Civil Society Organizations call for swift creation of NTJRCB

Davao City – The conveners of the National Civil Society Platform for Transitional Justice (NCSPT) issued a statement of appeal and support for the immediate creation of National Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission on the Bangsamoro (NTJRCB).

In their statement, they strongly support the immediate creation of NTJRCB as recommended by the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC).

Furthermore, they said that they strongly believe that under the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who has vowed to address the historical injustice against the Bangsamoro and Mindanao, the golden opportunity of creating a more harmonious, peaceful, and inclusive Philippines have finally come.

The creation of NTJRCB is one of the recommendations of the TJRC cited in their report. The TJRC was created as part of the Normalization Annex of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) signed by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

 It was mandated to undertake a study and make recommendations with a view to promoting healing and reconciliation of the different communities that have been affected by the conflict in Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago.

In the TJRC report, it proposed appropriate mechanisms to address legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people, to correct historical injustices, to address human rights violations and marginalization through land dispossession.

It was stated in the statement that the NTJRCB is a national mechanism that shall oversee and support the operations of its four sub-commissions, ensure the implementation or adoption of the “Transitional Justice” and “Dealing with the Past” (TJ-DwP) strategies, and promote healing and reconciliation.

“We believe that this national mechanism will develop specific initiatives to address the root causes of violence and conflict in the Bangsamoro. Consequently, it will promote accountability and rule of law, prevent impunity, and guarantee that past atrocities will not recur in the future,” NCSPT conveners said in the statement.

The NCSPT conveners believed that the proposed NTJRB will pave the way for transforming harmonious relationships among the diverse peoples in Mindanao and the rest of the country who has gone through decades of enmity and animosities toward each other.

The NCSPT is compose of different CSOs coming from the different provinces and cities of Mindanao such as Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Basilan, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, Cotabato City, Gen. Santos City, Zamboanga City, Pagadian City and Davao City. It was formed during the TJDwP Deepening Workshop Activity facilitated by Independent Working Group on Transitional Justice-Dealing with the Past (IWG TJ-DwP) on April 23-24, 2017 held at Lispher Inn, Matina, Davao City.