We are all brothers and sisters not by blood, but by our tears, our suffering, our mourning. I am enraged by the violence in Mamasapano, but will never call for an all-out war. Many who beat on their war drums know nothing about being in a war zone. It is easy to be a commando on Facebook or a Rambo with a signature espresso drink. But war is ugly. Very, very ugly. Uglier than how movies portray it. I’ve seen firsthand the aftermath of the MoA-AD in 2008.
While the BBL did not in any way trigger the senseless deaths in Mamasapano, it became the primary casualty of a botched military operation against terrorism. Make no mistake, terrorism in all forms should be condemned but having the BBL threatened after the Mamasapano clash loses sight of the opportune moment to build peace and turn swords into ploughshares. Here are some perspectives on why we should see the bigger picture and pursue peace along with our cries for justice.
September 2012, Philippines–GenPeace spearheads localized celebrations of the International Day of Peace in the Philippines. Youth leaders and organizations take the lead in raising awareness on the country’s armed conflict, and challenging this generation to support peacebuilding initiatives. In a country with two 40-year old forgotten armed conflicts, the youth can be a potent force in bridging the peace gaps.
With the theme, “Just and Sustainable Peace for Our Future: Support the Peace Processes!”, GenPeace through its member-organizations, school partners, friends and communities, prepared numerous initiatives for the peace month of September.
September 21, apart from being the commemoration of the declaration of Martial Law 40 years ago, is also the UN-declared International Day of Peace, Ceasefire and Non-violence. The youth network aims to: 1) educate the public on the Peace Day, the issues and root causes of armed conflict in the Philippines; 2) promote participation and contribution from the young generation; 3) campaign for a 24-hour unilateral declaration of ceasefires, and; 4) gather broader support for the peace processes in the country.
GenPeace and its partner organizations have lined-up a month-long set of activities for September. Some of the plans are:
1. Simultaneous Peace Day Celebrations can provide the space for raising awareness that there is a global day of peace, ceasefire and non-violence. During this day, we join the rest of the world in aspiring for peace but also, concretely working towards that goal through education, communications and media, networking, policy advocacy, dialogues, and projects with conflict-affected localities.
- Cagayan Valley Region
- Quezon City
- Davao City
- Samar and Leyte
2. Ceasefire Campaign. We are asking the government and NDF and MILF to unilaterally declare ceasefires on 21 September. We are also part of global peace day ceasefire call.
3. LGU Engagement: Peace Day Resolutions/Ordinances
We are asking local governments to pass resolutions and/or ordinances supporting peace day and the peace day ceasefire, and to fully support the peace talks. We believe that localized declarations of support increases the chances for convergence at the local level–supporting the conflict-affected communities and the grassroots–where peacebuilding matters most.
We’re raising Php 200,000 for the nationwide activities of the youth network. Buy our cakes, 100% of proceeds will be for the month-long peace advocacy and education activities.
5. Campus Tours: Peace Forums. This will be the education campaign of GenPeace for the Peace Month and beyond. The forums target students from different universities and seek to update the youth on the peace talks, raise understanding of the conflict issues in the country, the primacy of the peace talks, and challenge the youth to become peace advocates.
We join the world in calling for a Global Day of Truce through localized unilateral ceasefire declarations of the government through its Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the National Democratic Front. Ceasefires are often construed as pacifist and a counter-insurgency measure, but we want to institutionalize the Peace Day Ceasefire nationwide and throughout the world. A day of ceasefire can give the people a day of respite from all the violence and take time to reflect on peace. Everyone can be nourished by a day of ceasefire as the longer struggle towards a just and sustainable peace continues thereafter.
GenPeace calls for a peaceful, reflective and humane observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan. We show our solidarity to our Muslim brothers and sisters. We believe in unity and equality; we may be different but we are all equal in our inherent rights and dignity.
We–Muslim, Christian, Indigenous People, Filipino, Moro–members of the GenPeace Youth Network support the youth’s clamor for religious tolerance and diversity, equality and justice.
Support the non-violent resolution of the armed conflicts! Peace in MindaNOW!
Asian Institute of Management, Makati City–Selected members of GenPeace took part in a historic skype dialogue with Louis Jalandoni and Coni Ledesma, prominent leaders of the National Democratic Front. During the skype meeting last March 2, 2012, the youth’s calls during the GenPeace General Assembly were highlighted by the GenPeace representatives. Mirma Tica, Gerald Eustaquio and Kaye Limpiado presented the youth’s calls for: 1) Easter Peace Talks, 2) Protect the Environment; and 3) End Impunity. (click here for the GenPeace Statement for the GPH-NDF Talks)
Jalandoni welcomed the youth’s calls particularly on the protection of the environment and the ending of the climate of impunity in the country. Regarding the call for peace talks to resume, he said that the NDF also aspires for a just and lasting peace in the country. He further encouraged the youth to advocate for peace to the President and even the security sector.
The GenPeace representatives were invited by the peace civil society community under Waging Peace Philippines and through Prof. Ed Garcia of the International Alert. Some of the other dialogue participants were Karen Tanada of GZO Peace Institute, Sr. Ma. Arnold Noel and Joeven Reyes of Sulong CARHRIHL, former Senator Bobby Tanada, and Gus Miclat from the Initiatives for International Dialogue.
GENERATION PEACE: 2012 RESOLVE
Generation Peace, meeting in general assembly on the eve of the 26th anniversary of the 1986 People’s Power, resolves to redouble our efforts to pursue peace in diverse parts of the country. We will do our part in galvanizing youth voices in urban and rural areas, in schools and in streets, in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. We will network with other sectors, in particular, with our teachers, with women, indigenous peoples, and with religious, business, political and community leaders.
We call on the leaders and the negotiating panels of the Government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to resume peace talks in the period of Easter – the season of resurrection and re-awakening. To do so, we urge the following:
- 1. Undertake Easter Releases of Selected Detainees Relevant to the Negotiations!
- 2. Protect the Environment Now. Do so More Vigorously!
- 3. End Impunity!
We call on both sides to do so for the sake of future generations. We cannot wait any longer. These talks have been protracted enough, and we want to eliminate more victims of a war without end. We ask both sides to do what it takes to overcome obstacles. During the period of talks we call on both parties to suspend offensive military operations to create a climate more conducive to restore trust and the construction of a more peaceful future.
From Generation Peace General Assembly,
Successor Generation of Peace Advocates
February 24, 2012
Members of the Generation Peace General Assembly
University of Eastern Philippines Communication Association
FEU ACP3 Peace Tayo
Center for Peace Education Miriam College
Pax Christi Miriam College
Balay Rehabilitation Center
United Youth for Peace and Development
Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute
UNESCO Young Professionals Club
United Nations Youth Association of the Philippines
Sobusteha Youth Association
Akbayan Youth –Davao
Peace Advocates Zamboanga
SINAG Political Organization
Student Commission on Election, De La Salle University Dasmarinas
CARAGA Youth Leaders Network
Teduray Lambangian Youth and Students Association
Tirmizy E. Abdullah
Edito T. Ebol Jr.
Josiluther B. Nacario
Gerald Matthew E. Eustaquio
Brenfred N. Romero
Hazeline M. Panganiban
Nina Sarah D. Francisco
Xyren Moren Magbuhos
Marc Zeus Chee
Mary Angeli Bataycan
Rechie J. Tugawin
Allen John Lira
Victoria Kathleen Mae
Maria Theresa Angelica Bustria
Kristel Georgia Mendoza
Youth Solidarity For Peace.
We, members of Women Engaged in Action on 1325 (United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325), a national network of women in human rights, women, and peace organizations, express our unequivocal rejection of war and military solution to the crisis arising from the October 18 tragedy in Al-barka, Basilan.
Roughly 30,000 civilians from affected communities in Basilan, Zamboanga Sibugay and Lanao provinces are now scattered in various evacuation camps while others seek refuge in homes of families and relatives who live away from the conflict areas. Majority of the internally displaced persons are women and children.
While We Act 1325 commends President Aquino for issuing a strict order on the primacy of the peace process, and the MILF for staying the course of the peace process, we ask the government and the MILF to:
1. Resume in earnest formal negotiations on the substantive agenda;
2. Take into account any violations of the ceasefire agreement and related mechanisms such as the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) guidelines and make the results of investigation available to the public;
3. Institute binding and strict measures that will compel adherence or compliance to all agreements forged between parties in conflict;
4. Respect the civilian character of evacuation camps and other defined safe spaces;
5. Uphold the government’s commitment to UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (and its succeeding resolutions) to ensure that women’s special needs in situations of conflict are prioritized and appropriately addressed, and their contributions valued and recognized;
6. Provide protection from sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence, especially in evacuation camps; and
7. Involve and engage the participation of more women in formal and informal peace negotiations or processes, as well as in relief and rehabilitation services in affected areas.
As women, we are alarmed that our voices and efforts for peace seem to be drowned by the loud drums of war. We are dismayed by statements from politicians, journalists, media and even some bishops that frame the MILF as “the enemy” rather than a committed party to the peace negotiations and even ceasefire agreement. They question the peace policy and established processes of peacebuilding and confidence-building based on government’s “six paths to peace”.
Unfortunately, they are playing to attitudes of machismo as well as ethnic and religious discrimination that are still dominant in our society.
We ask you to stop depicting the other as the enemy. Stop sowing hate. The costs of war increase when anti-peace sentiments and malicious statements are peddled this way. Hence, we appeal to all concerned to work instead in diffusing tension by promoting communication and understanding between parties in conflict.
War solves nothing. WOMEN DEMAND ALL-OUT PEACE!
Quezon City, 21 September 2011 — Thousands from different civil society groups celebrated peace day nationwide on September 21, the UN-declared International Day of Peace, Nonviolence and Ceasefire.
The youth network, Generation Peace (GenPeace) spearheaded celebrations in 7 key areas nationwide, in Cebu, Nueva Vizcaya, Iloilo, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Quezon City. Eight indigenous peoples groups also conducted peace rituals in their communities ranging from Sierra Madre in Luzon to Mt. Apo in Mindanao.
Debbie Cabanag, who participated in the celebrations for the past three years, said “Peace Day is remembered globally but what sets the Philippine celebration apart is that the date coincides with the commemoration of the Declaration of Martial Law. This is also why our national theme for this year is ‘Kapayapaan, ating karapatan’ (Peace is our right). We are highlighting our collective right to peace.”
In a message read throughout the celebrations nationwide, President Noynoy Aquino stated that, “The government pledges solidarity to this cause, in accordance with the conviction that the Filipino people’s progress is founded on an environment of peace and stability.”
Mohagher Iqbal, head of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panel also declared in a message that the MILF will make “manifest our continuing commitment to the peaceful settlement of the Moro Question and the armed conflict in Mindanao.” He further stated that peace is “the best gift we can pass on to the generations after us.”
“This year is the biggest celebration ever because the different peace groups converged to have a common call for a day of ceasefire and support for the peace talks by simultaneously launching the One Million Voices for Peace Campaign nationwide.” Karen Tanada, co-convener of the Kilos para sa Kapayapaan and Katarungan mentioned.
Last Monday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines declared a suspension of military operations for the celebration of the peace day.
The Quezon City celebration is done annually at the Quezon Memorial Circle. This year the event featured sports events, fun run, amazing race challenges and an obstacle relay race. Messages of peace from youth, women, indigenous peoples, government, military, faith and nongovernment groups were delivered.
Full transcript of the President Aquino message and the Chair Mohagher Iqbal (MILF) message can be found here.
For additional information or a sample copy, contact: Nikki Delfin, Generation Peace Youth Network (GenPeace) 09178660405, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://youthpeacenetwork.wordpress.com/
September 01, 2011
KILOS PARA SA KAPAYAPAAN AT KATARUNGAN (KILOS!)
Peace is our Right: Declare a Peace Day Ceasefire!
A Citizens’ Call for a September 21 Ceasefire
We—peace advocates from diverse political, cultural, faith and social backgrounds—urge the Government of the Philippines and the CPP-NPA-NDF to declare a 24-hour ceasefire on September 21. Especially on that date, the ongoing ceasefire between the GPH and the MILF must be upheld.
We support the peace processes and affirm our collective right to peace – peace that is not just the absence of war but also the absence of structural violence. We believe that peace is freedom from fear, want and humiliation.
We draw on the UN-declared International Day of Peace and Non-Violence to highlight the urgent need for peace. The UN General Assembly resolution was passed unanimously in 1981 to give way to a Global Day of Ceasefire. Until now, an annual peace day ceasefire has never been realized in the Philippines.
As we appeal for a ceasefire day, we ask for a million supporters for the peace processes through the One Million Voices for Peace Campaign (OMV). From August to December the OMV campaign will launch photo petitions, Facebook likes, fun runs, local mobilizations and celebrations, film screenings, sports events, indigenous rituals and forums to be held in different communities, regions and key cities nationwide.
What difference can one day of ceasefire make? Clearly, it is the difference between life and death at the battlefield. But more importantly, a day of peace is a ray of hope for the Filipino people. It is a day that makes us all believe that—in the brief moment when guns are silenced—peace is possible. A day of ceasefire gives us a glimpse of what we expect to attain in our lifetimes, a just and sustainable peace… freedom from violence in whatever form.
The Filipino people can take a day of respite from all the violence and take the time to reflect on and commit to peace. They can be nourished by a day of ceasefire for as the struggle for towards peace continues thereafter.
WE SUPPORT THE PEACE PROCESSES. WE WANT A JUST AND LASTING PEACE. DECLARE CEASEFIRE ON PEACE DAY!
Kilos para sa Kapayapaan at Katarungan (KILOS!) is the broadest coming together of the Philippine civil society organizations working toward a just and lasting peace in the country. KILOS! Is a concerted effort at engaging the different stakeholders talking at the peace tables and the larger Philippine society. Its main convenors are network of networks from peace civil society organizations: Mindanao Peaceweavers, Boses Mindanaw, Waging Peace Philippines – GPPAC Southeast Asia, Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform, Indigenous Peoples Network, and the Sulong CARHRIHL Network.
(NOTE: Please contact the GenPeace secretariat (email@example.com or +6324266064) if you would like to join the call for a September 21 Peace Day Ceasefire) Read the rest of this entry
Peace is still elusive for the Philippines. The country is still wrought by a forgotten
war spanning approximately four decades. GenPeace seeks to educate and call to action
the young generation to help put and end to the armed violence by supporting the peace
The International Day of Peace, celebrated every 21st of September, is one opportunity
to raise awareness and support for peace from the youth in the country. This short
documentary showcases some of the local realities and peace initiatives of GenPeace and
its partner- and member-organizations.
Approx. 10 minutes, Filipino with English subtitles
Edited by: King Mark Baco
Produced and Written by: Generation Peace Youth Network