BULUAN, Maguindanao — Representatives from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), provincial government of Maguindanao, government security forces, and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) met on Tuesday to discuss the program on dispute resolution being implemented in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
The meeting is part of the continuing consultation between OPAPP and peace partners to assess the implementation of the program in the context of the deliverables under the Normalization Program, as well as to craft a more responsive framework that is suitable and reflects the context of the conflict situation in Maguindanao.
According to Dir. Farrah Grace V. Naparan, chief of staff of the Joint Normalization Division, dispute resolution is an integral aspect of the normalization’s track’s security component under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
The dispute resolution program is being carried out in parallel with the Small Arms Light Weapons (SALW) and Disbandment of Private Armed Groups (DPAGs) programs, and the decommissioning of MILF combatants to help improve peace and security in the Bangsamoro.
“Lahat po kasi ito nakatahi. We cannot achieve ‘yung security sa Bangsamoro if ‘yung dispute resolution is treated separately,” Naparan explained.
In recognition of the crucial role of LGUs in dispute resolution and their deep understanding of the dynamics of local conflict, OPAPP and the Provincial Government of Maguindanao signed a Memorandum of Agreement in 2020 to officially launch the program on dispute resolution.
OPAPP also turned over P11.7 million funds to the provincial government of Maguindanao for the implementation of the said program.
The peacebuilding initiative seeks to put an end to rido cases or family conflicts in the BARMM, improve socioeconomic conditions in conflict-affected areas, and empower communities to address issues of conflict and peace through activities that promote social cohesion.
The program was integrated into the AGILA HAVEN program of the provincial government of Maguindanao, a peacebuilding mechanism which aims to prevent violent extremism.
Roger Dionisio, focal person of AGILA HAVEN, said that Maguindanao Governor Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu tasked the Maguindanao Peace, Mediation, Reconciliation, Unification and Investigation (MP MERUIT) – a vital component of AGILA HAVEN – to intensify the settlement of all rido cases in the province.
‘’The MP MERUIT was tasked by the governor to settle all family conflicts or rido in the entire province of Maguindanao,” Dionisio said.
“With the leadership of Mike Midtimbang, they were able to accomplish a substantial number of settlements given the fact that they’ve been only operating in less than 2 years,” Dionisio emphasized,” he added.
To date, fifteen rido cases in the province have already been settled by MP MERUIT.
The MERUIT executive secretariat, together with the Maguindanao Provincial Planning and Development Committee, is now finalizing the digitalization of data on rido to further strengthen the program on dispute resolution not only among different agencies, but also to those families involved in rido cases.
“It (dispute resolution program) will be our reference in the planning office in crafting programs not just for those involved in the rido but even the family,” Nulfarid Ampatuan, assistant PPDC stressed.
“The governor has a program on ‘yung mga asawa nila under project AGILA and sa UNGaya para sa mga anak ng mga involved sa rido. Under itong lahat sa AGILA HAVEN,” Ampatuan added.
Meanwhile, Atty. Jesus Doque IV, consultant of the GPH Peace Implementing Panel lauded the PLGU of Maguindanao for their efforts to address rido problems in the province.
“Maganda na andito kami at nakita namin ang magandang ginagawa ninyo.’Yun naman ang hangarin ng OPAPP, na the LGUs are doing their part in the normalization process,” Doque said. Philippine Information Agency