Towards Just and Sustainable Peace:
Declare a Peace Day Ceasefire!
A Citizens’ Call for a September 21 Ceasefire
On the UN-declared International Day of Peace, also called a Global Day of Ceasefire and Non-Violence – September 21, we urge the Government of the Philippines and the CPP-NPA-NDF to declare a 24-hour ceasefire. The ongoing ceasefire between the GPH and the MILF must be especially be upheld on that date.
We ask that the guns be silenced in our country on Peace Day, in solidarity with all who seek to end violent conflicts around the globe.
As peace advocates from diverse political, cultural, faith and social backgrounds, we call for a cessation of hostilities in order to highlight the urgent need for peace.
We support the ongoing peace processes that aim to resolve through political negotiations the decades-long armed conflicts in the Philippines. We are determined to accompany the process toward signing of peace agreements and more importantly, in the implementation of these peace agreements.
In the Philippines, September 21 is more known as the day when Martial Law was declared, that we remember by vowing, “Never again.” On this 40th year since the declaration of Martial Law, we still suffer its legacy of armed conflicts and stubborn roots of injustice and poverty.
Therefore our call for peace is not just for the absence of war but further for the presence of “jobs and justice, food and freedom, land and liberation”. One of the lessons of our struggle against dictatorship is that a durable peace will be built only with the fullness of human rights and dignity.
On September 21, a day of ceasefire will be a moment marking our common commitment to building a just and sustainable peace.
WE SUPPORT THE PEACE PROCESSES. WE WANT A JUST AND LASTING PEACE. DECLARE CEASEFIRE ON PEACE DAY!
Generation Peace, Mindanao Solidarity Network, Peace Day Committee Waging Peace Philippines – GPPAC Southeast Asia
*If you wish to include your organization to our peace day ceasefire call, leave a comment below.
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.
Imagine a day of peace, a day where people reflect on peace both as a dream and a reality. Generation Peace Youth Network (GenPeace)—the nationwidest coming together of youth organizations, individuals and peaceniks—is working towards making the peace dream a reality. We believe in connecting, empowering and transforming the young generation as catalysts for peacebuilding. We believe in non-violent and creative solutions to the Bangsamoro armed conflict and the Communist insurgency. We believe that a just and lasting peace has hurdles but we can move from one milestone to another.
“You cannot eat a cake and have it. But you can eat a cake, and help promote softcore and hardcore youth peacebuilding” –Peace of Cake Monster
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.
Quezon City–The Generation Peace Youth Network (GenPeace) recently concluded its 3rd National General Assembly with the theme “Successor Generation: Re-imagine the Work for Peace.” The assembly was held at the Ateneo de Manila University from February 23-25 and identified the network’s thematic priorities for 2012-2013.
Aside from discussing the network’s priorities, the gathering also discussed strategies to strengthen the network’s member organizations and expansion plans. Apart from the main mandate of the network in supporting political negotiations between the Government and the CPP NPA NDF and the Government and MILF, it also explores its role in promoting a culture of peace in the country. The assembly also elected its new set of officers for the national board (2012-2013).
Topics during the assembly range from updates on the peace processes, mediation and negotiation as essential peacebuilding skills, to envisioning peace. Prof. Ed Garcia of International Alert noted that “The Philippine peace negotiations are the world’s most protracted negotiations” with very limited milestones and as such require re-imagination from the part of youth peace advocates. ###
GenPeace is a national youth network engaged in a youth-led advocacy towards a just and sustainable peace in the Philippines. It is a coming together of 40+ youth organizations and networks all over the country that support political settlements in resolving armed conflicts.
JOIN THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE CELEBRATION!
Doing something for Peace Day? Submit your initiatives by contacting us.
NOTE: The schedules of initiatives here may change without prior notice. It is advisable to contact the local area coordinators beforehand.
GenPeace is part of the larger network called the Waging Peace Philippines and the broader coming together of the Philippine peace movement known as the “Kilos para sa Kapayapaan at Katarungan” (KILOS).
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org or +6324266064) if you would like to join the call for a September 21 Peace Day Ceasefire) Read the rest of this entry
Mindanao Peoples Caucus
July 19, 2009
Aspiring candidates for the presidency and the senate have started selling themselves to the public, spending millions of pesos to look either “pro-poor” or “champion of the poor” so that the poor Filipino masses will vote for them.
Aside from the paid ads, these presidentiables and senatoriables have managed to squeeze themselves into noontime shows, showbiz talks and whatever opportunity there is for public mileage – again to reach out to the Filipino people and tell them “I am for the poor;” “I am poor;” “I used to be poor;” “my heart is for the poor,” “I will fight for you.”
But the real test for the packaging is not much on what their ads say they are, but on what they have done for the poorest of the poor in this country.
One case in point is the humanitarian crisis in Maguindanao and North Cotabato – constituting the most number of victims out of 745,763persons displaced by the renewed hostilities between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) from August 10, 2008 to May 18, 2009, according to the National Disaster Coordinating Council.
The Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre’s (IDMC) April 2009 report had said Mindanao’s 600,000 IDPs was “the biggest new displacement in the world” out of 4.2 million newly displaced in 2008, higher than the “massive new displacements” in Sudan (550,000) and Kenya (500,000).
As of June 30, 2009, records of the Department of Social Welfare in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Region 12 as consolidated by the Office of Civil Defense, show that a total of 71,662 families or 359,022 persons are still languishing in evacuation centers or with their relatives in the ARMM and North Cotabato.
Of this number, Maguindanao posted the highest at 56,685 families or 286,542 displaced villagers, followed by North Cotabato at 8,384 families or 40,069.
Records showed a total of 339 evacuees have died since August 2008: 19 caught in the crossfire in North Cotabato and 31 in the ARMM. But more evacuees died from ailment in the evacuation centers: 223 of them, the OCD report said. The NDCC casualty figure is higher: 372 have died and 160 have been injured as of June 4, 2009. Of the 372, 109 died from actual encounter while 263 died “due to illness at evacuation centers.”
Many of those died either from mortar fire or from preventable diseases in the evacuation centers were children and babies but did any of our aspirants bother to look their way? Did they send relief goods to these IDPs, these poorest of the poor, some of whom have no more homes to return to?
Walk your talk, Sir, Ma’am: Instead of pouring millions of pesos on paid advertisements, you may want to visit evacuation centers and elicit from the IDPs themselves, what is the real STATE OF THE NATION.
RICK R. FLORES
Mindanao Peoples Caucus
The violence has to stop.
We, the Mindanao PeaceWeavers (MPW) call on the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to return to the negotiating table for the peaceful resolution of the conflict in Mindanao.
We strongly condemn the bombings in Cotabato City and other parts of Mindanao. We urge a thorough and impartial investigation, mindful of the cloud of suspicion around previous bombings, that will lead to truth and justice.
We ask both sides of the GRP and the MILF to be mindful in issuing statements in the light of the recent bombing in Cotabato City which killed 5 civilians and injured 35 others, that could create division by projecting the war in Mindanao as religious in nature, when it is not. For several decades, the Moro, indigenous peoples and settlers in Mindanao have live together harmoniously.
Instead, GRP and the MILF should review their peace and security framework and operations to ensure the genuine interests and protection of the Mindanawans, especially their right to self determination and governance.
We also deplore the more quiet but pervasive and lingering violence of displacement being experienced by hundreds of Mindanao communities.
The Geneva based Internal Displacement Monitoring Center reported that more than 600,000 civilians were displaced from August to December last year after talks between the MILF and the government hit a snag over the non-signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain.
As of June 25, according to the records of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), a total of 71,662 families or 359,022 persons have yet to return home as of June 29, 2009 and of this number, 56,685 families or 286,542 persons are still in the evacuation centers or relatives’ houses.
They are cramped in evacuation centers and not spared from daily mortar shelling. Children make up almost 70 percent of the deaths in the war-torn communities.
We are also very alarmed over the recent pronouncement of the military that they view internally displaced persons as “reserve enemy force.”
International humanitarian law and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Displaced Persons clearly state that it is the primary responsibility of the State to protect the rights of the civilian population, especially women and children from being violated.
The GRP and the MILF must protect and uphold the rights of civilians. Both invoke the civilians’ welfare when they wage war against each other and also when they negotiate peace. They should immediately address the situation of the internally displaced persons, by guaranteeing their safety to return home and resume normalcy in their daily lives.
We also urge the GRP and the MILF to review and reactivate the ceasefire mechanisms that had previously been effective in lowering the levels of violence, In the meantime, they must take immediate steps to discipline their respective troops.
We offer ourselves to all parties in seeking that elusive platform where the stalled process can move forward . Mindanao Peaceweavers is a convergence of peace advocates in Mindanao. It currently represents the broadest network of peace constituency in the island cutting across non-government organizations, academe, religious, human rights groups, peoples organizations and grassroots communities.
Mindanao has suffered long enough. The lives of our children have been wasted.We pray that the GRP and the MILF find a common ground for ending the hostilities in Mindanao. There is no other way. The GRP and the MILF must sitdown and negotiate. Now.
Convenors and Secretariates:
Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP)
Mindanao Peace Advocates Conference (MPAC)
Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS)
Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC)
Mindanao Peoples Peace Movement (MPPM)
Mindanao Solidarity Network (MSN)
Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID)
Technical Assistance Center for the Development of the Rural and Urban