Sep 172014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/11/06MANILA4656.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA4656 2006-11-09 08:27 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO4216
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #4656/01 3130827
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 090827Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3864
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 9458
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 2942
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MANILA 004656

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR U/S BURNS, U/S HUGHES, EAP A/S HILL, EAP/MTS
PACOM ALSO FOR FPA HUSO
NSC FOR WILDER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/09/2016
TAGS: PREL PINS PTER EAID RP
SUBJECT: U.S. STRATEGY FOR MINDANAO PEACE-BUILDING

REF: MANILA 2427

Classified By: Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (C) Summary. USG strategic efforts are paying off
significantly in building peace in Muslim Mindanao and
transforming its once-lawless areas from safehavens for
domestic and international terrorists to ever-larger zones of
peace and prosperity. While peace talks under Malaysian
sponsorship between the Government of the Republic of the
Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front
(MILF) have their ups and downs, the actual peace process on
the ground remains alive and well, and is apt to pick up even
more momentum, with continued USG assistance and involvement.
This is a battle we can win here in the Philippines, which
will make a substantial achievement in the Global War on
Terror. End Summary

¶2. (C) Over the past decade, the USG strategy to promote
peace and prosperity in Muslim Mindanao and to combat
terrorist threats and Muslim insurgencies has paid off. Our
strategy has included: a robust mix of USAID programs to
assist individuals and communities in rejecting lawlessness
and terrorism; the advice and assistance from our military
and related elements to help the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) pursue the terrorists; the targeted use of
DOD and State/DS Rewards for Justice programs to encourage
residents to turn-in wanted terrorists; vigorous public
diplomacy to communicate the successes of these efforts to
audiences in both Mindanao and Manila; exchange programs to
expose Mindanao residents to the rest of the Philippines and
outside world; and, our political encouragement to local
leaders, including in the MILF, to pursue peace talks. The
results include:
— key leaders of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and Jemaah
Islamiyah (JI) are on the run, having been routed from
earlier safehavens in Basilan and Maguindanao. They are now
holed up under siege in the face of a sustained offensive on
the island of Jolo, backed up by significant tactical and
advisory support from the Joint Special Operations Task
Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) and other USG assets;
— the 1996 peace accord with the insurgent Moro National
Liberation Front (MNLF) has led to successive democratic
elections within the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
(ARMM), and enabled the USG through USAID to carry out a
multisector development assistance program, including
livelihood training under USAID auspices for over 28,000
former MNLF insurgents;
— a three-year old cease-fire with the MILF continues to
hold, aided by an International Monitoring Team as well as
local groups;
— exploratory GRP/MILF talks have led to tentative
agreement on governance and other issues, and clarified
differing views on territory, while broaching the sensitive
issue of disarmament;
— USG payouts of more than $1.5 million in rewards related
to the capture of 23 terrorists from the Abu Sayyaf Group and
Rajah Solaiman Movement;
— growing zones of peace and development now enable USAID
and other donors to operate in increasingly broad parts of
Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago. Reftel described in
detail many of the impressive gains from USAID programs, also
summarized in para 4, with related success stories in paras 5
and 6;
— the former ASG headquarters of Basilan Island is now
bustling with commercial and agricultural activity, following
the 2002 joint Balikatan exercise, which combined
civil/humanitarian operations with military offensives, a
model that the AFP and JSOTF-P are currently pursuing on Jolo
Island and elsewhere; and,
— our direct dialogue with leaders of the MILF has
contributed to ever-clearer renunciations of terrorism and
cut-offs of ties with individual terrorists, and helped to
ensure that they recognize that a peace accord will bring
tangible, life-improving benefits to their constituents and
members.

¶3. (C) The USG need not be discouraged by what appears to
be another slowdown in the informal GRP/MILF peace talks, as
the two sides disagree about territorial claims. What we can
constructively focus on is continuing to build a still larger
commitment throughout Mindanao to a successful peace process,
even in the absence of a formal accord. What drives this

MANILA 00004656 002 OF 003

fundamental peace process are the sentiments of those on the
ground who are tired of conflict and who seek better lives
for themselves and their families. This is where we can help
provide what the perennially cash-strapped and expertise-weak
GRP cannot always offer. USG support in sustaining this
peace process and in expanding zones of peace and prosperity
— building upon the strategic actions cited above — will
remain critical. The rewards for offering sufficient
resources and personnel to ensure that we are able to
stimulate this growing commitment to peace are great and
potentially still greater. The risks of failing to do so
would, conversely, lead to disillusionment, despair, and
resignation that armed struggle and support for terrorism are
inevitable and perhaps desirable. This is a battle we can
win here in the Philippines, which will make a substantial
achievement in the Global War on Terror, by maintaining our
current strategy, with similar or expanded levels of
assistance and dialogue with parties to the peace talks.

—————
Success stories
—————

¶4. (SBU) USAID invested about $300 million between 2001 and
2006 in building peace in Muslim Mindanao, with 2007 and 2008
requests totaling at least $150 million more. These funds
have enabled:
— more than 28,000 former MNLF combatants to gain new
livelihood skills;
— about 300 rural bank units to provide microfinance
services to over 299,000 clients, of whom 82% were women;
— 176 credit cooperatives to serve 662,000 members, of whom
over 75% were women;
— construction of more than 600 infrastructure projects,
benefiting nearly two million people;
— provision of solar-power, renewable energy systems to
over 6,500 households in hundreds of remote communities;
— assistance to over 200 local governments in providing
quality health services for family planning, TB diagnosis and
treatment, and material and child health;
— introduction of computer and internet education to over
350 schools, benefiting over 320,000 students and 9,000
teachers;
— 18,300 out-of-school youths to complete courses for
elementary and high school accreditation or placement within
the formal education system, instead of joining terrorist
organizations;
— more than 50 local governments to use sound environmental
practices to manage forests, coastal and fisheries resources
and solid waste;
— 125 officials of more than 50 local governments to use
sound environmental practices to manage forests, coastal and
fisheries resources and solid waste;
— 125 ARMM officials to obtain training in the design,
development, implementation, and management of social and
economic projects;
— 750 communities (barangays) to promote community peace
and develop skills for alternative dispute resolution;
— 71 young people to learn to participate in the
national-level legislative process as interns at the
Philippine Congress in Manila;
— 185 trainers of elementary and secondary level teachers
of English and Information Communication Technology from the
ARMM and other parts of Mindanao to obtain training by the
Peace Corps;
— more than 80 schools to use educational television for
capacities upgrading for teaching science, math, and English.

¶5. (SBU) JUSMAG/JSTOF-P actions have included:
— USNS MERCY deployment to Zamboanga and the Sulu
archipelago in June 2006 benefited thousands with MEDCAPs and
DENCAPs to targeted communities, with significant impact
especially on Jolo Island. U.S. medical personnel partnered
with GRP and USAID/NGO counterparts executed over 50,000
medical interactions;
–The establishment of the Philippine-U.S. Security
Engagement Board (SEB) brings a new security consultative
mechanism that facilitates cooperation on the non-traditional
security concerns including terrorism, smuggling, piracy, and
other emerging threats;
–Philippine Defense Reform (PDR) reinforces

MANILA 00004656 003 OF 003

counter-terrorism capacity building throughout the AFP and is
a key enabler to promoting peace and prosperity; and,
–JSOTF-P support to the AFP Operation ULTIMATUM, which is in
its fourth month of execution on Jolo, proves that peace and
prosperity are reinforced by the KAPIT BISIG framework.

¶6. (SBU) Public diplomacy victories have included:
— Dozens of Muslim youth from Mindanao have participated in
ECA high school and youth exchange programs, including the
Youth Leadership Program – Philippines, and the YES program;
— A network of six American Corner libraries located at
universities in Mindanao (in Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato,
Zamboanga, Jolo, and Tawi-Tawi); and,
— Five EAP/PD Democracy Grants in recent years to Muslim
NGOs in Mindanao to support projects to strengthen civil
society.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm
KENNEY

   

 

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