Defense Department, Southern Command, OPAPP partner with KAS on Military Trainings



August 18 – KAS has embarked on a program to capacitate top level Southern Command ground commanders, field officers and staff in conflict analysis and management skills, particularly in communicating with the various stakeholders in the ongoing GRP-MILF Peace Process. The first Roundtable Discussions on Building Capacities of the Southern Command on Conflict Management & Peacebuilding were held on 14 August in Zamboanga City and 25 August in Cagayan De Oro. Mr. Amos Helms, Head, KAS Asia, Division III, and Mr. Klaus Preschle, KAS Country Representative, were present. Both events allowed officials from the participating military units and government line agencies to work with civil society on the program contents, training methodology, and timing of the new capability-building program. The trainings of the three Southcom infantry divisions will be held over the next few months.

At the Zamboanga roundtable, Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary Ernesto G. Carolina and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Undersecretary Ramon G. Santos spoke on the fragility of the peace process, the need to strengthen the building blocks to peace, the importance of capacitating the military to maintain the current ceasefire, and the possibility of creating enough momentum to make peace inevitable.

DND Undersecretary Antonio C. Santos also presented the policy thrusts and direction of his agency vis-à-vis the peace process and peacebuilding, highlighting DND’s work with OPAPP in the “formulation of provisions that safeguard the cessation of hostilities” and “social development initiatives of the government designed to address the underlying cause of insurgency.”

Brig. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer, 103rd Brigade Commander, presented his brigade’s experiences working with academics and NGOs on military peace-building training and initiatives in Basilan, articulating his hope for a change in community perception of the military from “plain warriors to peace builders” from “fear of the soldier to respect for the soldier”. Brig. Gen. Ben Dolorfino, Deputy Southcom Commander, then presented on the use of Bridging Leadership Tools and various approaches to conflict resolution in Sulu.

The Zamboanga Roundtable closed with Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. ( BMFI) Executive Director Ariel Hernandez presentation of the framework and design of the Capability-building Program and gathering of reactions from panelists, religious leaders, NGOs, and representatives from the academic sector, the business sector.

Please click on the link below for an article on Balay Mindanaw Foundation Inc.’s website on the Cagayan De Oro roundtable :

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Zamboanga City & Cagayan De Oro City


Klaus Preschle