Peace Process

Give Peace a Chance

Posted on 2015/02/20

Words are probably not enough to comfort the grief-stricken families and friends who lost their loved ones in the recent encounter between the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) and Moro rebels in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. While we commiserate with them for having lost a son, a brother, a fiancé, a father, or a friend in that bloody encounter, we cannot, however, join the call to scrap the peace process in general and the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in particular.

The skeptics among us are now wary of the entire peace process because of what happened in Mamasapano. They’re saying it's pointless to negotiate with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) anymore. They don't honor their commitments anyway, so why continue with the peace talk? Some are even so extreme as to suggest that the government should wage an all-out war against the MILF. If we continue to hold peace talks with the MILF and then pass the BBL, the popular sentiment goes, there’s no guarantee that incidents like the Mamasapano clash will not happen again.

But can an all-out war prevent another bloody encounter from ever happening again?

Neither can there be a guarantee that an all-out war will achieve the end we all aspire for the longest time. Nonetheless, the passage of the BBL must not be stopped altogether. We believe that doing so will only worsen the situation. The BBL is no ordinary piece of legislation. It may not be a panacea to the problems in Mindanao, but the BBL is a seed that must be sown so peace starts to blossom.

We concede, though, that the investigation over the killings in Mamasapano must be concluded first before we begin talking about BBL’s passage, so that the people will know what went wrong, who the real culprits are, and in the end, justice will prevail.

In the meantime, while we await the results of that investigation, let us be prudent in our reaction, though hard as it may be in these sorrowful moments. We cannot put out fire with fire. An all-out war is the last thing we need.

We have already been through so much and have lost so many lives in pursuit of peace. The recent Mamasapano encounter demonstrates yet again that our peace-building efforts are sometimes fraught with difficulty and uncertainty.

Even so, let’s give peace a chance.


Is an Non-Government Organization Catering Youth Services


Liceo Legal Aid Center (LiLAC) doing business under the name and style of Center for Alternative Lawyering of Liceo is the legal aid center of Liceo de Cagayan University, a privately owned university based in Cagayan de oro City. The group is composed of law students, alumni of the College of Law of the University, and lawyers who are passionate in the practice of alternative lawyering. LiLAC is guided by its vision of a holistic formation of law students committed to the transformation of society by promoting justice, empowerment, unity and peace, through helping the marginalized sector of the depressed areas here in Mindanao, in the Philippines and in the world. While the group was registered only this year with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it has been providing services to marginalized communities in partnership with NGOs for more than 8 years now. LiLAC has more than 50 members, 15 of whom are taking the active role of running the group’s activities.


The Mindanao State University Legal Aid Clinic or Mindanao SULAC for brevity, is the Legal Aid Clinic of Mindanao State University College of law. It is the first and currently the only one of its kind to be established in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). It strives to cater the legal needs of the underprivileged and/or indigent clients of the Region and to help promote the proper administration of justice as a key to lasting peace in the region and in the country as a whole.

Office Address: 1F MSU College of Law Bldg.,
MSU Main Campus, Marawi City 9700 Philippines
Contact details:
Mobile No.: (+63) 907 336 7762



The Notre Dame university is a Catholic Institution in Cotabato City run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and member of the Notre Dame Educational Association Philippines.The Notre Dame University Legal Aid Center started sometime in 2009. Its members are the officially enrolled students of NDU-College of Law.

The following are the official pages and e-mail address of the group:


The Palawan Cradle of Rights is a unified composition of law students from Palawan State university school of Law, established last August 26, 2013 after the culminating activity of the Basic Orientation Seminar by the US Embassy in partnership with the MYVC.

Through our linkages and with the help of the different Government and Non-government organizations we aim to provide free access to people who need legal assistance.


The University of Mindanao Legal Aid Network (ULAN) is a non-stock, non-profit, and service institution of the University of Mindanao. As a service institution, it provides legal assistance, advocates human rights and social justice, and facilitates the formation of law students for alternative lawyering. It consists of law students and alumni of the College of Legal Education of the University of Mindanao committed to provide an adequate and greater access to justice of the community through its programs.


The CENTRO ADVOCACIA LEGAL is organized exclusively for charitable, socio-cultural and educational purposes, more specifically to serve the needs of the marginalized communities specifically children and youth and the minorities in Zamboanga City through Legal Aid Assistance and Human Rights Based Advocacies.