April 1, 2013: The Asia Foundation (TAF) has awarded the United Youth for Peace and Development, Inc. (UNYPAD) with Plaque of Appreciation in recognition of its “pioneering efforts and innovative work in addressing ‘Rido’ and in mitigating localized conflicts in Mindanao, leading to the development of better conflict management programs that affirm local capacities and contribute to the renewal of communities, providing the TAF with models of social relationships worth emulating.
The Plaque of Appreciation was signed by TAF Program Officer Wilfredo M. Torres III and Country Representative Dr. Steven Rood. It was handed over to the two representatives of the UNYPAD, Samsodin C. Amella, the (outgoing) UNYPAD-Development Management Center Executive Director and Tu A. Alfonso, the National Vice President for Internal Affairs at the end of the Partners Meeting and Seminar-Workshop on Mitigating Localized Conflicts in Mindanao held at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City on September 27-29, 2010.
The UNYPAD efforts and innovative interventions to facilitate conflicts in Central Mindanao contributed to the de-escalation of the clan feuds or ‘rido’.
One of the successful interventions by UNYPAD was the settlement of the ‘rido’ between the Tayuan and Mangansakan clans. This feud that lasted for decades brought havoc, fear, and loss of lives among the protagonists. However, it ended up in a peaceful settlement.
Another dispute that the UNYPAD facilitated was the ‘Bulucaon Case’ in Pigcawayan, North Cotabato. The said dispute was an offshoot of the threats made by the Christian residents against some Moro families displaced by the 2008 war who sought refuge in Barangay Bulucaon. But it was finally resolved when the involved families inked a community peace covenant.
Included in the intervention of the UNYPAD was the successful mitigation through the facilitation of its organized Quick Response Team (QRT) in the settlement of the Luna and Samson families’ feud in Barangay Gayonga, Northern Kabuntalan, Maguindanao as well as the Salem and Masgal families’ feud in Barangay Nabalawag, Midsayap, North Cotabato. This happened in the months of April and July this year. All of the interventions were made possible through the endless support of the TAF and the US-Agency for International Development.
The partners’ meeting called by the TAF was participated by its local partner-organizations operating in South-Central and Western Mindanao regions. Also present were the International Monitoring Team (IMT), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), and both the GRP and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Coordinating Committees on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH).
The meeting and workshops aimed to gather feedbacks from its partner-organizations in the implementation of the mitigation program and come up with a plan that will serve as a reference for the future engagements of the TAF.
The rapid response program of the TAF ended in September 2010.
(This article was originally published at DALUDAYA newsletter Volume 4, October-December 2010. DALUDAYA is the Official Publication of the Mindanao Action for Peace and Development Project. A Project of ACF, UNYPAD, BDA and funded by EC.)