On March 9, 2016, COPERS co-sponsors a historic forum at the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City on the Bangsamoro peace process. Two hundred fifty cadets from the PMA Classes 2016 and 2017 listened to GRP panel chief Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and MILF panel chair Mohagher Iqbal. This was the first time in the PMA’s 118 years’ history for an MILF official to address the Cadet Corps of the AFP.
MindaNews’ editor Carol Arguillas gave the history of the Bangsamoro’s journey to realize the Constitutionally-provided autonomy as a special region, while Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan gave a backgrounder on the similar autonomy bid of the Cordillera.
PMA Superintendent MGen. Donato San Juan suspended graduation practice to allow cadets to attend the forum. He was convinced that the future AFP officers, most of whom would likely serve in Mindanao, would need a working knowledge of the Bangsamoro peace process.
COPERS Affiliate Jet L. Mondares, a member of the PMA Guidance staff, ably assisted Dr. Gail Ilagan at coordinating the event. Other co-sponsors include the Philippine Information Agency, MindaNews, The Asia Foundation, and the Australian Embassy.
Since its founding in 2007, COPERS has been actively advocating and working on peace education in Philippine military training institutions, and especially for the future AFP officers.