Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to forward you the following press release from Global Network of Women Peacebuilders.

Asian Human Rights Commission
Hong Kong

————-

FORWARDED PRESS RELEASE
AHRC-FPR-043-2013

A Press Release from Global Network of Women Peacebuilders forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

PHILIPPINES: Declare a humanitarian ceasefire in Zamboanga City , now!

Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, a program partner of the International Civil society Action Network
Tel: 1 212 729 1062
355 Lexington Avenue , 3rd Floor
New York 10017 USA
www.gnwp.org

A Petition Campaign in Support for Dialogue, Humanitarian Action and Ceasefire

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED PEACE ADVOCATES, CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS AND CONCERNED CITIZENS, SERIOUSLY APPEAL IN CALLING FOR DIALOGUE and THE IMMEDIATE DECLARATION OF HUMANITARIAN CEASEFIRE in the conflict-affected barangays in Zamboanga City to address the standoff since September 9, 2013.

Specifically, we urge H.E. Benigno Simeon Aquino III, MNLF Chair Nur Misuari, Mayor Isabelle Climaco, Sec Teresita Deles, and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to heed the following calls :

1.   We call for an immediate stop to the firefight and a prompt and orderly redeployment of forces – both the MNLF and the AFP to address the alarming evacuee situation;

2.  We call on both parties to immediately delineate a humanitarian corridor where civilians and injured combatants may be safely assisted with their humanitarian needs;
3.  Generate public support towards broad humanitarian action by allowing full access and the entry of humanitarian groups to complement existing efforts of the local government, DSWD, and civil society in Zamboanga City ;

4.  We call for both parties to dialogue and allow for sufficient space for peaceful negotiations to take place;

5.  We strongly recommend that those who are responsible for the deaths, destruction of properties and other human rights violations will be held fully accountable;

6.  We appeal to the Philippine Government and its Office on the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to translate its policy in addressing the fate of the MNLF peace process and their legitimate issues;

7.  Lastly, we call for the intervention of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in resolving this issue, sustaining the role they have long-fulfilled in ensuring the hopes for peace in Mindanao.

8.  Lastly, we call on all our peoples, civil society including the media to remain calm, objective and reasonable while we continue to serve and offer our knowledge in preventing the escalation of this conflict as we guard the gains of the overall peace process in Mindanao .

We hope and pray that this matter is resolved quickly, justly and peaceably, and that equanimity prevails in the restoration of peace and order in Zamboanga City and its surrounds.

Declare a Zamboanga City-wide ceasefire now! Spare the civilians from armed hostilities! No to armed action and militarization in Zamboanga City !

PLEASE SEND THIS OR YOUR OWN MESSAGE TO THE FOLLOWING:
PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO III
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
Tel: 7361010 Fax: 7358005
Email: op@president.gov.ph
Twitter: @noynoyaquino

PROF. NUR MISUARI
CHAIRMAN
Moro National Liberation Front
https://www.facebook.com/Nur.P.Misuari

SEC. TERESITA QUINTOS-DELES
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Email: stqd@opapp.net
Tel:.- 637-6083
Fax No- 638-2216

MAYOR ISABELLE CLIMACO
CITY Government of Zamboanga
Email: beng\_climaco@yahoo.com
https://twitter.com/Beng\_Climaco
https://twitter.com/zambocitygovt
https://www.facebook.com/bengclimaco

H.E. DR. R.M. MARTY M. NATALEGAWA
FOREIGN MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA
& CHAIR OF THE OIC PEACE COMMITTEE FOR SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES (PCSP)
Tel: (+62) 21 3441508
Website: http://www.kemlu.go.id
https://www.facebook.com/pages/MoFA-of-Indonesia/134183339948571
H.E. EKMELEDDIN IHSANOGLU
SECRETARY GENERAL, ORGANIZATION OF ISLAMIC CONFERENCE (OIC)
Email: c/o General Sect – http://www.oic-oci.org/oicv2/page/?p\_id=38&p\_ref=14&lan=en
H.E. MR.YOHANES KRISTIARTO SOERYO LEGOWO
AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY AND PLENIPOTENTIARY
Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
Email:unitkom.manila.kemlu.go.id
Tel. No. 892-5061/68
Fax No. 892-58-78/818-44-41

H.E AMBASSADOR DR. IBRAHIM SAAD
Embassy of Malaysia
Email: malmanila@kln.gov.my
Tel No. 864-0761 to 68
Fax No. 8640727

SEC. VOLTAIRE GAZMIN
Department of National Defense
Telefax: 9825600
http://www.dnd.gov.ph
https://www.facebook.com/DNDPHL
https://twitter.com/dndphl
https://twitter.com/dnd\_forum

GEN. EMMANUEL BAUTISTA
AFP CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE PHILIPPINES
TEL: 911-7907; 911-6436
https://twitter.com/TeamAFP
MAJOR GENERAL REY ARDO
CHIEF WESTERN MINDANAO COMMAND (Wesmincom)
Tel 062-9931271 Fax: 062-991-3142
Twitter: @hukbongkatihan
E-mail: oacpa.army2012@gmail.com

SIGNATORIES:
NATIONAL (Philippines/Mindanao)
MINDANAO PEACEWEAVERS (MPW)
Agri-Aqua Development Coalition (AADC)
Akbayan Partylist
Aksyon para sa Kapayapaan at Katarungan (AKKAPKA)
Alliance of Progressive Labor – Davao Region
Ateneo School of Government – Ateneo de Manila University
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)
Balay Rehabilitation Center
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)
Center for Agrarian Reform, Empowerment and Transformation, Inc (CARET)
Center for Peace Education – Miriam College
Civil Society Organization in Lanao del Norte -Partnership for Peace and Development
CO Multiversity
Coalition of Social Development Organizations – Sth Cotabato (CSDO-SC)
Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS)
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)
Freedom from Debt Coalition -Western Mindanao Region
Generation Peace Youth Network
Guiuan Development Foundation, Inc
GZO Peace Institute
Human Rights Defenders -Pilipinas
Kabataan Consortium, Inc.
Kahugpungan-Mindanaw (KAMI)
Kalimudan Foundation, Inc. – Marawi City
Kameritanan ne Erumanen Menuvu (KEM)
Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (KAMP)
Labor Education and Research Network (LEARN)
Lumad Mindanaw Peoples Federation
Luna Legal Resource Center, Inc.
Makabayan Pilipinas – Mindanao
Mediators Network for Sustainable Peace (MedNet), Inc.
Medical Action Group (MAG)
Mindanao Alliance of Self-Help Societies Southern Phils. Educ’l Coop Center (MASS SPECC)
Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO Networks (MINCODE)
Mindanao Congress of NGOs and NGIs (MINCON)
Mindanao Indigenous Peoples Women Development, Inc (MIPWED)
Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC)
Mindanao Peoples Peace Movement (MPPM)
Mindanao Solidarity Network (MSN)
Paghiliusa Sa Paghidaet – Negros (PSPN)
Pakigdait, Inc
Pambansang Kilusang Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA – MINDANAO )
PANDAYAN
Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)
Partido Lakas Masa (PLM- Mindanao)
Partido ng Manggagawa (PM)
Pax Christi Institute
Peacebuilders Community
PhilDHRRA-Mindanao
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI)
Philippine Rural and Reconstruction Movement (PRRM)
PhilSSA-Mindanao
Power Alternative Agenda in Mindanao – Western Mindanao
Stakeholder Partnerships for Education and Lifelong Learning (SPELL) – Philippines
Rotary Club of Gen.Mariano Alvarez, Cavite
SANLAKAS
SANLAKAS- Misamis Occidental
SARILAYA
SENTRO
SIMCARRD INC
SUCCEED, INC
Sulong CARHRIHL
Tambayan Center – Mindanao
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
Timuay Justice and Governance
Waging Peace-Philippines
We Act 1325
Women’s Development Center, Inc – Bohol
Women and Gender Institute (WAGI)
Workers Assistance Center, Inc.
World March of Women -Pilipinas

GLOBAL /REGIONAL:

Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID)
Global Network of Women Peacebuilders
Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict
(GPPAC-Southeast Asia )
Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict
(GPPAC-Northeast Asia )
Acehnese Civil Society Task Force (ACSTF-Aceh)
ALTSEAN – Burma
Asian Circle 1325
Asia – Pacific Center Responsibility to Protect (APC-R2P)
Boat People SOS ( Thailand )
Burma Partnership (BP-Burma)
Campaign Committee for Human Rights (CCHR-Thailand)
Child Rights Coalition Asia Secretariat
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW-AP)
Focus on the Global South ( Manila , Bangkok and Delhi )
Global Network – Asia
Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice ( Guam )
Human Rights Working Group ( Indonesia )
Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC-Nepal)
Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC-Nepal)
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
Karen Women Empowerment Group (KWEG -Myanmar/Burma)
KKSP Foundation, Educatn & Info Center for Child Rights ( Indonesia )
National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE-Malaysia)
Network for Transformative Social Protection (NTSP-Asia)
Nabodhara ( Bangladesh )
NGO Gender Group (NGO GG – Myanmar/Burma)
Northeast Asia Regional Peacebuilding Institute (NARPI)
Peace and Human Rights Resource Center ( Thailand )
Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF)
Peace Boat
Peacebuilding Institute ( Jakarta )
Peacetime Foundation of Taiwan
People’s Empowerment Foundation(PEF-Thailand)
Shwe Gas Movement (SGM-Myanmar/Burma)
Thai Volunteer Service Foundation ( Thailand )
The Life Skills Development Foundation ( Thailand )
Women’s Initiatives Network for Peace (WIN PEACE – Myanmar/Burma)
Women Making Peace ( South Korea )
World Organization Against Torture (OMCT)
Women’s Organizations Network (WON – Myanmar/Burma)
World Social Forum (WSF)
World without Wars and without Violence

INDIVIDUALS

Eduardo T. Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Professor and Dean, Asian Center
University of the Philippines , Diliman

Eduardo Climaco Tadem, Ph.D.
Professor of Asian Studies
University of the Philippines , Diliman

Teresa Encarnacion Tadem, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science
University of the Philippines , Diliman

Antoinette Raquiza, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Asian Studies
University of the Philippines ,Diliman

Henelito Sevilla, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Asian Studies
University of the Philippines, Diliman

Michiko Yoneno Reyes, Ph.D Associate Professor of Asian Studies University of the Philippines, Diliman

Makiko Sato ( Japan )

Mindanao CSOs Statement
Zamboanga Stand-off
September 9, 2013

CALL FOR SOBRIETY, DIALOGUE, NOT ARMED ACTION
We, the undersigned civil society groups, express our deepest expressions of concern, prayers and support for the innocent civilians caught in the ongoing crossfire between elements associated with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and government security forces in Zamboanga City that unfolded before us this Monday, September 9.  We also likewise extend our deep condolences to the families of the armed actors themselves – the police, military authorities, and MNLF fighters felled during the incident.

WE HOPE AND PRAY that this matter is resolved quickly, justly and peaceably, and that equanimity prevails in the restoration of peace and order in Zamboanga City and its surrounds.  We express pity for the growing thousands of displaced evacuees now streaming into safe havens in Zamboanga, wherever they can find them.  We call on all concerned to avoid knee-jerk reactions that only feed into the distrust and discord we all want to avoid. We encourage all involved to explore dialogue in resolving whatever differences and grievances they may bear.

WE ARE SADDENED that such a provocative event happened on the eve of the slated and historic 10-day talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia . This will be the longest ever continuous meeting in the history of these talks and deserves our utmost support. Nevertheless we also expect that there will always be those displeased with the promising progress of these talks who will try to stop or derail such gains for their own aims and ends.  We challenge all stakeholders not to be drawn into such diversions. Instead, let us learn from such events and stay our course of peace, strong and resolute in our shared vision of a more united and progressing Bangsamoro benefiting all.

WE APPEAL to all involved in making peace work in our beleaguered region to patiently and consistently find ways in establishing structured opportunities towards meaningful inclusion of other stakeholders in the peace process.  The ongoing standoff in Zamboanga City between the MNLF and the government forces may indicate “imperfections” in the peace process, but there are legitimate issues that need to be addressed with a sense of just finality in the seemingly complicated peace process of the MNLF with the government.  But we still denounce the very act of resorting to an armed action just to send its message across at the risk of lives, limbs, and security of innocent citizens.

WE REMAIN ENCOURAGED that despite this event, both the GPH and the MILF have expressed trust, confidence and support heading into the 40th round of these exploratory talks.  This is the spirit that we believe should be engendered not only in the nascent Bangsamoro but through-out the country as well. Let us continue to support dialogue as a primary tool for peace building.  Let us not allow the guns to drown out the voices we need to hear, the ones who call for peace. These are the voices that truly speak for us, driving our singular struggle, quest and vision for true and lasting peace in Mindanao .

# # #

About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

Read this Forwarded Press Release online

AHRC Philippines page: http://www.humanrights.asia/countries/philippines

Follow us on:
Facebook:
ahrc pilipinas
Twitter: @ahrcphilippines
PodcastAHRC Philippines Rights Cast