Mindanaw Academy (PMA)
First Privilege Speech of
Rep. Ariel C. Hernandez
May 18, 2009, House of Representatives
Mr. Speaker, Maayong Hapon!
Maayad na hapon! Assalamu Alaikum! Peace be with you all!
First, let me express my
personal gratitude for the warm welcome you bestowed upon us when we
took our oath as new legislators in the house of the people. As the
newly installed representative of our party Anak Mindanaw, I have
been given the opportunity to join this august body that defines the
future of this country. Thus, I would like to maximize my time and
humble expertise to bring about long term and sustainable programs
for our beloved yet troubled region of Mindanaw.
Anak Mindanaw would like to
call on this house of the people not to forget the aspiration,
dreams and fears of the tri-people of Mindanaw. In the heated
discussion in the plenary on urgent bills of Charter Change, CARPER
and other bills, I would like to put on record that Anak Mindanaw
would like to introduce a legislation that will highlight the role
of Mindanaw as a center of gravity of all peacebuilding initiatives
of the country and even of the Asian region. Whereas before and even
up to now, Mindanaw has been highlighted by the national and
international press because of its mismanaged conflicts that
resulted to wars every two to three years, terroristic activities
every now and then, not to mention kidnappings that put the island
in a very bad light … Anak Mindanaw is committed to proactively
change this national and international perception, not by propaganda
but by hard work and by running meaningful and relevant programs for
the tripeople of Mindanaw.
Specifically, Mr. Speaker,
this humble representation, molded by the institutional wisdom of
Balay Mindanaw, which has been actively working for peace in
Mindanaw these past years, and guided by Cong. Mujiv Hataman, is
proposing for the establishment of Peace in Mindanaw Academy (PMA).
If war and unpeace have dominated the picture of our beloved island
over the last 5 decades, Anak Mindanaw believes that by setting up a
PMA, our beloved region of Mindanaw will be known as the center of
gravity of all peace education and peace building initiatives not
only in Mindanaw and in the country but also in the Asian Region.
While Anak Mindanaw acknowledges and supports the ongoing peace
processes that tackle historical injustice, political
marginalization and economic disparity, Anak Mindanaw adopts the new
parallel mindset of the party that aims to set up institutions that
are proactive, sustainable and, most of all, owned by stakeholders
of peace in Mindanaw, in the country and in the Asian region. We
need not wait for peace negotiations to arrive at political
settlement and signed peace agreements. We can set up institutions
like PMA to strengthen and maybe hasten the ongoing peace processes
in Mindanaw, in the country and in the Asian Region, by a
combination of academic inputs, field-based learning and
Mr. Speaker, the PMA will
have the following distinct characteristics:
- It will be a premiere
education center for peace in the country and the Asian region.
I specifically highlight the
Asian Region as the bigger arena of Peace in Mindanaw Academy
because of the ongoing mismanaged conflicts in the region,
namely, Sri Lanka, parts of Indonesia, and East Timor. Rather
than seeking help from these countries, we might even be able to
provide help for them.
- The curriculum and
education program will be designed by CHED, OPAPP, Defense
Department, the civil society, and the Church, which are all
actively involved in Peacebuilding in Mindanaw, in the country
and the Asian region.
- The target clientele of
the academy will be the state and non-state security sector, the
local government units, the business sector, the different
churches and denominations and the civil society and the
lawmakers from Mindanaw, the Philippines and the Asian region.
- The PMA is envisioned to
offer full courses on conflict management and peacebuilding,
peace negotiations, transitional and restorative justice and
demobilization, disarmament and reintegration (DDR).
Mr. Speaker, with your
support, and with the support of the members of this house, the PMA
will usher a new dawn for Peacebuilding in Mindanaw. I have great
faith in the constituency of the house of the people; the state and
non-state combatants; the LGUs which do not anymore see conflicts as
things to avoid but rather as an integral challenge for local
development; the Church, which brings peace building into action
rather than as mere words spoken in the pulpit; the academe, which
has transcended the four walls of the schools; and the national and
international peace constituency.
This proposal will remain
relevant in the years to come and this 14th Congress will proudly
look at this institution as a source of pride for Mindanawans,
Filipinos and Asians alike.
Daghan salamat Mr. Speaker…