Women PeaceMaker Profile

Rochelle “Bibing” Mordeno

Philippines, Asia

Rochelle Mordeno, known as Bibing, is the executive director of the Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. (BMFI), based in Mindanao, Philippines. BMFI works to build a Mindanao which is truly a home (balay) for its tri-peoples: Muslims, indigenous peoples and Christian migrants. She began her development and peacebuilding work after working as a teacher for many years, and took on the roles of community organizer and paralegal officer in rural communities.

 

Mordeno, the daughter of a police officer, was a progressive student activist while in high school and college. She and BMFI later identified the need to confront abuses by the military and police, but also to engage them in processes for peace and development.

 

BMFI and Mordeno have trained more than 2,000 military and police officers in peace education. The organization is involved in the ongoing peace processes in Mindanao, and sits on the civilian oversight committee on the implementation of the Internal Peace and Security Plan of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Mordeno was instrumental in forging a formal partnership with the Eastern Mindanao Command, in which troop members undergo Balay’s peace courses and commit to peacebuilding initiatives in their respective areas of responsibility. She has been recognized internationally for her peacebuilding engagement with the security sector, including as a subject matter expert on emergency response, conflict analysis and conflict transformation at the German Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Hamburg, Germany.

 

Mordeno is one of the key leaders in Women Engaged in Action (WeAct) 1325, which is responsible for the initiative on "women working on the ground" in Mindanao, implementing an early warning system and preventing escalation of local conflicts, including engaging with local state security forces and non-state armed groups. She is also part of the Action Asia Peacebuilders Network, and has a master’s degree in Applied Conflict Transformation Studies.