The ALG, in partnership with TJAN (Transitional Justice in Asia Network), launched the “Orientation Workshop on Transitional Justice” on July 25-26, 2017 at the Brentwood Suites in Quezon City.
Transitional Justice can be defined as judicial and non-judicial measures implemented in order to redress legacies of mass human rights abuses. The abuses and violations committed are so numerous that the regular courts and judicial system cannot provide an adequate response. Such measures done may include criminal prosecutions, establishment of truth commissions, reparations programs, and various kinds of institutional reforms.
The first session was on “Current Initiatives and Prospects for Transitional Justice in the Philippines,” where several invited panel discussants talked about their experiences (and TJ initiatives) on Martial Law and the HRVCB (Human Rights Victims Claims Board), the Bangsamoro and the TJRC (Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission), the Bangsamoro land issues and the WB-IOM (World Bank-International Organization for Migration) recommendations, the CPLA (Cordillera People’s Liberation Army) and DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration) within the peace tables, and the internal purge within the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Atty. Cej Jimenez and Atty. Marlon Manuel (ALG National Coordinator) next facilitated the “Foundations Underlying Transitional Justice” session (Theoretical and Legal Framework). This was followed by a workshop to surface specific issues and challenges being faced by the participants in their areas.
The morning session of Day 2 was devoted to “International Perspectives” or sharing of TJ experiences from other countries. Atty. Edy Lynn Santiago shared her experience in Peru, and Mr. Faisal Hadi related their experience in Banda Aceh (Faisal is from KontraS Aceh, which is another member organization of TJAN). Dr. Pria Pillai shared her experience with the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal in [the former] Yugoslavia), and afterwards, a video clip entitled “The Case for Justice” was shown (which highlighted experiences from several countries). The last panelist was Atty. Trina Monsod, who shared TJ experiences from selected countries and compared them with our own experience.
The afternoon session on “Values Underlying Transitional Justice” was facilitated by Atty. Al-Amin Julkipli. He grouped the participants into 4 different “values” (Justice, Peace, Truth, and Mercy) and they were asked to explain or interpret Transitional Justice and Reconciliation from the perspective of their particular “values.” The exercise was important in that it made the participants think about how the values relate with and affect one other, which of the values were most important to some groups of people, and how one value is sometimes given importance to the detriment of the other values. After the session and Open Forum, there were several reactions from selected sectors. The reactions were given by Ms. Lyca Sarenas (for Gender Perspective), Atty. Jing Corpuz (for Indigenous Peoples), Atty. Edy Santiago (for LGBT), Atty. Fancesca Sarenas (for Children), and Atty. Cej Jimenez (for IDPs).
The last workshop on Ways Forward was done to gather ideas and suggestions on strengthening TJ initiatives in the Philippines.
The members of the Philippine team to the TJAN is composed of Atty. Cej Jimenez-Damary (the overall facilitator and “driving force” behind the workshop), Atty. Francesca Sarenas, Atty. Jing Corpuz, Guiamel Alim, Atty. Marlon Manuel and Rene Clemente.
This particular activity was supported by AJAR or the Asia Justice and Rights group based in Bali, Indonesia, and is the secretariat of TJAN.