Peace Talks Watch movement underway in Iligan, Philippines
Members of the Civil Society Organizations-Forum for Peace (CSO-FP) and the media gathered recently at the CSO-FP office in Iligan City to celebrate the launch of the Peace Talks Watch movement.
The Peace Talks Watch is a consortium of civil society groups in Mindanao whose task is to monitor developments of the peace negotiation process between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (GPH-MILF) for one year or from June 2011-June 2012. This move follows the earlier statement of Dean Marvic Leonen, chair of the GPH peace panel that there will be an agreement signed within the year to address the Bangsamoro problem in Mindanao.
CSO-FP is a member of the Change for Peace campaign network together with other civil society groups led by Mindanao Peoples Caucus of Davao City. CSO-FPis one of VSO Bahaginan’s partners in developing peace-building programs in the country.
Jun Enriquez, managing director of CSO-FP reported that CSO-FP will act as facilitator of all development information on the GPH-MILF peace talks. Specifically, Enriquez committed to document the process particularly highlighting the countdown to the agreement signing.
Regular meet-ups will be organized with the media to inform them of developments as well as to serve as venue for feedback. Roundtable discussions and symposia in schools and consultations with the community will also be done to share information on the peace process. All relevant updates will be cascaded to concerned groups through press releases taking into consideration the official media release of the GPH-MILF peace panel.
A peace caravan to highlight the Peace Talks Watch led by the Ranaw Confederation for Peace of Marawi City was also held in June. Coming from Marawi, the caravan passed Iligan City and Lanao del Norte. Members of the MILF also joined the caravan as confirmed by Col. Daniel Lucero, Commander of the 103rd Brigade in Campo Ranaw, Marawi City.