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Last 22 April 2024, our team was invited to listen to the dreams and aspirations of former combatants at Camp Bilal, the headquarters of the North Western Mindanao Front of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces. BIAF is the armed wing of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The discussions happened at the office of MP Abdullah “Cmdr. Bravo” G. Macapaar. The ideas we were hearing resemble that of inclusive development through social enterprise. Brother Musa Mohamad Sanguila gave me time to briefly present the story of Coffee For Peace (CFP) and PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) as advocates and practitioners of Social Enterprise. It seems Commander Bravo and those around him, especially Ma’am Naglah Lailah Amenah Sanguila, liked the idea. Commander Bravo promised to officially invite us to conduct a training on Coffee Social Entrepreneurial Initiative. In Shaa Allah, we will return to start a partnership with this community.

Here’s what we’ve been hearing and learning so far:


Their vision is to witness the metamorphosis of MILF Camp Bilal, under the leadership of MP Abdullah G. Macapaar, also known as “Commander Bravo,” from an armed rebel base into a thriving social entrepreneurial community. The community looks forward to sustainable peace and prosperity by leveraging the potential of the land and its people.


Our mission as PBCI-CFP Inclusive Development Team is to initiate a coffee social enterprise, commencing with the establishment of a 10-hectare Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certified model farm. Through this venture, we aim to empower former MILF combatants by providing them with the skills and resources necessary to become successful coffee farmers.

Two-Year Objectives

Our primary objective is to train 100 former MILF combatants within two years, equipping them with the knowledge and expertise needed to cultivate coffee. Additionally, we aim to plant 10,000 coffee trees across 10 hectares of land within the same timeframe. By achieving this objective, we not only promote economic self-sufficiency among former combatants but also contribute to the revitalization of the agricultural sector in the region.

Social Enterprise

A social enterprise is a type of organization that uses business methods to achieve social or environmental goals, in addition to financial sustainability. Social enterprises can take many forms, including non-profits, cooperatives, and for-profit companies, and can operate in a wide range of industries.

The primary goal of a social enterprise is to create positive social or environmental impact, while also generating revenue and sustaining its operations. This model differs from traditional for-profit companies, which prioritize financial profits as their primary objective. In a social enterprise, any profits generated are typically reinvested into the organization to support its social or environmental mission.

Examples of social enterprises include fair trade companies, which support farmers and workers in developing countries, and renewable energy companies, which promote sustainable energy sources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Social enterprises can also operate in fields like healthcare, education, and housing, providing affordable and accessible services to underserved communities.


Camp Bilal is situated in Sitio Kora-Kora, Tamparan, Munai, Lanao del Norte, providing an ideal setting for our social entrepreneurial initiative. This strategic location allows us to capitalize on the fertile land and favorable climate conditions conducive to coffee cultivation.

Transforming Leadership

Abdullah Goldiano Macapaar, commonly referred to as “Commander Bravo,” is hailed as the “Lion of Allah” among the Meranao. He brings with him a wealth of experience and leadership in the struggle for autonomy and peace in Mindanao. As the commander of the North Western Mindanao Front of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, he has dedicated his life to the pursuit of justice and empowerment for the Bangsamoro people. His involvement in training with Mujahedeen guerrillas in Afghanistan underscores his commitment to the cause of liberation and self-determination.

In February 2019, Macapaar was appointed as one of the 80 members of the interim government for the newly established autonomous Muslim region known as the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA). Transitioning from his stronghold in the mountains of Mindanao, Bravo made his inaugural visit to Malacañang, where he took the oath of office administered by the Philippine President, marking a significant milestone in his political journey.

MP Macapaar’s vision transcends mere political objectives; it is a bold and holistic aspiration to fundamentally transform their force into a force for good. His vision entails the conversion of their organization into a transformative cooperative dedicated to serving the best interests of the people, preserving the planet, fostering prosperity, and cultivating lasting peace.

People-Centered Approach. Central to MP Macapaar’s vision is a focus on the well-being and empowerment of the people. By transitioning their force into a cooperative, the emphasis shifts towards community development, ensuring that the needs and aspirations of individuals are prioritized and met.

Environmental Stewardship. Recognizing the interconnectedness of human well-being and environmental sustainability, MP Macapaar advocates for practices that promote the preservation and regeneration of the planet. The cooperative seeks to implement eco-friendly initiatives, such as sustainable agriculture and reforestation efforts, to mitigate environmental degradation and safeguard natural resources for future generations.

Prosperity for All. The transformative cooperative aims to create economic opportunities and prosperity for its members and the broader community. By engaging in socially responsible business ventures, such as the coffee social enterprise, the cooperative seeks to generate income, stimulate local economies, and reduce poverty, thereby enhancing the overall prosperity of the region.

Promotion of Peace. At the heart of MP Macapaar’s vision is the pursuit of peace and reconciliation. By transforming their force into a cooperative committed to non-violence and cooperation, they contribute to the consolidation of peace in the region. Through dialogue, cooperation, and inclusive governance, the cooperative fosters an environment conducive to reconciliation, healing, and social cohesion.

MP Macapaar’s vision for a transformative cooperative embodies a comprehensive approach to social, economic, and environmental transformation. By aligning their efforts with the principles of people, planet, prosperity, and peace, they aim to create a sustainable and inclusive future for all.

Proposed Implementation Strategy

  1. Capacity Building. PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and Coffee for Peace (CFP) will conduct comprehensive training programs for former MILF combatants, covering various aspects of coffee farming, including cultivation techniques, post-harvest processing, and marketing strategies.
  2. Farm Establishment. The establishment of the model farm will serve as a practical learning environment for trainees and a demonstration site for best agricultural practices.
  3. Partnership Development. We will forge partnerships with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private sector stakeholders to provide ongoing support and resources for the sustainability of the enterprise.
  4. Market Access. Through market linkages and value-added processing, we will ensure access to profitable markets for the coffee produced, thereby enhancing the economic viability of the venture.

The transformation of MILF Camp Bilal into a social entrepreneurial community represents a beacon of hope and opportunity for the people of Mindanao. By harnessing the potential of agriculture and entrepreneurship, we aspire to create a future of prosperity, reconciliation, and lasting peace in the region. With Commander Bravo’s leadership and the collective efforts of all stakeholders, we are confident in our ability to realize this vision and make a meaningful difference in the lives of countless individuals.