Bantay Bayanihan Plans Next Moves

BANTAY Bayanihan(BB), the multi-civil society group acting watchdog to the Armed Forces’ Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP), has reassured its members that their support efforts on the ground level shall result to desired targets.

This was expounded during the members’ 4th Quarter Meeting last January 11 at Silsilah House of Peace Conference Room. The meeting formed part of the IPSP national convention held on January 10-11.

One of the group’s main concerns was regarding its Local Assessment Matrix, which was ambiguous to some because of the technical jargons. The Assessment Matrix is a qualitative analysis on assessing the security measures on their respective locality.

They also discussed concerns related to the coming mid-term May elections and how BB will play a role.

The initial reports of the regional BB’s Local Assessment Matrix, as well as accomplishments from the last quarter, were also presented by each regional convener.

Dr. Jennifer S. Oreta, Assistant Secretary at the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), was present as a resource speaker during the conference, where she elaborated on the means and ends upon which the local communities could be greatly affected once the annexes of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) would be signed.

“The Bantay Bayanihan can work on either operations or oversight. I’m glad that some of you [local BB Working Groups] are already on the operations, but I would like to emphasize that the BB must start as an oversight. This is the principle behind the [Local Assessment] Matrix. You may not be able to institutionalize it fully, but at least we can attain a baseline where we can work on,” said Dr. Oreta.

Dr. Oreta is the former coordinator of the Working Group on Security Sector Reform (WG-SSR) at the Ateneo de Manila Political Science Department, preceding Ms. KathlineTolosa.

BantayBayanihan is a network of CSOs from different regions which intends to discuss local issues, as well as national policy or programs through BB dialogues and be given attention by local and national units. It is spearheaded by the Working Group on SSR at Ateneo de Manila University. Members of BantayBayanihan include Lawyers League for Liberty (Libertas) Inc., The Good Wednesday Group 4 Peace (Cotabato-Maguindanao) and regional BB Working Groups.

The said event was organized and facilitated by Peace Advocates Zamboanga. (Leo Jess Baya)

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