DAVAO CITY (March 8, 2017) –Practitioners of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) including potential mediators from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are undergoing Basic Mediation Training being held at Brokenshire Resort and Convention Center in this city from March 6 to 10. The activity aims to capacitate potential and practicing mediators who will work for the reduction of the number of Rido (clan feuds) in the target communities in the ARMM.
Twenty-three participants, members or staff of non-government organizations or ADR structures of the local government units, joined the activity that was hosted by Mediators Network for Sustainable Development, Inc. (MedNet).
A pool of experts in ADR from MedNet namely Caroliza Tulod-Peteros, Marides Gardiola and Edwin Golosino, facilitated the five-day training which is part of the project entitled “Strengthening Community Mediation Towards Peace and Inclusive Growth in Five Regions” with the support of KZE-Misereor, an organization from Germany.
The participants shared the incidents of conflict in their respective towns or area of jurisdiction and their experiences in resolving disputes. They learned the conflict intervention frameworks, conflict mapping, probing, feedback giving, conflict analysis, effective communication skills and non-violent communication.
The facilitators introduced Narrative Mediation and tackled the role of the mediator and the mediator’s intervention process.
In the last part of the training, the participants made a plan on how they will facilitate the mediation process of the identified case they will settle with the application of the skills they acquired from the training.
Peteros, MedNet’s Executive Director, said there will be documentation of the mediation process of the Rido cases which will be featured in the organization’s official newsletter-The Mediator.
Settlement of disputes through traditional mediation process or ADR has been practiced in the Bangsamoro region.
Respected individuals like traditional Muslim leaders, Front Commanders, Imams, or Ulama are usually tapped by conflicting parties for the resolution of the conflicts rather than submitting those in the country’s justice system.
The ARMM government created the Regional Reconciliation and Unification Commission (RRUC) while the provincial government of Maguindanao has its local counterpart, the Maguindanao Task Force for Reconciliation and Unification (MTFRU). The two institutions are mandated to help facilitate alternative process in dispute resolution.
ARMM municipal local government units are also encouraged by the regional government to establish their own ADR mechanism. Among the towns that responded to the call is South Upi in Maguindanao which has the Mayor’s Council and municipality of Kapatagan in Lanao del Sur that has established its Local Peace Committee.
There are some NGOs in the ARMM which also help facilitate mediation process of Ridos like the Teduray Lambangian Women Organization of South Upi and Lumpingan of Datu Piang.
Abdulnasser Malingco, MTFRU Deputy Chairperson said land conflict and elections are the two major causes of Rido in Maguindanao. He hoped all MLGUs in Maguindanao will institutionalize their ADR mechanism to help address Rido in the province.
RRUC Executive Director Bobby Benito noted that as the vertical conflict is reduced, horizontal conflict is increasing. He cited the important role of local mediators in arresting the escalation of Rido into more bloody confrontations that shall claim more lives.