From the Mindanao Examiner (Dec 5): Marines plant 2,000 mangrove propagules in Sulu
Marine soldiers planted some 2,000 mangrove propagules as part of its environmental advocacy in the southern Philippine province of Sulu.
The soldiers, who are members of the 2nd Marine Brigade, planted the propagules on Bangsas Island which is part of Panglima Tahil town. The activity coincided with the 64th anniversary of the 2nd Marine Brigade.
It was also participated by the different military and police units and local stakeholders, including government officials and representatives of different nongovernmental organizations and the provincial government.
The activity is also in support to the government’s National Greening Program and Sulu’s environmental greening campaign.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Provincial Government of Sulu are working closely for the preservation and conservation of the natural resources and delivery of basic services to the community to attain peace and prosperity in the province,” the 2nd Marine Brigade said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.
On November 26, 2014, peace advocates held one-day advocacy on BBL in Barangay Tulungatung, Zamboanga City where non-Moro residents and community leaders attended.
Mr. Tirso Tahir, BLMI Research Unit Officer and member of the institute’s Steering Committee lectured on BBL and focused on proposed bill’s 18 articles and sections through power point presentation for the audiences to comprehend them properly.
Another peace advocacy on BBL was held in Lustre at Barangay Santa Catalina, same city on November 27 where local residents and community leaders from neighboring villages also attended.
One participant said, “We are hoping that city officials will respect Moro constitutional rights to petition for the inclusion of our village in the plebiscite for the ratification of the BBL”. Such rights are guaranteed by the 1987 Philippines Constitution” “The issue here is not only about contiguity but our rights to participate in a political exercise”, he further said.
Tahir mentioned some vital contents of the BBL by underlining the provision on ‘contiguity’. He also clarified some issues by using layman’s term so it can be easily understood.
In response to fisher folks’ clamor for clear understanding of BBL, community leaders in the island village of Zamboanga City held a separate advocacy in a private compound at Barangay Mampang on November 28 where similar issues were raised. The speakers used Tagalog and local Tau sug and Sama dialects so that their audience can easily grasp what the speakers were talking about.
On November 29, the peace advocates proceeded to Barangay Cawit, Zamboanga City to attend a forum organized for the local residents. Some asked what can an ordinary Moro in Zamboanga City benefit once their village is included into the Bangsamoro?
Mr. Tahir cited the provisions of BBL on Wealth and Power-Sharing where the Bangsamoro Government can enjoy fiscal autonomy and exercise various powers. The Moros be they are in contiguous areas or outside can partake from the benefits that Bangsamoro may derive from the exercise of its powers and wealth gained from its natural resources.
On December 1, another advocacy on BBL was conducted in Barangay Sangali. The program was held inside a madrasah building where residents willingly attended. Issues on contiguity and plebiscite were once again the concerns of the local folks.
The speaker said that the basic law has said much on such issues. The collective wisdom of Congress shall be guided by the Constitution in conformity with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in the course of enacting the BBL.
The MILF Provincial Political Committee in Zamboanga City, BLMI and various CSO, NGO’s PO’s had been intensifying advocacies in different ways but similar objectives to ensure a wider acceptability of the BBL for it shall redound to lasting peace and development that every Moro is yearning for.