DECENTRALIZATION? AUTONOMY? FEDERALISM? LOCAL FORUMS TACKLE THE MINDANAO PEACE PROCESS & THE ROADMAP TO FEDERALISM

Zamboanga City.  The Interreligious Solidarity for Peace (ISP) and Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance (ZABIDA) organized a Forum on the Mindanao Peace Process and Roadmap to Federalism  on  September 8,  at  the Garden Orchid hotel in the city.  The forum was held to help local participants understand the new Mindanao Peace Roadmap and obtain the latest update on the proposed federal government scheme.

The invited national resource person was  Executive Director Atty. Benedicto Bacani of the  Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) who discussed the topic:  “Autonomy vs. Federalism: Understanding New and Renewed Paths to Mindanao Peace.”    Local speakersfrom the Department of Interior and Local Government-Zamboanga City, Director Mohammad Taha S. Arakama and Western Mindanao State University-Political Science Department, Professor Jofre G. Rasul  also provided their insights in reaction to Atty. Bacani’s  presentation.  The forum gave an opportunity for local stakeholders to express their hopes and questions the prospect of peace and development in Mindanao.   Different sectors from the religious, academe, youth, security, political party, barangay local government units, and many others actively participated in the discussion and planning session for contextualizing emergent issues and concerns on the Federal form of government.

Basilan.  Earlier on Tuesday, September 6, a similar activity was held at the Amphitheatre Center, Basilan State College, Isabela City.  Ms. Miriam Suacito, Executive Director of the  Nagdilaab Foundation, Inc.,  provided the Background/Rationale of the program.   The main topic was delivered by Atty. Benedicto R. Bacani, IAG’s executive director, who discussed the latest developments  and projections on Federalism.   Other resource persons who were also invited to the Forum were  Atty. Peter Eisma of Claret College of Isabela,  Ms. Nida Dans of Mother for Peace, Inc.,  and Mayor Hanie A. Bud, Maluso Municipal Mayor  who served as a panel of local reactors.  An open forum followed, with a synthesis of  the activity by IAG program manager, Prof. ReyDan C. Lacson. 

The forums were  carried out   in partnership with the ProPOLITICS project implemented by the following partners:   Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG), Local Government Development Foundation (LOGODEF), Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy PCID) and Zamboanga-Basilan Integra ted Development Alliance (ZABIDA).   It was supported by  the Embassy of Australia. 
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