UBJP SouthMin undergoes Political Party Development training

With the aim to increase the capacity of the local chapters of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP) in strengthening the organization, key officers of UBJP from Southern Mindanao underwent two-day training on party development held at the Sun City Suites in General Santos City on April 5-7.

The activity is under the Democratic Party Development (DEPADev) - Bangsamoro Project organized by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), Institute for Autonomy and Governance (AIG) and UBJP with the funding assistance of the European Union (EU). 

The project is in support to the peace process particularly on the political struggle of the Bangsamoro people.

UBJP is the party organized by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2013 that facilitates its transformation from secessionist movement to a political organization so it can participate in the democratic process of governance in the country.

Creating the UBJP is a major undertaking of the MILF, the organization that represents the Bangsamoro people in peace negotiations with the Philippine government, in preparation for the establishment of the autonomous Bangsamoro government.

The organizers tapped experts in the field of political party development to impart their knowledge to the participants.

Dr. Peter Koeppinger from Christian Democratic Union in Germany tackled the definition, criteria, rationale and role of political parties under a parliamentary system of government.

He also discussed the transformation from armed movement to political party delving on the political party structure and organization and the importance of clear constitution and by-laws.

The resource person also shared his ideas on initiating local party activities and reaching out sectors and the civil society as part of the initiatives in strengthening the political organization.

Koeppinger said a political party is organization of the citizens with similar objectives and trying to influence political decisions of the respective community. 

He cited the important role of political party for the stability of the government. “The party is an instrument for the democratic participation of committed citizens” he said.

April de la Cruz from Centrist Democracy Political Institute discussed the internal and external communication, political party membership, recruitment, and discipline. 

She gave hints on how the party can outsource financial support and how the party members can initiate major activities even with meager financial resources. The lecturer also tackled the administrative and financial management of a political party. 

She stressed the importance of knowing who and where the audiences are and what are the effective means to communicate the party’s messages or advocacy.

Irene Santiago, a renowned peace and women’s rights advocate, discussed the State of the Philippine Politics. She conveyed one of her major contributions to the peace process was the crafting of the ceasefire mechanism.

The political aspects of Islam were imparted by Bangsamoro Development Agency BOD Member Ustadz Abdulkadir Abdullah.

Dr. Parido Pigkaulan did a contextual discussion on the Bangsamoro attempt on political party building.

Present in the event were DEPADev Project Manager Hendrick Mollenhauer, IAG Executive Director Atty. Benedicto Bacani and Sammy Almansor, UBJP Interim Secretary-General.

UBJP SouthMin is covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and cities of General Santos and Tacurong.

It is under the auspices of UBJP Vice President for Southern Mindanao Mohagher Iqbal who is also the MILF chief negotiator and Chairman of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.