The Center for Peace Education (CPE), with support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila, conducted the first two legs of the 2019 Women, Peace and Security training for community women in Aleosan, North Cotabato and Surigao del Sur. These trainings were held in Aj Hi-Time Hotel, Kidapawan, North Cotabato last 9-10 April 2019, and La Entrada Resort, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur last 12-13 April 2019.
Facilitating these trainings with CPE are project partners: Balay Mindanaw, Aksyon para sa Katarungan at Kapayapaan, Gender and Development Office, Real, Quezon, #WomenInspiringWomen for Peace and Security, St Louis College of Bulanao-Tabuk, Kalinga, and Nonviolent Peaceforce.
Participants from both areas are the community women/partners of Balay Mindanaw, CPE’s local partner in Mindanao.
Aleosan, North Cotabato
Aleosan has had recurring incidences of shootings and unresolved land conflicts, Ridos (clan wars), petty crimes, cases of rape, and the proliferation of firearms. Two barangays, Dunguan and Tapodoc, have voted to be part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
We have trained 22 women from Barangays Tapodoc, Dunguan, San Mateo, Bagolibas, Paganan; and Barangay Kitaotao from Bukidnon through Nonviolent Peaceforce.
Current challenges are building community resilience and sustaining the gains of the peace processes; monitoring the transition from Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to BARMM; decommissioning of lose firearms; and ensuring the continued protection of civilians.
In December of 2018, the New People’s Army (NPA) has reportedly abducted 2 soldiers and 12 militiamen in a military patrol base in Barangay New Tubigaon, Municipality of Sibagat, Agusan del Sur, a neighboring province of Surigao del Sur. Following this, about 300 individuals (55 families) including 61 learners and 2 volunteer teachers have evacuated to Sitio Simowao, Barangay Diatagon, Surigao del Sur.
These displacements were driven by the intensified operations by state armed forces surrounding their communities. Nearby communities in neighboring municipalities, Lianga, San Agustin and Tago, have also been affected.
We have trained a total of 26 women with representatives from barangays directly affected by displacements from the GPH-NPA conflict. The Municipal Local Government Office of Lianga, Surigao del Sur sent 5 participants and Nonviolent Peaceforce also brought 2 participants from Bukidnon.
Parallel with these trainings, CPE had courtesy calls with the mayors of Aleosan, North Cotabato and Lianga, Surigao del Sur. Accreditation for our women peacekeeping teams are now being processed in both municipalities.
These two-day trainings are part of the Women’s Agency in Keeping the Peace, Promoting Security: 2019 Women, Peace and Security Training. This project is in support of the pillar of participation of the UNSCR 1325, with the goal of the formation of women peacekeeping teams or women’s increased participation in existing peacekeeping mechanisms such as peace and order councils.
The next areas for training are Tabuk, Kalinga and Real/Infanta, Quezon in May 2019.