"MPPM is a convergence for the unity of the tripeople and a grassroots, multisectoral, peace alliance/network/coalition that commits to advance the peoples’ right to self determination, build communities of peace based on justice and work for sustainable development through ecologically sound initiatives."


The Lakbay Tribu para sa Karapatan sa Sariling Pagpapasya was launched on September 13, 2014 which also marked the 7th year of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). A ritual was done at the ritual ground of the Upi Agricultural School in Nuro, Upi, Maguindanao which brought together more or less 170 people coming from the Teduray, Lambangian, Dulangan Manobo and Erumanen ne Menuvu tribes as well as from the Bangsamoro and the Migrant settlers. 

 



The participants, speakers and organizers take a souvenir photo of the forum in Kibawe, Bukidnon.


The journey projected the issues and struggles of the indigenous peoples in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) or the prospective Bangsamoro and raised it to the level of public discourse, rallied public support for the full implementation of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) in the Bangsamoro, rallied public support for the full inclusion of the IPRA in the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), popularized the inclusive right to self-determination and inclusive peace in Mindanao and pressured the government to fully implement the IPRA in ARMM and include it in the proposed BBL of the Bangsamoro.

Public forums were conducted where the plight of the indigenous peoples in the ARMM for the past 17 years since IPRA and the challenges to their struggle for identity, self-governance, territory or ancestral domain, their customs and traditions and their political, socio-cultural and economic future as distinct peoples in the Bangsamoro in the light of the crafting of the proposed BBL was discussed. The provisions of the BBL especially those pertaining to the indigenous peoples as well as its salient features were also tackled. 



 
Ricky Batitao of the Teduray, Lambangian Youth and Students Association shares the plight of the young indigenous peoples in the struggle for their peoples’ right to self-determination in the forum in Dinas, Zamboanga del Sur. 

 

Meanwhile, the forums brought the calls and demands of the indigenous peoples in the core, adjacent and contiguous areas of the Bangsamoro to the attention of the members of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel and the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC). Lastly, the inclusive right to self-determination as a framework/platform to an inclusive peace in Mindanao was also introduced and explained.

The forum series of the Lakbay Tribu para sa Karapatan sa Sariling Pagpapasya were held in 12 strategic places in Mindanao: municipality of Upi in Maguindanao, Cotabato City, Iligan City City, Marawi City and Lala in the Lanao provinces, Pagadian City and Dinas in Zambaonga del Sur, Midsayap in Cotabato province, Kibawe in Bukidnon province, Davao City, Butuan City in Agusan del Sur and Koronadal City in South Cotabato province. 

 
 
 A Manobo leader raises issues and concerns to the speakers in the forum in Butuan City.

 

All 8 clusters were engaged when they organized, facilitated and hosted the public forums in their respective venues. With their active engagement in their localities, more or less 1,500 individuals from 164 peoples’ organizations, non-government organizations, schools, and local government units attended and participated in the whole forum series.

Partnerships with other organizations and institutions were also established. 6 schools hosted the forums: Upi Agricultural School in Upi, Maguindanao, Mindanao State University in Marawi City, Mindanao State University in Iligan City, Southern Christian College in Midsayap, Cotabato, CARAGA State University in Butuan City and Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City. 




Mindanao historian Prof. Rudy Rodil presents the history of the Bangsamoro and indigenous peoples’ struggles for the right to self-determination in the forum in the Mindanao State University-IIT, Iligan City.
 
New partnerships were also established with the Diocese of Marbel, the Political Studies Department of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities of MSU-Marawi City and the History Department of MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology (IIT) organized and facilitated the forums in their areas. 

The comprehensive presentation of topics by the speakers from the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH) as well as the members of the GPH panel’s legal team equipped the participants with enough information. The audience raised pertinent questions, shared their perspectives and raised their recommendations in the forums on the Bangsamoro Basic Law and provisions pertaining to indigenous peoples. These were directly addressed and answered by the speakers in the forums.

 

 
 Atty. Jesus Doque of the GPH peace panel’s legal team shares updates on the GPH-MILF peace process in the forum in Pagadian City.

The forum series brought about a number of important recommendations that should be considered. First of these was to broaden and engage the peace constituency in the discussion of justice and peace especially on indigenous peoples’ issues with regards to the BBL and the incoming Bangsamoro. Hence, there is a necessity to provide more venues and platforms of discussions that would bring more people to talk about these issues and have informed decisions in the future. 

The tri-people support and solidarity for the indigenous peoples’ struggle must also be built, consolidated and strengthened.  Women and the youth participation in the discussions must be encouraged. 



 

Jeremy Simmons of iEmergence recommends the revisiting of transitional justice in addressing injustices against indigenous peoples in the forum in Davao City.
 
There was also the need to explore the importance of transitional justice in addressing injustices such as the loss of ancestral domains and failure to delineate ancestral domains. 

Moreover, decision-makers who are champions of peace, human rights and indigenous peoples’ rights must also be engaged in order to bring about an inclusive and just Bangsamoro Basic Law. 

And last but not the least, it remains an imperative to highlight the worthy peace initiatives beyond the peace process: the peace processes in the grassroots communities.                
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