The Respect Principle -Fertile or Corrosive- Key to Peace in Mindanao

This article explores the idea of the respect principle which if understood -in policy and development practice- would have major impact for peace in Mindanao.  Short-term justice must look towards long-term flourishing. Nine months ago, I did research titled “Flourishing Amid Conflict” in Mindanao. Within this research, I worked with Yakan (residents of Basilan Island with a majority of Yakans identifying as Muslim by birth and choice). They defined what they viewed as the good life. The participants explained howRead more

The Discourse of Terror, Mistaken Identity and Reframing the Story

Terrorists control and perpetuate terror through using identity and creating a discourse of power.  Terror controls reality through creating fear.  Terrorists use identity to make themselves seem stronger than they are. Reactions -personal, political and media- reinforce terror and the discourse that birthed it.  A counter discourse that is stronger and moves more quickly needs to be created to silence the voice of terror. Nine months ago I sat in a small grass hut in the Southern Philippines. I interviewed a womenRead more

“If Peace is Missing we Can’t Do Anything but Hide.” Peace a Priority in Mindanao.

A few weeks ago a colleague and friend (in the southern Philippines) organized a petition to the Philippine government. His petition was to hasten the transition to the new Bangsamoro government. The Mindanao conflict has seen over 120,000 people die in the last 40 years. Bangsamoro is a new political entity. The hope is it will create peace and increased development for Mindanao. Individuals, people’s organizations, non-for profit organizations, and government employees from Basilan signed the petition. My friend organizedRead more