We are members of civil society organizations who are engaged in security sector reform efforts;
We believe that a professional, accountable, and HR-IHL-Rule of Law bound Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) directly contributes to prevention of violent conflict, as well as creates a positive atmosphere for peace-talks, peace-building, and democratization;
We recognize the reform efforts of the AFP institution to rectify past mistakes but we also recognize that there are institutional flaws and challenges confronting the institution that need broader effort;
We acknowledge that one way to help move forward the reform agenda of the AFP is to initiate more constructive engagement efforts;
We believe that constructive engagement will further strengthen the principle of democratic governance and civilian supremacy over the armed forces.
Finally, we recognize that the 2011 IPSP-Bayanihan of the AFP offers a strong platform on HR-IHL-rule of law, accountability, and civilian engagement.
We resolve to create the “Bantay Bayanihan” (BB) network.
The Bantay Bayanihan network hopes to institutionalize the active engagement of civil society groups and other security stakeholders as an oversight body in the implementation of the IPSP-Bayanihan;
The BB is envisioned to be a dialogue space that brings together civil society organizations, the academe, civilian government units, the PNP, and the AFP to discuss the IPSP-Bayanihan and other related peace and security concerns in the respective area of operations;
The Bantay Bayanihan will conduct periodic evaluation and/or validate evaluation studies as regards the implementation of the IPSP, with special emphasis on human rights-IHL-rule of law, accountability, and civilian engagement;
The Bantay Bayanihan will generate concise policy recommendations as regards the IPSP implementation, peace and conflict dynamics, as well as security sector reforms, to be submitted to the AFP Chief of Staff and/or relevant Commanding Generals; as well as to local-national government units, bringing critical security and development issues into open public debate and to the attention of policy makers;
Bantay Bayanihan will be convened in the national and local levels, to dialogue with Unified Commands, Infantry Divisions, Brigades, and Battalions; and
The Bantay Bayanihan will pursue more efforts to further strengthen the principle of democratic governance and civilian supremacy over the armed forces.
Click BB Manifesto to see the signed manifesto
Reaffirmation of Commitment signed by Chief of Staff, AFP Gen Catapang dated January 29, 2015
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Reaffirmation of Commitment signed by Chief of Staff, AFP Gen Ano dated March 03, 2017
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