Saturday, March 25, 2017

Ustadz Murshi Ibrahim: Bangsamoro National Parliament to Convene Mar 24

From the Facebook page of Ustadz Murshi Ibrahim, Secretary General of the Moro National Liberation Front (Mar 24): Bangsamoro National Parliament to Convene Mar 24

BM Breaking News

24 March 2017 - The Bangsamoro National Parliament will convene its 15th Sessions at SUNNWX Point, Maa, Davao City today. The Session will resume at 1 PM, and expectedly be attended by over 300 - member of the Parliament from different national and state commands and organs of the MNLF in MINSUPALA. SG, Dragon MT.

MNLF-IO: President Rodrigo Duterte will have dinner with Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Nur Misuari

Suara Bangsamoro article posted to the Moro National Liberation Front-International Office Website (Mar 24): President Rodrigo Duterte will have dinner with Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Nur Misuari (GMA NEWS)

President Rodrigo Duterte will have dinner with Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Nur Misuari and other Moro leaders in Davao City on Friday night.

Duterte made the revelation at the 31st Biennial Convention of Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII), which was attended by former President and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

"Ma'am Gloria, I have to fly home. Meron akong seven o'clock, taking the next available flight diyan sa airport," Duterte said in his speech while addressing Arroyo.

"I have a seven o'clock dinner with the... Misuari and the Moro leaders," he added, before ending his speech.

On Tuesday, the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace implementing panels named a new third party facilitator to move the creation of a new Bangsamoro enabling law forward.

It was previously revealed that Misuari's faction would be engaged in a separate peace track. —NB, GMA News

MILF: World Bank – MTF and CFSI Team present Status Report on Camps Project Assistance to MILF Leadership

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Mar 23): World Bank – MTF and CFSI Team present Status Report on Camps Project Assistance to MILF Leadership

A team composed of Matt Stephens, Ms. Pia Peeters both from World Bank-Mindanao Trust Fund, Steven Muncy of Community and Services International (CFSI), Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan, BDA Board Chair together with their respective staff presented in a meeting with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front leadership the Status Report of the “Camps Project” Assistance.

The presentation was on March 15, 2017 at the MILF Administrative Camp, Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, in the presence of MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, Central Committee Members Muhammad Ameen, Ustadz Doli Ahmad, and Mohamad Salih.

The assistance comes from multi donors thru World Bank-MTF as Funds Secretariat, CFSI, Mindanao Land Foundation (MinLand)and International Labour Organization (ILO) as the Trust Fund Recipients (TFRs).

The camps project in six acknowledged major camps of the MILF is being implemented by CFSI. The project is to support its communities in transforming to be more productive. While the Bangsamoro Advance and Solidarity is being implemented by BDA. The BM-Advance is a support to the communities within 25 Base Commands of MILF and Solidarity is support to Mixed community such as IP's, Christian settlers and others. The project is highly inclusive and participative.

The projects are in the form of community-based infrastructure, Livelihood/income generating projects, alternative learning system (ALS) and capacity building.

As a component of the peace process, the projects’ architecture and institutional arrangements are in support of peacebuilding and confidence-building objectives.

This can also be seen as dividend of peace that can be experienced or enjoyed by the constituents of the area that has long been suffering the state of civil disturbance.

After the presentation Chairman Ebrahim gave updates on the status of peace process. Particularly mentioned were the challenges besetting the present situation, the issue of inclusivity that has to be addressed, to gather the interest of other groups that can possibly be integrated in the new BBL and convergence/harmonization of effort with MNLF and their agreements with GPH.

In their concluding statements, Mr. Stephens and Mr. Muncy expressed thanks for the privilege and honor of having the chance to meet the leadership and wished all the best for the peace process, hoping that the Government of the Philippines and Bangsamoro will reach the goal. They also reiterated their support till the transition phase thru developmental projects.

MILF: Conciliation resources, UNYPAD pay courtesy call to Pagalungan LGU for expanded project

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Mar 24): Conciliation resources, UNYPAD pay courtesy call to Pagalungan LGU for expanded project

Conciliation Resources (CR) and United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) project team paid a courtesy call to the Office of the Pagalungan Mayor Datu Salik Mamasabulod on March 22, 2017 to strengthen their partnership in establishing local platform to deal and assist in addressing local security concerns.

Community Security Working Group or CSWG is a two-year pilot project of UNYPAD in partnership with Conciliation Resources – a London-based International non-governmental organization and International Contact Group member.

The said project was implemented in support to the Normalization Track of the implementation of the peace agreement between the Government of the Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front. It aims to contribute to security stabilization in conflict and post-conflict communities.

CSWGs were established as a platform for community, local government units, and security sector to work together to find solutions to community issues. The pilot year started from 2014 to 2016 that covered three Barangays in three different municipalities in ARMM namely Pagalungan and South Upi, Maguindanao, and Bongao, Tawitawi.

Badrudin Mamendig, UNYPAD Project Officer, said that proper coordination and collaboration with the LGU’s as well as community participation were among the major factors for attaining the objectives of the project.

Mamendig confirms that the said project has improved the ability of the community in mitigating and resolving the conflict. Incidents of crimes in Barangay Layog have declined substantially in the past two years.

Morsidin Husain, Program Manager of Development Management Center of UNYPAD, explained how the LGU could benefit from the project expansion. “First, it will strengthen community participation in local governance. Second, it will empower the community in mitigating conflict leading to an improved economic environment. Eventually, the LGU will be one of the models in good governance in the country.” Husain said.

Richard “Jo” Abedin, Pagalungan Municipal Secretary admitted that the said project had been beneficial to the people particularly in addressing safety and security issues.

In 2016, Pagalungan was a recipient of the seal of good local governance in peace and order award from the Department of Interior and Local Government and this could be partly attributed to the project of CR and UNYPAD.

Mayor Datu Salik Mamasabulod welcomed the development of the CSWG project. “My commitment to peace and development is unconditional because it will be beneficial to the people.” He said

He also acknowledged that lack of peace and order is one of the major challenges in the LGU of Pagalungan. In spite of this situation, he claimed that his administration had achieved a modest improvement in infrastructural development and livelihood programs by demonstrating strong leadership and engaging with various institutions including the civil society organizations.

Mamasabulod said, “I strongly discouraged Barangay Captain to live far from his community. Leaders must be responsible enough in monitoring and supervising their constituents on a daily basis.

How can you respond positively to the people’s need if you stay in the cities?” I even warned those leaders that negligence would be sufficient grounds for removal from office”, he added.

The meeting was also participated by Pagalungan Vice Mayor Datu Abdillah Mamasabulod, Administrative Officer Datu Zainudin Mamasabulod, and the UNYPAD Secretary General Yusoph S. Lumambas.

CPP: CPP to declare ceasefire not later than March 31

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Mar 25):
CPP to declare ceasefire not later than March 31

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines

25 March 2017
Press Release

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said it is set to issue a unilateral declaration of interim ceasefire not later than March 31 in anticipation and support of the fourth round of peace talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) set for April 2-6 in The Netherlands.

The CPP made the announcement following the release yesterday by the New People’s Army (NPA) of two prisoners-of-war (POWs) in Mati, Davao Oriental.

 The CPP said it looks forward to a similar unilateral ceasefire declaration by the GRP as mutually agreed upon in the March 10-11 backchannel talks. The CPP urges the Duterte regime to order the AFP to slow down its ongoing all-out offensive military operations and aerial bombing and shelling campaigns against rural barangays, to help create a favorable atmosphere for the mutual ceasefire.

Also in line with the March 11 Joint Statement, the Party also anticipates the Duterte government to release 19 elderly and sick political prisoners, as well as four detained NDFP consultants and one other recently rearrested.

Support for continuing peace negotiations

The CPP said the revolutionary forces are encouraged by the determination of the NDFP and GRP to continue with peace negotiations and accelerate negotiations on the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms (CAPCR).

The CPP said these agreements can be completed within the year through earnest negotiations. “There is pressing need to complete these agreements especially in the face of mounting mass actions by workers, peasants and other oppressed sectors calling for genuine land reform, higher wages, job security, decent housing and increased social spending.”
“Through peace negotiations, the Duterte government and the NDFP can unite on addressing the pressing socio-economic problems confronting the Filipino people amid the worsening crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal system and the global capitalist system.”

The CPP said it also supports efforts of the NDFP and GRP to forge a bilateral ceasefire even as it anticipates “difficult negotiations.”

Release of POWs
The CPP said the release of the two POWs yesterday was carried out as confidence-building measures to help boost peace negotiations. Released by the NPA were paramilitaries Rene Doller and Carl Mark Nucos who were captured by the NPA last February 14 in Lupon, Davao Oriental.

At least four other POWs are set to be released by the NPA in Surigao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat and Bukidnon. Their releases are being impeded by ongoing military and police operations in the area. The CPP urges the local commands of the AFP and PNP to stand down and coordinate with third-party facilitators to pave the way for the releases.

Bombings, shelling and offensive operations
The CPP denounced the AFP for its continuing campaign of aerial bombings and shelling which have caused widespread damage and fear among the peasant masses.
“In the face of the AFP’s all-out offensives and aerial bombing campaigns, the New People’s Army is compelled to carry out tactical offensives and active defense actions in order to defend the peasant masses,” said the CPP.

The most recent bombing runs were was carried out by the AFP last Wednesday, March 22, when AFP jet fighters dropped at least six bombs in the vicinity of Barangay Olave, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte. One of the bombs exploded next to a school while classes were going on, endangering the lives of students and teachers and terrorizing the residents.

At least 60 troops of the 23rd IB entered Barangay Olave after the bombings. They arrested two civilians from Butuan City, Roland Abandola, 26, and Max Lagumba, 30, whom they chanced upon the footpath of Barangay Olave.

The AFP also carried out bombing runs in Malibcong, Abra last March 16 traumatizing residents and causing widespread damage to the forested areas and people’s livelihood. Last week, the AFP also conducted aerial bombing runs in Datu Salibo, Maguindanao forcing at least 3,000 families to evacuate.

Last month, the AFP also conducted aerial bombings against peasant communities in Laak, Compostela Valley, in Bansalan, Davao del Sur, in Asuncion, Davao del Norte, in Fatima, Davao City and in Alabel, Sarangani.

No hostage-taking
Meanwhile, the CPP rejected as “flat lies” reports of the AFP that NPA Red fighters hostaged residents in Barangay Camutan, Antipas, North Cotabato. Reports indicate that people were compelled to evacuate as soldiers belonging to the 39th IB scoured the barangay supposedly in search of members of the NPA. Barangay residents are being forced to move to the evacuation center where they are being detained by AFP soldiers.

China offered to transport Duterte to West Philippine Sea

From Update.Ph (Mar 23): China offered to transport Duterte to West Philippine Sea 

President Rodrigo Duterte said that Chinese officials have offered their helicopter for him to go to West Philippine Sea so he could plant the Philippine flag there.

“Sabi nila huwag ka nang magpagod-pagod diyan, gusto mo kunin ka namin ng helicopter dalhin ka na lang namin doon mag-meryenda tayo? Ganoon kami kaibigan ng China pati ‘yung military nila. Medyo matagtag na nga,” he said during the press conference March 23 after his visit to Thailand and Myanmar when asked if his jet ski remark during the campaign period changed.

“Maya-maya makasagasa ka pa ng pating diyan mawalaan ka pa ng paa,” he added, if he will use a jet ski.

“Ganun ang party nila, kumain kami. Sabi niya ang magtanong isang general: Mag-jet ski ka? Sabi ko: Oo. Sa isa: Bakit? Gusto mong pumunta doon? ‘Oo.’ ‘Sige, kukuha ng helicopter dalhin ka namin doon, magdala ka ng flag doon o bayang magiliw tayong lahat’,” Duterte further narrated.

“So what’s the use?” President Duterte said. “You can go there any time. I said, I told them ganito ‘yan, since you are claiming it, I am claiming it, do not impede our travel there.”

“Sabi ko, my coast guard — not the gray ships, not the Navy, huwag. They can go there and visit you, shake your hands, and you can park dito sa amin,” he said. “Wala akong sikreto sabi ko, you can travel around the island at magba-bye ka lang sa fish na nandoon. Island… Sabi ko – you can pass by my territory.”

He said that China may pass by Philippine territory, they just need to inform the military and Philippine government.

“As a matter fact ‘yung Russia nagpadala ng battleship. I said sabi ko, tapatan mo lahat. Nandoon na ‘yung Amerikano, nagpunta na ang Russo, pag… Bigyan mo kami ng exhibit sa inyo. Sabi nila, okay, we will be sending the biggest ship of China. Sabi niya, sige. Sabi ko, sige bisita kayo, magbisita ako,” the President said.

“So I don’t know what kind of… Maybe their aircraft carrier. There are about two. Ginagawa na nila. You are free to enter — just inform my Navy. Inform the Foreign Secretary — Foreign Affairs Secretary, inform my Navy, wala tayong… Maglaro- laro tayo doon. Gusto mo mag-giyera- giyera kayo ng America pero ‘yung sound lang muna. Wala ‘yung totohanan kasi madamay kami because why?” he added.

“I’d like to tell why? I do not want to precipitate a shooting. Once single boom, ang masira ano, ‘yang Panatag, ‘yang Spratly, ang masira ‘yung Palawan, ‘yan ang unang puputok kung hindi kayo bright,” he explained.

Navy’s frigate patrols Benham Rise

Posted to Update.Ph (Mar 24): Navy’s frigate patrols Benham Rise

Philippine Navy (PN) ships will now be a common sight in the 13-million hectare Benham Rise which lies off the Aurora and Isabela coast. Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana disclosed this on Friday shortly after the deployment of the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF-16) in the area was made public.

The ship and her crew were conducting sovereignty patrols in the wake of reports that Chinese survey ships were spotted in the maritime area last year.

“The Navy will henceforth regularly patrol Benham Rise partly due to past Chinese activities there but more importantly, because it is part of our continental shelf,” he added.

Lorenzana said Philippine presence in Benham Rise is only fitting as the territory was awarded to the country by the United Nations in 2012.

“Our next activity is to have the area surveyed to clearly determine its limits, depths, coral formations, etc,” the DND chief stressed.

Earlier, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said BRP Gregorio Velasquez (AGR-702), the Philippine Navy (PN)’s sole survey and hydrographic ship, can again be deployed for survey missions off the Benham Rise should President Rodrigo Duterte and Lorenzana formalize the order.