About Mary Francis Rivera

Maffi as her friends call, manages the digital media platforms of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. She is bossy - not in a pejorative way but being bossy and tenacious means she is passionate, goal driven, and ambitious. She loves films, filmmaking, books and anything about design, and hates serif.

Christian communities convene to understand Bangsamoro Organic Law

COTABATO CITY, January 15, 2019 – “Ito’y isang pagkakataon para sa atin para malaman ang nilalaman ng BOL lalo na sa ating mga Kristiyano (This is an opportunity for us Christians to understand what the Bangsamoro Organic Law is all about).”

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By | January 15th, 2019|MILF, News|0 Comments

Interfaith forum for BOL held in Isabela City

ISABELA CITY, Basilan, December 27, 2018 – Ulama (Islamic scholars) and Christian leaders led an interfaith forum here on Thursday to educate the residents on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

The forum was held several weeks before the plebiscite scheduled on January 21, 2019 in the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Cotabato City and Isabela City for the ratification of the BOL. 

For Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato and the areas that filed their petitions to join the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) granted by the Comelec, the plebiscite will be on February 6, 2019.

The residents of this city, which is currently not part of the current ARMM, will be asked in the plebiscite if they are willing to include Isabela in the future Bangsamoro government.

Organizers of the event highlighted the fact that the BOL is not a religious issue but a political solution.

Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, Archbishop Emeritus of Cotabato, said the main purpose of the forum was to provide the residents here “an understanding about the BOL to achieve an informed decision during the plebiscite.”

“I am for BOL. Why? because there’s a win-win solution for all. It addresses the historical injustices against the Bangsamoro people; it recognizes the territorial sovereignty of the country, and the rights of minorities,” he told thousands of people inside the Basilan National High School Gymnasium.

Quevedo said the BOL underscores the principle of common good, which consist of three important aspects: no discrimination, no exclusion, and fairness and equity.

He advised Christian communities to be discerning when it comes to the information peddled against the BOL.

Quevedo said the BOL respect religious freedom, quoting a provision that says the people living inside the Bangsamoro territory are “free to undertake activities pursuant to their religious activities and values.”

Mohagher Iqbal, chairman of the MILF Implementing Peace Panel, explained the benefits of the BOL, saying that the intention of the law is to achieve genuine autonomy as a self-governing entity.

“The BOL was not given to us in a silver platter. We paid for it through our blood, sweat, and tears,” he said.

He said indications of real autonomy entity is “having political power — and BOL provides 55 powers of the Bangsamoro government; and fiscal autonomy or access to the resources.”

Iqbal said the ratification of the BOL will address the political clamor that the Bangsamoro people have been pushing for years.

“War is temporary. Peace is final,” he said as he thanked the President Rodrigo Duterte for shepherding the passage of the BOL.

For his part, ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said it is “very important for the Isabela to join the Bangsamoro government.”

“The face of Basilan is Isabela City. We fear that Isabela will be left behind if they will not join the Bangsamoro,” he said.

“This is very important because Christians here could listen directly from Cardinal Quevedo clarifying unfounded fears regarding the BOL,” he added.

“But at the end of the day, it is the decision of the people if they want to join or not. At least, the interfaith forum provides them accurate information so that when they make decision it is based on correct information,” Hataman said.

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. said the BOL was anchored on the Duterte administration’s principle of inclusivity. 

“What does this mean? It means the BOL is a law that would benefit everyone regardless of ideology, tribe, or religion,” he said.

“More importantly, the law gives due recognition to the identity of all residents living within the Bangsamoro territory. So whether you are a Moro, Christian, or Lumad, rest assured that your rights and welfare will be protected,” he added.

Galvez, who successfully established a good relationship with the MILF when he was the commander of the military’s 104th Brigade in Basilan, said the BOL is the culmination of “our efforts to give our Moro brothers and sisters the opportunity to take ownership of the landmark measure and finally achieve our dream of genuine and meaningful self-governance.”

As the new peace adviser, Galvez vowed to push the ratification of the BOL.

“Now I am standing here as a brother of peace, making sure the peace agreement is well implemented — starting with the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law,” he said.

Other speakers of the forum included Bangsamoro Transition Commission commissioner Susana Anayati and Dr. Aboulkhair Tarason, the Chairman of the Basilan Ulama Supreme Council (BUSC). ###

By | December 27th, 2018|MILF, MNLF, News|0 Comments

Dureza: Peace process requires dealing with the past

PASAY CITY, October 17, 2018 – Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza on Tuesday emphasized the importance of dealing with the past in addressing the needs of those who are affected by conflict in the country.

“In the peace process, we need to have social healing by going back to the past. Hindi natin pwedeng kalimutan ‘yan (We must not forget the past),” Dureza said during an Interagency Orientation Workshop spearheaded by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in this city on October 16.

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By | October 17th, 2018|MILF, News|0 Comments

PAMANA projects to boost Camarines Norte development

LABO, Camarines Norte, October 5, 2018 – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) lauded the local and national government for working together to implement projects that benefit their constituents in conflict-affected areas.

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By | October 5th, 2018|News, PAMANA|0 Comments

Cayetano: I wish OPAPP to become ‘irrelevant’

PICC HALL, MANILA (September 21, 2018) – “I wish I live to see the day you are irrelevant.”

This was the message of Foreign Affairs Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano to executives and personnel of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace (OPAPP) in his remarks during the celebration of the agency’s 25th Founding Anniversary.

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By | September 22nd, 2018|News|0 Comments

Dureza to youth sector: Help address triggers of conflict

PASAY CITY, September 13, 2018 – Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza today urged the youth sector to help address the triggers of conflict to achieve lasting peace in the country.

Speaking to delegates at the opening the three-day National Youth Peace Table Summit being held in this city, Dureza said youths’ knowledge of the context of conflict in their respective areas is vital in the peace efforts of the government.

“You came from different areas, iba-iba ‘yung triggers of unpeace. Ang trabaho natin as youth, we need to address this,” he said.

(You came from different areas where there are different triggers of unpeace. As youth, you need to address this.)

Eighty selected youth leaders from previous summits in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao are participating in the summit.

Dureza said the gathering can serve as a platform in which to share ideas to promote peacebuilding in the communities.

Iba-iba ang pinanggalingan natin, iba-iba ang context. But there is a common thread (in conflict). We like to learn from others also. In your area, alam ninyo ang gagawin.”

(We come from different places with different contexts.)

“The action plan (that will be crafted in this summit) must be specific to the area where you came from,” he added.

Dureza also challenged the delegates to expand peacebuilding in their own communities, saying they have a big role to play in advancing change in the country.

“You are the nucleus of a very capacitated group that will eventually establish your own peace tables … It is in the youth where we can see the initiative of change,” he said. ###

By | September 13th, 2018|News, Peoples' Peace Tables|0 Comments