How do you manage a troubled peace zone?
For Mayor Lani Sarillo Candolada of Tulunan, North Cotabato, the key is getting a ‘peace process adviser’ who can focus on the town’s peace agenda so as to address conflicts in the locality.
Candolada said they thought of the measure since 2007 in view of boundary conflicts and armed hostilities along the town’s borders usually involving the military and New People’s Army.
The conflict has been there for years and the local government’s response has been “never ending dialogue, dialogue, and dialogue,” she said.
The mayor spoke about Tulunan’s experience in her talk about localizing the peace agenda, one of the modules discussed during the Operation Peace Course (OPKors!) Peace building and Conflict Management training attended by junior officers of the 6th Infantry Division.
The training, the 14th for officers of the Eastern Mindanao Command of the armed forces, was held on October 19 to 23, at the Mindanao Training Resource Center here. Read on at MindaNews.com.
Counting how many battles fought, enemies killed, and firearms recovered has been among the usual indicators in an official’s military scoreboard.
But it’s got to change, military officials tell new generation officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Mindanao.
Col. Julieto Ando, of the Eastern Mindanao Command, has stressed this point to junior military officers who attended the Operation Peace Course (OPKORS), a conflict management and peace building training, now on its seventh in a series, organized by the AFP, Balay Mindanao Foundation Inc. and other partners.
“Instead, count how many enemies you have convinced back to the folds of law,” Ando said in his presentation on “The Challenge: Towards Fresher Perspectives”.
He said it involves changing perspectives from calling “boodle fights” to “boodle peace” at the least to building consensus and partnerships with other stakeholders to win peace.
The new mindset for military operations in Mindanao, he said, calls for more focus on building rather than destroying. Read on.