Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission conducts consultations in Southern Mindanao

  • Thursday, Mar 26 2015
  • Written by  Gandhi Kinjiyo

The Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC), a body created by the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to recommend measures to correct historical injustices and address legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people, has been conducting consultations in Southern Mindanao.

Since last week, TJRC facilitators gathered peace stakeholders and representatives from different sectors namely women, elders, youth, Civil Society Organizations, religious leaders, Indigenous Peoples, regardless of religious affiliations in different schedules and venues.

The participants are coming from the provinces of Sarangani, South Cotabato and city of General Santos.

TJRC was created as a provision of the Normalization Annex of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the government and the MILF.

The body initiate study and recommend remedies to promote healing of the physical, mental and spiritual wounds and to provide measures to address causes of conflict and to prevent their recurrence.

It will employ assessments, consultations or surveys to determine measures to address historical injustice, human rights violations, marginalization through land dispossession, legitimate grievances, and reconciliation and healing.

Participants from General Santos City related the human rights violations committed by the government troops during the martial law era of President Marcos where summary executions of either rebels or civilians were rampant.

They also related the Palimbang massacre where more than a thousand men and children perished and some Moro women were raped in 1974.

They recommend the establishment of Shariah Law in Bangsamoro territory which is appropriate for Muslim citizens in order to address crime, drugs, divorce, and other social issues like pre-marital sex among youth.

For healing and reparation, the participants stressed the best thing the government should do is to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law so that the Bangsamoro people can exercise their own governance, attain peace and develop their communities.

They also demand acknowledgement and apology from the government for the deaths of the Moro people particularly those whose rights were violated by government troops especially during the martial law period.

The participants also recommended that the government will make law for the mandatory Bangsamoro representation in the local government units, establishment of Bangsamoro Development Office under the local chief executives of the LGUs, and establishment of Muslim cemeteries in municipalities and cities and prayer areas in terminals, airports, hospitals and schools.

The participants also slammed the National Commission on Indigenous People for not recognizing the Maguindanaon among the IP tribes in the country, thus members of the Moro tribe are not able to avail benefits like IP representation in LGU and claim for ancestral domain.

TJRC is chaired by Mo Blekker, a special envoy from the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs and members are Atty. Cecilia Jimenez (as GPH representative) and Atty. Ishak Mastura (as MILF representative) as well as Jonathan Sisson who serves as senior adviser.




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