WATCH: Why we should talk peace #HearMindanao

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WATCH: Why we should talk peace #HearMindanao
Watch the #HearMindanao forum and join the discussion on this page


MANILA, Philippines – The armed conflict in Mindanao spans about  40 years and 6 presidencies. Between 1970 and 1996, it has claimed at least 120,000 lives.

Nearly a million were displaced during the government’s all-out-war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2000. Clashes also displaced at least 600,000 people after the breakdown of a proposed peace pact with the MILF under the Arroyo government.

The conflict costs the country’s economy about P20 billion each year.

There are many untold stories of this war. There are also many untold stories of peace.

What does peace mean to affected communities? How should it be pursued? Will the Bangsamoro basic law (BBL) help pave the way for lasting peace in Mindanao?

We listen to voices from the region.

Rappler’s #ProjectMindanao, in partnership with InciteGov, will hold a forum “#HearMindanao: Why we should talk peaceon Tuesday, July 14, at the AIM Conference Center in Makati City, from 4 pm to 7 pm. (Registration starts at 3 pm.)

Norombai Utto, the 2015 class valedictorian of Hadji Salik Kalaing National High School in Barangay Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, will deliver the keynote speech and share the human costs of war. 

Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, one of the members of the Citizens’ Peace Council, is one of the speakers. 

The forum will highlight the issues faced by Muslims, Christians, and the Lumad in Mindanao as legislators discuss the fate of the BBL. 

The event will also be attended by peace advocates, officials, and stakeholders in the Bangsamoro peace deal.

Here’s the program of the event:




3:00 – 4:00 PM


4:00 – 4:05 PM

National Anthem


4:05 – 4:15 PM

Welcome Remarks

Glenda M. Gloria

Managing Editor, Rappler

Author, Under the Crescent Moon

4:15 – 4:30 PM


Keynote speaker:   

Norombai Utto

Class Valedictorian, Salik National High School in Barangay Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao

She is featured in the Rappler story: ‘Bakwit’ valedictorian’s wish: ‘Sana araw-araw graduation’

4:30 to 5:00 PM



“Voices from Mindanao: the Human Cost of War”

Norombai Utto, 17

Mamasapano, Maguindanao

High School valedictorian

Hadji Salik National Kalaing High School

Fatima Sandigan, 29

Mamasapano, Maguindanao

MILF widow with a baby

Speaks concisely from the heart

Mobarak Hadji Yahya, 33

Camp Bilal, Lanao del Norte

MILF fighter, son of the late Commander Hadji Yahya Locsadatu (Former Vice Chief of Staff, BIAF-MILF)


Voltaire Tupaz

Content & Engagement,


5:00 to 5:15 PM

The Global Context: What would be the impact of a BBL failure?

Maria A. Ressa

CEO and Executive Editor


5:15 to 6:15 PM


Roundtable discussion:

The Bangsamoro Basic Law and the path to peace


Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide

Zamboanga City 1st District Rep. Celso Lobregat (


Atty. Marlon Manuel

National coordinator, Alternative Law Groups Inc. 

Benedicto Bacani

Executive Director

Institute for Autonomy and Governance 

Samira Gutoc

Co-convenor for Civil Society, Friends of Peace


Marites Dañguilan Vitug

Editor-at-Large, Rappler


6:15 PM to 6:45 PM




Marites Dañguilan Vitug

Editor-at-Large, Rappler


Assisted by:

Zak Yuson

Voltaire Tupaz

6:45 to 6:55 PM


Synthesis and Closing

Glenda M. Gloria


Photo Taking



7:00 PM






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