Friday, October 17, 2014

European Union sponsors forum on Radicalism in Southeast Asia

From the Website of MILF

European Union sponsors forum on Radicalism in Southeast Asia

The European Union (EU) sponsored a forum entitled “Current Dynamics of Radicalism in Southeast Asia:  Peace Building Challenges and Opportunities in the Philippines” organized by the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies (IBS) in cooperation with the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD) and the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research (PIPVTR) on October 2, 2014 at EDSA Shangri-la Hotel, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

The said forum aims to discuss the evolving nature of radicalism in Southeast Asia in the context of current developments in security around the world.  The forum also intends to examine the ramification of these developments to peace-building processes in Mindanao and to present opportunities arising from the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and the submission of the Draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to Philippine Congress. 

 It is a high-level forum attended by participants from the government sector, military and police establishments, non-governmental organizations, private institutions, the academe, mass media and the diplomatic community.

Sapto Waluyo, an expert staff for the Minister of Social Affairs of Indonesia gave inputs on current regional trends on radicalism in Southeast Asia and Indonesian lessons to prevent radicalism. Waluyo categorized his lecture into three; firstly, counter radicalism policy should be able to distinguish the radical with moderate, secondly, provision of religious teaching on loving, tolerant and productive manner needs to be emphasized, thirdly, counter radicalism must come from the reality of the nation because every country has a different complexity with others.

Rommel Banloi,  Chairman of the Board of Philippines Institute for Peace Violence and terrorism Research  (PIPVTR) said that many radical individuals are peace  loving, altruistic, compassionate, socially responsible, human rights sensitive, gender responsive and are involved in non- violence resistance.

The Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) has so many radical ideas that challenge the political status quo of the ARMM, so radicalism cannot even be a problem but can be a solution but there is no doubt that there is few radical groups that endorse terrorism, embrace violence, uphold arm struggle, promote insurgency, wreak havoc, sow fear and pursue chaos, Banloi further said.

Atty. Najib Sinarimbo, Executive Director of Bangsamoro Study Group (BSG) presented inputs on Normalization process of GPH and MILF and also discussed the opportunities in combating radicalism as mentioned in the CAB. Among the opportunities are the creations of framework and mechanism for partnership of the MILF and the Central government such as; existing mechanism, IMT, LMT, CCCH, AHJAG and JCMP and the new mechanisms; JNC, JPSC, JPST and TF on PAGs.

PDIR Rodolfo B. Mendoza JR, President of Philippines Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research (PIPVTR) gave the closing remarks and started by quoting some verses from the Bible that says” Beat our sword into plowshares; and ours spears into pruning hooks. We will not raise our swords against others and we will not mount warfare anymore”.

We are happy to see the signing of the CAB, so MILF can better play its rightful role as partner of the central government in pursuance of peace and development in Mindanao; we look forward to the passage of BBL by Congress with a high hope that the BBL will prevent violent radicalism in Mindanao.

Others speakers were Ambassador Guy Ledoux, Head of EU delegation to the Philippines, Professor Abhoud Syed M. Lingga, Executive Director of IBS, General Gregorio Pio Punsalan Catapang, JR, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Asec. Oscar Valenzuela, Anti -terrorism Council (ATC) Mr. Ali Saleem, Country Representatives to the Philippine,  CHD and Mr. Antonio S. Lopez, Chairman and Editor- in-Chief of

MILF Website

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