From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jul 31): AFP says ransom paid for Mindanao professor
Western Mindanao State University instructor Alrashid Rojas, who was
kidnapped here on June 22, was freed in Jolo, Sulu province, on Wednesday.
Colonel Andrelino Colina, head of Task Force Zamboanga, said the victim’s
family allegedly paid ransom.
Colina said they were still trying to determine how Rojas was released in
“But we have identified some suspects in his abduction. It’s a kidnap for
ransom group with links in Talipao town,” Colina said.
He said Rojas’ captors belonged to the same group that kidnapped Flordeliza
Ongchua and Eddie Fabella in the west coast of this city.
On Nov. 13, 2012, armed men stormed the house of school teacher Ongchua in
Labuan village in this city. She was freed more than a month later in Barangay
(village) Sto Nino in Jolo.
Fabella, a businessman, was kidnapped in Maasin village here on Jan. 11. He
was freed at the Jolo port on Feb. 22.
The forum participants, high school and college students from the towns of Central Mindanao are beneficiaries of the Youth Development Program (YDP), a component program of the BDA.
Led by their respective regional managers, the regional staff of BDA from other regional offices joined in the activity.
Grand Mufti Abdurahman Udasan delivered a lecture on “Why we need religion.”
BDA-CenMin Regional Manager (RM) Ustadz Hashim Manticayan, said the activity was aimed to impart knowledge to the Moro youth the significance of fasting during this holy month. The participants further learned the physical and spiritual benefits of fasting.
Five BDA Regional Managers also imparted knowledge to the participants.
Tony Sakalahol, RM of Zamboanga City-Basilan RMO, stressed there is a need to strengthen unity and cooperation among the Moro youth and other sectors in Muslim communities to help realize the aspirations of the Bangsamoro people.
“How can we attain our goal for a progressive and peaceful homeland if our values or attitudes are dis-aligned,” he asked. Sakalahol said the Moro youth should also do their role towards the achievement of peace and prosperity of the Bangsamoro people.
RM Mohamaddun Taug of Zamboanga Peninsula outlined the “don’ts” while fasting which are the following: anger, lying, backbiting, teasing, boasting, being suspicious, watching haram (forbidden), listening to Haram, insulting, backbiting, cheating, and oppressing or being a traitor.
Mohalikin D. Piang, RM of Southern Mindanao, urged the Moro youth to develop oneself first before helping develop his community.
He cited the message from the Holy Qur’an which states that “the Almighty will not change the condition of the people unless they change what is in themselves.”
Piang said that the reason why mankind and Jinn (unseen beings) were created by Allahu ta Ala but to worship Him as stated in the Holy Qur’an.
RM Mohamad Aragasi from Lanao Region told the participants to love his fellow Muslims and devote more time to pray and make du’a during Ramadhan. “Paradise is open during Ramadhan and this month is better than a thousand months,” he added.
The Regional Manager of Davao Region, Aleem Lucman Tandalong, warned the Moro youth not to be tied up much with social media like facebook, but must also give time on reading and understanding the Holy Qur’an which was sent as guidance to mankind.
YDP is a comprehensive educational program geared to develop the Moro youth which has activities that include Values Transformation Training, Islamic symposium, and capacity-building trainings.
The participants expressed gratitude to the managers for the knowledge and inspiration imparted to them.
Fasting during Ramadhan is one of the pillars Islam. A fasting Muslim is forbidden to eat, drink or engage in carnal act from dawn till sunset. Muslims are encouraged to devote more time to pray, repent, reflect and give charity during Ramadhan.
BDA was institutionalized in 2002 as an agency that has a mandate to determine, lead and manage relief, rehabilitation and development of conflict affected areas of Mindanao as agreed upon by the Government of the Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front during its peace talks.
The agency has been engaged with various development partners in the delivery of basic services and development projects towards the socio-economic empowerment of target communities.