines, Philosophies and Processes of Traditional Peace Pacts, i.e. Tampuda hu Balagen, Diyandi, Pakang ug mga Sapa .
• Provide concrete maps ( Mapping) of traditional territories and its Boundaries
• Documentation of the proofs and evidences of the traditional peace pact
• Census of indigenous population and Descendants of the peace pact holders
• Dissemination of Information, Consultation, Campaign and Preparation for the reaffirmation ceremony.
• Creation of the IP PANEL who will sit down with the BANGSAMORO PANEL to discuss and agree on the details of the ceremony including the obligations and responsibilities for the ceremony
• Final Agreement on the venue and schedule of the Ceremony.

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