June 24, 2023 (11:12 AM)

3 min read

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Photo Credits to AdDU Official Facebook Page

As post-conflict violence stifles progress and innovation, Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) called for recommendations on peace regulation in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

International Crisis Group (ICG) Georgi Engelbrecht presented incidents from last week, showing persisting post-conflict violence in BARMM, specifically armed group attacks in Basilan last June 16 and an ambush in Koronadal the day after. 

“We see these things, and we ask, what’s the significance of it? I think ideally, in a perfect world, we can really look at the background of every incident and make connections,” he said, claiming that these incidents came from the complexity of situations. 

In light of shooting incidents in the area, BARMM Police Regional Office Police Colonel Jibin M. Bongcayao reported that between January 1 and June 15, there have been 267 reported cases, resulting in an average of 1.61 daily incidents.

“We take note that these reports are important because alongside them are the recommendations in addressing the different forms of challenges in the peace process,” Al Qalam Executive Director Datu Mussolini stated after mentioning reports on encounters with violence during the peace transition in BARMM. 

Samahan ng mga Mag-aaral ng Agham Pampulitika ng Ateneo also highlighted the root causes of violence in BARMM through a video presentation, detailing the history of injustice and marginalization that the Moros and different ethnic groups in BARMM perceived.

In line with this, University President Fr. Joel Tabora named this public conversation a medium to articulate these recommendations to confront and stop these killings. 

“It is here that we experience the volatility of peace…[and] through the recognition of the problem against the complex background of the Bangsamoro today,” Tabora stated. 

Confronting challenges, Bongcayao also discussed the concepts on unresolved violence in BARMM, specifying several cultural traditions, such as “Rido.”

He mentioned Rido as one of the leading causes of land disputes, political rivalry, and personal grudges, leading to post-conflict violence. 

“There are some sectors in BARMM that use religion to lure believers to more violence.. that is why there should be some activities to deradicalize religion,” Bongcayao further said. 

Engelbrecht: Conflict is a shape-shifter 

Engelbrecht described post-conflict as a “shape-shifter” for BARMM’s volatile journey to peace. 

“Maybe before it gets really better, it has to be worse, but the question is, how long can these birthing pains ultimately continue? We talk about post-conflict, but the reality is we are backsliding,” he said after presenting the persisting violent incidents in BARMM.

ICG also made peace sticks in the region, labeling the peace processes as both on track and in peril due to the peace agreement’s contentious politics, local violence, and uneven implementations. 

As for recommendations, Engelbrecht emphasized ICG’s themes on the Bangsamoro Peace Process, including resilience, compromise, phased implementation, hybridity, and commitment.

The Davao Association of Catholic Schools, Al Qalam Institute, Ateneo Public Interest and Legal Advocacy, and the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council initiated this public conversation entitled “The State of Post-Conflict Violence in BARMM: A Closer Look at the Volatility of Peace,” held at AdDU CCFC Building, June 21, 2023. 

This event marks AdDU’s third dialogue on BARMM, along with the open dialogue on peace talks and hybrid discussions on BARMM.
The event was live-streamed via AdDU’s Facebook page.



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