PhilippinesBlogLaunchBIG Kapamagogopa Incorporated (KI) is a non-profit development organisation that is the only Muslim volunteer organisation in the Philippines. Image credit: Kapamagogopa Inc.

Local peacebuilding from our Local Correspondent: introducing Rey Ty

The Philippines is now the 8th region we cover in Asia
For the past 40 years, the Philippines has seen conflict and violence, much of it located in the southern region of Mindanao. In light of this, and recent outbreaks of violence which have threatened to derail peace talks, we are pleased to publish the work of our new Local Correspondent, Rey Ty. Rey has wide experience of peacebuilding in the Philippines, and has so far provided us with key information on 18 local peacebuilding organisations.

Together, we are working to profile more of the inspiring work taking place across the Philippines, which is now the 8th region we cover in Asia. This includes, for example, the work of Reconciliatory Initiatives for Development Opportunities, which has successfully implemented several programmes in Mindanao and elsewhere.

We feature the initiatives of the Cordillera Youth Centre, a non-profit youth network that provides education and training for indigenous and non-indigenous young people in a wide variety of areas: strengthening skills in writing and public speaking, as well as organising cultural exchanges, networking sessions and other events.

And there are also groups such as Adad-Betad Inc which works with marginalised people including Muslim and Indigenous Filipinos. With a hundred volunteers and staff, Adad-Betad ensures that these people have access to basic needs including food, clothing, shelter, healthcare and education.

Armed violence, miscommunication and mistrust: hinders peace

Civil society has a key role to play in Filipino peace processes
Rey Ty has also helped us to shed light on recent events in the Philippines. In original analysis for Insight on Conflict, he discusses how the promise of peace that had been brought by the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law was disrupted by the Mamasapano clash in January this year. With a peace process in progress, Rey discusses the fallout of the secret operation of the Filipino Special Action Force in rebel-controlled territory. The operation resulted in unintended violence, leaidng to the deaths of 44 SAF personnel, 18 MILF forces and 5 civilians.

In the wake of these developments, Rey also cautions against losing sight of other issues, notably with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and its affiliated organisations. In December 2014, the Philippine National Police arrested alleged members of the groups. Human rights groups have claimed that evidence leading to the arrests were planted. These events highlight the mistrust and miscommunication between different rebel groups and the government.

We are delighted to be working with Rey, and look forward to publishing more of his insight. Civil society has a key role to play in Filipino peace processes, and we will work to expand our coverage of the groups involved. Check back soon for updates on peacebuilding in the Philippines, and across the 31 other regions we cover.