THE MELTDOWN: War frontline turns peace advocate

Who would have thought that someone who fought against the Bangsamoro, who personally engaged in the all-out war of 2002, who once belonged to the Air Force of the Philippines (AFP) assigned in Camp Abubakar for ten long years, who was once Cadre of the military Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) and now a renown Barangay Captain, is one of the recipients of one of BDA’s development projects, and an advocate for peace and a pro development citizen?

None would have really thought of the world twisting upside down; of the one in a million possibilities; and of the circling motion of the earth can indeed change something big, something unusual and something significant.


This just made everything as a factual proof when Barangay Captain Ricardo Guarde of Brgy. Banbanon, Laak, Compostela Valley shared a bit of his whereabouts. Yes, he is a retired member of the AFP who encountered numerous Bangsamoro individual during his assignment in Camp Abubacar, Maguindanao. Yes, he was one of the numerous members of the military who bumped into various personalities of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). And yes, he was the same military officer who made numerous friends in Camp Abubacar and almost live the life the way people there did and basically greeted everyone a “Mapiya Mapita” (good morning) during his speech at the Values Transformation Training.

For Kapitan Guarde, those moments helped him build a strong foundation of unity that he never thought he himself will be administering as being the father of his own barangay. Now that he leads, “ako jud silang gi- awhag nga managhi-usa, biyaan and di pagkasinabot ug mag uban sa maayong pag amuma sa proyekto nga anaa karon sa amo (we encourage everyone to be united and to get along with each other in bringing this project), as to our relationship with the Muslim community and the Indigenous community, we understand each other”, he mentioned.

This was his clear manifestation  that Brgy. Banbanon is one of the BDA’s beneficiaries of a water system project under the Bangsamoro Assistance for Development and Community Empowerment (Bangsamoro ADVANCE) Program amounting to P2,000,000.00 pesos with counterparts from the Municipal and Barangay Local Government Units (MLGU/BLGU) amounting to P200,000.00. Barangay Banbanon has an estimated population of 1,649 of which, 80% are diverse Cebuanos while 20% are members of the Muslim community.

“We are very thankful because water is our basic needs. And once this project becomes a reality, our prayers are all heard, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the community and to the Bangsamoro Development Agency. What we can do, in return, is that alagaan, dili abusuhan ang sama niining talagsaong higayon” (we should take good care of it and not waste such a one of a kind opportunity), he added.

Bangsamoro ADVANCE, with 50 sites, is conceptualized in support to confidence building measures of the GPH- MILF as provided in the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB). This was also in respond to the clamour from the communities especially on the implementation of basic services including livelihood opportunities.

It is implemented in partnership with the Community and Family Services International (CFSI) as trust fund recipient.

The program is supported by the MTF with various donors such as such as the European Union, the Swedish International Development Agency, the Australian Embassy Philippines, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada, the United States Agency for International Development, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the World Bank  who serves as a Trust Fund Administrator.

BDA Communication Group (Davao Region)


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