Peace Treaty Initiative Expert Advisory Group

Soliman M. Santos, Jr.

Soliman M. Santos, Jr. is presently a Judge of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Naga City, Camarines Sur, Bicol Region, Philippines. As a Judge since 2010, he has excelled in alternative dispute resolution or mediating the compromise settlement of court cases. He is a long-time human rights and IHL lawyer; legislative consultant and legal scholar; peace advocate, researcher and writer. He is a member of the new Editorial Board of the International Review of the Red Cross.

Santos, Jr. was the pioneering peace advocate-observer in the successful peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) of 1992-96, representing the independent peace advocates at the Third Jakarta Talks in 1995. As then Coordinator of the Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines (PCBL), he was the NGO representative in the Philippine government delegation to the Ottawa Conference (Oct. 3-5, 1996) which launched the Ottawa Process resulting in the landmark 1997 Ottawa Treaty banning anti-personnel mines. He was among the pioneers in 1997 of the global work of engaging non-state actors (rebel groups) in a landmine ban and in 2006 of the global South work of constructively engaging non-state armed groups beyond the landmines issue.  Also as then PCBL Coordinator who participated with the Philippine delegation at the Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions in 2008, he made four substantive contributions to that year’s Convention on Cluster Munitions. His last act before stepping down as PCBL Coordinator was being its conforme signatory to the “Guidelines for the Implementation of the Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmines-Fondation Suisse de Deminage (PCBL-FSD) Project Pursuant to the Joint Statement of the GRP-MILF [Moro Islamic Liberation Front] Peace Panels dated 15 November 2007” on 5 May 2010 regarding the clearing of mines/unexploded ordnance in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao, Southern Philippines.  He thus sets a Filipino example of civil society pioneering, participation and contributions in intra-state peace negotiations, in non-state armed group engagement and in international treaty-making.