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.

During the meeting, representatives of 31 regional and  national government agencies identified existing plans and programs and created new initiatives that address the recommendations made in the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report published in 2016.

Transitional justice refers to a country’s response to large-scale human rights violations during periods of conflict and repression.

For its report, the TJRC used the expression “dealing with the past” instead of transitional justice in creating mechanisms that will address human rights violations, legitimate grievances, historical injustices, and marginalization through land disposition committed against the Bangsamoro.

The TJRC is part of the Normalization Annex of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) that was mandated to study and make recommendations to promote social healing and reconciliation to those affected by conflict in Mindanao.

The TJRC report recommended the creation of National Transition Commission on the Bangsamoro. It also pushed for 90 other recommendations that are doable under the existing setup of institutions.

In September 2018, the House of Representatives adopted House Bill 5669 which seeks to establish a transitional justice and reconciliation program for the Bangsamoro.

Dureza urged the line agencies to further integrate the implementation of their TJR initiatives in their plans and programs while the bill is undergoing the legislative process.

“There are things that we can do together under the executive powers embedded in your agency,” he said.

For his part, Undersecretary Nabil Tan, the GPH Implementing Panel Chair, lauded the agencies for converging and contributing to the discussion of the TJR agenda.

“We hope that with the involvement of the national line and regional agencies, and even the civil society organizations who are active in the Bangsamoro, we can move this forward,” he said. ###