Thursday, August 13, 2015
A high-ranking official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has asked soldiers belonging to the First Air Division of the Philippine Air Force to contribute in the world-wide effort of saving nature.
Major General Raul Del Rosario, commander of the PAF First Air Division, issued his message to the soldiers during the start of the division’s 44th founding anniversary celebration on Thursday.
The anniversary celebration, dubbed “Bagwis Ng Kapayapaan, Tagapagtaguyod nd Bayanihan, Sa Sakuna Maaasahan,” highlighted activities including tree planting and fun-biking inside the Freeport.
Lieutenant Princess Santos, public information officer of the First Air Division, said that some 200 seedlings of mahogany and eucalyptus tree were planted at the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) grounds and Air Force City golf course.
The soldiers’ 20-kilometer biking activity was led by Del Rosario and other officials of the air division.
Santos said the seedlings were sourced from the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of Tarlac City.
CDC officials, bike enthusiasts, and other guests participated in the celebration of the PAF First Air Division, according to Santos.
Lieutenant Colonel Arnold Tapia, chief of the PAF First Air Division’s Civil Military Operations said that their events are aimed to emphasize the importance of educating the community about healthy body and sound mind.
“These events are part of the traditional pre-anniversary activities of the 1st Air Division and are also geared to educating the community on how to contribute to the thrust of saving mother nature,” Tapisa said.
Del Rosario, who completed his military course at the Philippine Military Academy in 1992, said that the AFP is committed to protecting the people and protecting the environment.
COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) officials through the Bangsamoro Transition Committee issued a resolution opposing the substitute bill aimed to create a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.
The 14-member committee appealed to members of the House of Representatives and Senate to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in its original form, that is, House Bill No. 4994 and Senate Bill No. 2408 as sponsored in the lower and upper houses of Congress, respectively.
The group remained firm in their belief that the BBL is the “most appropriate version,” adding that its provisions of the proposed law are consistent with the 2012 Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).
They added that the original BBL “underwent the legitimate process of consultation with the people and engagement with the Office of the President.”
Senator Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, said they held a series of public hearings in the provinces including Sulu, Zamboanga, and other parts of Mindanao and found that members of the Sultanate, highlanders and Christians living in the area were not consulted.
“We have tried to make it as inclusive of the different stakeholders as possible, while staying true to the intentions and aims of the original. I believe that in this version we have an opportunity to take an important step towards a just and lasting peace,” Marcos said in a radio interview.
Ghazali Jaafar, MILF vice chairman for political affairs, said personally he is optimistic that Congress will in the end “pass a law that is acceptable for us Muslims in the Philippines.”
“There should be a law that will serve as a vehicle for Muslims to achieve progress,” Jaafar said.
Meanwhile, members of the One Bangsamoro Movement, headed by Alan Balangi of Marawi City, called for the junking of the new version of the BBL.
Balangi has also called upon the ulama (Islamic scholars) to issue a fatwa (verdict) declaring the new proposal as anti-Muslim.
He also said Muslim Filipinos should not support the re-election bid of senators who are anti-BBL.
COTABATO CITY - An employee of the Commission on Audit - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (COA-ARMM) was gunned down by a still unidentified suspect in Barangay Rosary Heights 8, Cotabato City, authorities said Wednesday.
The victim, identified as Ismael Mudi Ulama, had just bought ice from a nearby store and was walking towards his rented house when a lone gunman suddenly shot him along Satellite Tower Street in Zenaida Subdivision.
Ulama, who worked as a process server of COA-ARMM, sustained gunshot wounds on his cheek and buttocks.
Residents who refused to be interviewed on camera said a tricycle driver reportedly saw the victim walking towards his home with a friend and another individual who seemed to be in a middle of an argument.
When the tricycle driver was meters away from the three, he reportedly heard gunshots and immediately rushed to leave the area out of fear.
However, this is still subject for investigation, according to police.
Residents were able to rush the victim to Cotabato Regional and Medical Center but he later died.
Recovered from the crime scene were two empty shells believed to be from a .45-caliber pistol, and the victim's cellphone and eyeglasses.
Further investigation is ongoing.
COTABATO CITY – A lady soldier is under investigation after she accidentally fired his .45-caliber pistol, wounding a child at a mall here recently.
Supt. Efren Salazar, Police Station 1 chief, said Army Pfc.
Michelle Ortega of the 6th Infantry Division was depositing at the entrance of South Seas Mall here her service pistol when it went off with its bullet hitting the floor tiles Sunday.
Salazar said parts of the shattered tiles injured a 14-year-old boy Sunday.
The lady soldier promptly rushed the unnamed boy to the hospital for treatment, he added.
She said Ortega was on official break from a 10-day training when the incident happened.
A MILITIAMAN listed number seven in the hit list escaped unscathed in a gun attack in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, the police reported Thursday.
Inspector Dahlan Samuddin, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula information officer, said the incident took place at 9:52 a.m. Wednesday in front of a motor repair shop in the village of Sta. Lucia, Pagadian City.
Samuddin identified the would-be victim as Joseph Pepito, 31, a militiaman moonlighting as a motorcycle mechanic.
Investigation showed that Pepito was repairing motorcycle when the gunmen, armed with a handgun, arrived and opened fire but missed his target, Samuddin said.
Samuddin said the gunmen, after failing to hit his target, fled on foot.
The victim told the investigator that he received an anonymous letter informing him not to be complacent enough because his life is in danger, according to Samuddin.
He said Pepito is also listed as number seven among the list indicated in the letter.
Investigation continues in a bid to unmask the identity of the gunmen.
POLICE have arrested a suspected ransom courier of the Abu Sayyaf bandits in Zamboanga Sibugay, a top police official said Thursday.
Senior Superintendent Celso Bael, Zamboanga Sibugay police director, identified the arrested suspect as Edeliza Ulep, alias Gina Perez.
Ulep was arrested during a manhunt operation around 12:45 p.m. Tuesday at Purok 7, Villana Street, Trento, Agusan del Sur.
Bael said that Ulep has a standing warrant of arrest for the case of kidnap with ransom issued by a court in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Ulep was tagged as the ransom courier in the kidnapping of former Australian soldier Warren Rodwell, Bale said.
Rodwell was kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf bandits from his residence in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay on December 5, 2011 and was freed on March 23, 2013 in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur following payment of ransom.
Bael said Ulep was brought to Zamboanga Sibugay for her to stand trial in court.
Payment of ransom failed to save the life of a village chief who had been beheaded by Abu Sayyaf, according to several sources close to the slain kidnap victim’s family and authorities who had been involved in efforts to free the victim.
The family of Rodolfo Boligao, who had been beheaded by Abu Sayyaf after weeks of captivity following his kidnapping in May, had already raised P500,000 in ransom and entrusted the money to an emissary, who has not been identified.
But the sources said two weeks after the money had been put together and supposedly given to an emissary, Boligao’s body and head were found in the town of Maimbung, Sulu province, with a note believed to have been written by his captors
The family of another Abu Sayyaf captive, one of two Coast Guard members being held by Abu Sayyaf, had also raised up to P1 million meant as ransom payment, but the victim has not been released, according to sources.
Boligao and two Coast Guard members—SN2 Gringo Villaluz and SN1 Rod Pagaling—were seized in the village of Aliguay in Dapitan City on May 4 by Abu Sayyaf members who initially demanded ransom of P10 million for each of the three captives. The terrorists later lowered the ransom demand for P3 million for each of the victims.
Sources involved in negotiations for Boligao’s release said Abu Sayyaf had agreed to a ransom payment of P500,000 for Boligao.
“We understood that the money for him and another victim was sent through an emissary,” said one of the sources.
Another source, a Dapitan City official, said the money was raised through contributions from “families, friends and relatives.”
“We are aware of the no-ransom policy, but at the same time, we cannot just say no to the worries, the miseries felt by the families, we helped in other ways,” the official said.
Navy Commander Roy Vincent Trinidad, the chief of staff of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (Navforwem), said the military also received information from negotiators tapped by the victims’ families that Boligao and another hostage were to be released because money for ransom had already been raised.
The families, he said, had been negotiating with an Abu Sayyaf leader identified as Yasser Igasan.
Trinidad said something must have gone wrong along the way but the military was not privy to what it was.
“What went wrong along the way, we still don’t know,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Boligao family retrieved the slain village chief’s remains at the Navy headquarters here and brought it to Dipolog City. “The family’s request is for justice,” Trinidad said.
He said following Boligao’s beheading, the military would further step up offensive against Abu Sayyaf and try to rescue 13 more people being held captive by the terror group. They include Ewold Horn, a Dutch birdwatcher seized in 2012.
Gov. Mujiv Hataman, of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said the military should launch a massive operation to put an end to Abu Sayyaf.
The Special Forces Regiment (Airborne) of the Philippines Army was modeled after the U.S. Green Berets to some extent, and they have a very distinct Mekong Delta look about them.
Formed in the 1960s, SF got broke in the hard way by supporting the Filipino contingent fighting in Vietnam but when that war ended, they were just getting warmed up. You see ever since then they have been fighting a low-intensity but often violent campaign against homegrown guerrillas in the hills from hardlegs like the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moro National Liberation Front, the Abu Sayyaf Group, Jemaah Islamiyah, and Al Qaeda operating in the southernmost Philippine Island of Mindanao.
Organized in 20 special forces companies and deploying in 12 man teams much like our own ODA “A-teams” they spend a lot of time leading local militia forces. The above recruiting commercial shows off a lot of dated (lets call it classic) kit such as M16A2s, M1 Garands, A1/203 combos with the big fore end, M60s, and old-school training and tactics.
And yes, there are tiger stripe camo and boonie hat cameos!
Hey, if it ain’t broke…
GOVERNMENT forces have recovered high-powered firearms, explosive and bomb-making materials following a clash with New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Misamis Oriental, the military reported Thursday.
Colonel Jesse Alvarez, Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade commander, said the clash ensued around 10 a.m. Wednesday at Sitio Alaja in the village of Aposkahoy, Claveria, Misamis Oriental.
Alvarez said the troops from the Army’s 58th Infantry Battalion were tracking down the NPA rebels when the clash broke out.
He said the NPA rebels numbering to around 30 fighters led by a certain Ka Budo fled after they were outmaneuvered by the troops.
The troops recovered at the clash site an M-16 Armalite rifle, a Carbine rifle, one improvised bomb, 14 blasting caps, two mobile phones, two radio transceivers, 20 backpacks, a solar panel, linked ammunition for K3 machinegun, a voter’s identification card, and, subversive documents.
Alvarez said the troops continue to track down the fleeing NPA rebels, who were believed to have suffered casualties.
“The treatment of the BBL is one such example that shows there are no serious efforts to achieve peace in the country today.” – Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares
Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said the Philippine government will be answering to the international community, if Congress fails to pass “a good Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).”
Speaking at a forum, Iqbal said: “Ninety-nine percent of the international community is supporting the passage of a good BBL. If the MILF does not accept the BBL, the government will have to answer to the international community.”
The forum, “Peace at last?” was organized by the Moro Christian People’s Alliance (MCPA) and the Pilgrims for Peace, held on Aug. 12 at the National Council of Churches of the Philippines (NCCP) in Quezon City. It was said to be a rare occasion that Iqbal appeared in a discussion with progressives after the 2012 signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB).
Iqbal said the international community has “a deep involvement” in the peace negotiations between the Philippine government (GPH) and the MILF, in the past 17 years.
“The international community would take the government to task if war breaks out,” Iqbal said. “We will have the moral ascendancy if the exit agreement is not signed…We will blame and shame the GPH for not complying with agreements signed by both parties.”
The exit agreement is the final document to be signed by the two parties, and to be validated by the third party monitoring team, lead by former European Commission envoy to the Philippines Alistair McDonald.
The BBL bills – House Bill 5811 and Senate Bill 2408 – are yet to be approved by Congress.
The MILF had said that they will not accept a BBL  based on HB 5811, which they described as “50 percent bad” and “lower than the ARMM,” the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. The ARMM was the result of the government’s peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
The BBL will be the law to govern the Bangsamoro political entity to be established, as provided by the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed by the government and the MILF in 2014.
“Very clear, we will not accept it, if it’s lower than ARMM,” Iqbal answered at the forum, to the question, “What will the MILF do if a diluted BBL is passed?”
The small crowd of progressive leaders and church workers loudly applauded and cheered.
The crowd was apparently critical of the BBL, many of them, of both the original and “diluted” versions. But the cheers were expression of support to the Moro people’s efforts to address the roots of conflict.
Other speakers at the forum were Suara Bangsamoro secretary general Amirah Ali Lidasan, who laid out criticisms on the original BBL, and Bayan Muna partylist Rep.Neri Colmenares, who shared how the BBL was “watered down” during the congressional committee deliberations.
MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal (Photo by D.Ayoroso/Bulatlat.com)
Control of natural resources
The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), which drafted the original BBL, issued a July 29 resolution, criticizing 28 amendments made by HB 5811 in the original draft BBL.
Iqbal, who also heads the BTC, said that one of the “non-negotiable” provisions was the sharing of income from different natural resoures. The original BBL gives the Bangsamoro government 100 percent income for non-metallic resources; 75-25 sharing, in favor of the Bangsamoro, for metallic resources; and equal sharing for Bangsamoro and the central government for fossil fuels such as gas, oil, coal, and uranium.
HB 5811 removed this provision on sharing, and defined “strategic minerals” to include natural gas, petroleum, coal, uranium, mineral oils, and all other potential sources of energy — all under the powers of the national government.
“If this is not restored, we will not accept the BBL,” Iqbal said.
Bayan Muna’s Colmenares and Suara Bangsamoro’s Lidasan both echoed Iqbal’s words that the dilution of the original BBL is “worse than the ARMM law.”
Lidasan acknowledged that the sharing of income from natural resources is an improvement from the ARMM law, but said that even the original BBL only gives limited power to the Bangsamoro government, and hardly reflects the Moro people’s right to self-determination.
Iqbal refused to comment on the Senate draft BBL, which Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. submitted to the senate this week. He said the MILF “commended” him for finishing the draft.
Makabayan’s ‘no’ vote to BBL
“We voted ‘no,’ because aside from not addressing the roots of conflict, it implements existing anti-people laws, exploitative and repressive laws,” Colmenares said, sharing the deliberations in Congress on HB 5811, which President Aquino’s allies rushed to approve in May.
But Colmenares said they had completely different reasons from others who also voted ‘no.’
He called the bill “bigay-bawi law” because of the dilutions of the limited powers given under the CAB, such as the “exclusive powers” of the Bangsamoro government on the utilization and development of certain natural resources.
“The roots of conflict is poverty, why don’t we let them exploit their own resources?” said Colmenares.
HB 5811 also provides that the Bangsamoro government will implement plans “consistent with the national goals. ”These are deregulation, liberalization, privatization,” Colmenares said, the same policies which perpetuates exploitation and oppression in the country.
“This government is not ready to recognize the right of the Bangsamoro people, would rather give preference to TNCs, the landed elite, but has no recognition of the rights of the Bangsamoro people, and the Filipino people in general. In this sense, the diluted BBL is no different from ARMM, and will not deliver just and lasting peace,” Colmenares said.
The solon also cited that they tried , but failed to retain the provision on the Wali, which was to serve as ceremonial head of the Bangsamoro government. Colmenares said other solons wanted it deleted because “it’s a different culture.”
“The moment you don’t recognize the differences in culture, no way you can achieve peace,” he said.
While other legislators reasoned that the amendments were necessary because the draft BBL goes against the Philippine Constitution, Colmenares said the end result emphasized “chauvinism and discrimination” against the Bangsamoro people.
“The treatment of the BBL is one such example that shows there are no serious efforts to achieve peace in the country today,” said Colmenares.
“If the BBL is unacceptable, are you joining the plebiscite, or the 2016 elections?” asked one of the audience at the forum. In the timeline of the peace process, the BBL will be voted upon in a referendum, and if passed, elections for the Bangsamoro government will follow.
Iqbal said, “That’s easy to answer: no.”
“What will MILF do if a diluted BBL is passed? Will it remain a belligerent force and continue the struggle?” asked another.
“I will not answer anymore because the question has been answered,” Iqbal said, which garnered smiles all around. One church worker interpreted Iqbal’s “enigmatic” answer, as “the question is the answer.”
A long way to go
There is still much to be done to attain peace in the Bangsamoro lands, said some of those in the forum.
Benedictine nun Sr. Theody Bilocura said the forum cleared many things which people don’t know about the BBL and its “dilution.” The prospect for peace in the Bangsamoro people is under the same context as the rest of the Filipino nation, she said.
“I have the same stand as Iqbal and Colmenares, that we have to address the roots of armed conflict,” she told Bulatlat.com.
Antonio Flores, secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) commented on the original BBL, which is “wanting” in the aspect of the peasants’ right to land. He added that the MILF should learn from the lessons of the MNLF integration, which only pushed fighters into joining the MILF.
Colmenares, stressing that the diluted BBL will not lead to long-lasting peace, said: “The struggle for self-determination of the Bangsamoro will continue in the same manner that the struggle for freedom and democracy of the Filipiono people will continue.”
MILF: Marcos report is a “progress” but BTC still appeals for a BBL that is faithful to signed agreements
The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) sees the substitute bill sponsored on Tuesday (August 12) by Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. as a “progress” as the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) can now be debated in the Senate plenary level.
Labeled as Senate Bill No. 2894, the substitute bill appears to have numerous modifications and even deletions of substantial provisions contained in the original draft BBL filed as Senate Bill No. 2408.
In his media pronouncements, Sen. Marcos said that around 80% of the original BBL was amended. True enough, Senate Bill No. 2894 appears to be as such.
While the Commission understands the desire of Sen. Marcos for wanting a BBL that is inclusive and all-embracing, yet it does not agree with the senator’s statement that discussions on the BBL and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) were done in “secret meetings in hotel rooms, far away places.”
“The negotiations took 17 years, witnessed by international bodies. During the crafting of the BBL we reached as far as Tawi-tawi, partnered with CSOs in conducting consultations with the public and foreign and local experts on different subject matters,” said Mohagher Iqbal, chairman of the BTC.
More work, continuous dialogue
“At least the speculations over the Marcos report are now over and we can now do more work,” Iqbal added. Despite the significant changes in the House and Senate versions, the BTC remains optimistic that changes in the substitute bills can be introduced during the period of amendments. Iqbal said that the BTC will “continue to work and engage with the lawmakers as continuous dialogue is the best option.”
Senate deliberations on SB 2894 are expected next week while interpellations on House Bill No. 5811 has not yet resumed.
More than 150 leaders and representatives of Civil Society Organizations from Southern Mindanao region expressed their support for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as drafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) during a peace summit in General Santos City.
The peace summit, held at the AVR of Mindanao State University- GensanGraduate Schoolon August 9, 2015, was organized by the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS), Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA)-Southern Mindanao and with the strong support of Mindanao Convergence of NGOs for Social Protection.
BTC Commissioner lawyerRaissaJajurie explained to the participants the proposed BTC version of BBL in comparison with the House Bill 5811 and pointed out the provisions in the said bill that violates the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).
Jajurie said the BBL is a basic law and an agreement between the Partires, the government and the MILF, that is described as a social justice legislation that seeks to address the Bangsamoro question.
“The BBL is the product of more than 17 years of peace negotiations between the GPH and the MILF,” she said, “and most of the provisions of the original draft BBL were lifted verbatim from the CAB.”
The resource person pointed out that the “BBL was drafted within the framework and flexibilities of the Constitution.”
The CSO leaders representing grassroots communities presented their respective positions.
The Mindanao Convergence of NGOs for Social Protection appealed to members of Congress to immediately pass the BBL based on CAB to finally address the legitimate grievances, and correct historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro.
The Bait-Al Iman Association asked the Congress not to change what are stipulated in the original draft of BBL produced by the BTC considering it was crafted based on the grievances of the Bangsamoro and the current issues and concerns affecting the Bangsamoro communities.
The Mindanao Women Advocacy for Good Governance stated that the undiluted BBL is a solution to Mindanao problem. “The BTC commissioners, as Mindanaoans themselves, know the real problems of the Bangsamoro, thus they crafted the BBL to address those problems,” they said.
Salam Care Group Association called on the Bangsamoro People to initiate “Piso” contribution in support to the BBL passage. They underscored the importance of mobilization for whatever undertakings like lobbying with the lawmakers for them to understand the will of the Bangsamoro people for genuine autonomy.
Other CSO groups representing IP, youth, farmers, and peace advocates also expressed their strong support for the passage of BBL that is compliant with the CAB.
Jajurie encouraged the advocates of Bangsamoro law to approach and have dialogue with the Congressmen of Southern Mindanao, however “you must be ready to answer their questions about BBL, therefore, you must equip yourself with profound knowledge about this legislation,” she hinted.
BTC Chair Mohagher Iqbal said last July in a meeting with GensanMuslim leaders the importance of lobbying with the lawmakers.
On August 11, 2015,at 10:57am, the thirteen individuals and Civil Society Organizations from Mindanao led by Atty.Mary Ann Arnado filed a (counter) petition questioning the petition filed by the Philippine Constitution Association (PILCONSA)before the Supreme Court (SC) of the Philippines praying for the issuance of Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and writ of preliminary injunction, to declare as unconstitutional and void, and to restrain , enjoin or prohibit the implementation of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) by the SC.
Atty.KenjieAman, Legal Counsel of the Movant-interveners, a lawyer from the Ateneo Legal Service Center, said, “We believe that the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro and Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro are dissimilar and are not the MOA-AD which was declared by the Supreme Court unconstitutional.”
He also added that FAB and CAB passed through various consultative processes in diverse multi-cultural and multi-ethnic sectors in Mindanaoand other areas to ensure that people are adequately informed of its substance and are able to provide recommendatory inputs too to both peace panels.
“Interveners adhere and uphold the position of the framers of the constitution and the peace council who made evaluative study on the documents including the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that these are Constitutional,” he clarified.
Board member Kelly Antaocalled upon other groups to deeply understand the contentsof the FAB and CAB for the sake of sustainable peace in Mindanao.
“We are the primary victims in the province of North Cotabatoas experienced in the MOA-AD case in 2008, and we don’t want it to happen again,”Antao, also an intervener, pointed out.
YusophLumambas, UNYPAD Secretary-General, also an intervener, called on all peace-loving people to come to rescue so that war will not happen again.
“Having peace through justly addressing the real sentiment of the Bangsamoro People and giving them space for their aspiration for self-governance and self-determination is saving lives,” Yusophstressed.
He also called on groups and individuals who are anti-peace to support the efforts of the government and MILF in coming up with a Bangsamoro Basic Law acceptable to the Bangsamoro so that once and for all we will be able to have a progressive and peaceful Mindanao.
“Don’t prioritize your own personal interests, think of the national interests,” he advised.
The Movant-interveners are composed of the Mindanao Coalition of Development NGOs (MINCODE), Honorable Kelly Antao, Caucus of Development NGO networks (CODE-NGO),Mindanao Peoples Caucus Inc. (MPCI),Violeta M. Gloria, Yusoph S. Lumambas of theUnited Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD), Allan J. Pisingan, Sister Arnold Maria Noel, Duma M.Mascud ofthe MindanaoAlliance for Peace, Social and Economic Development (BAPSED),AlmorsiTabaraza and Baugbug Advocates for Peace and Human Rights (BAWBUG).
The Makamangon Multi-purpose Cooperative (MMPC), founded on January 22, 1997 by young Bangsamoro Professionals held its 5th General Assembly (GA) at # 23 Jasmine Street, RH-6, Cotabato City last July 25, 2015 from 8:00am to 4:00pm.
In the opening part, Sheikh Abdulrasheed Ambil, an MMPC member gave words of wisdom about economic stability in Islam.
Sheikh Ambil talking about economic stability and the need to strengthen the living condition of the Muslim said, "The strong Muslim is better than the weak Muslim".
"A strong Muslim can offer more acts of worship to Allah; and also do more good deeds to mankind than the week Muslim, he added.
Mrs. Samcia Ibrahim, CDA Specialist of the Cooperative Development Authority-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (CDA-ARMM) was invited.
Mrs. Ibrahim highlighted the importance of sustaining the cooperative as it contributes as lot in livelihood development.
In order to ensure sustaining the cooperative, among the important things she emphasized that, "It is important to have a regular meeting".
Mrs, Ibrahim also stressed the need to sustain and make transparent the act and process of recording by saying, "Recording of share capital and other related transactions and the way it is done should be sustained and known by all members for transparency".
For the new members, Professor Hashim Manticayan, a member of the Board of Directors and Founding Member of MMPC, briefly presented the vision, mission, goals, general policies and other important matters pertaining to the cooperative.
Election of new officers of MMPC was done where Dr. Rizaldy Piang was re-elected as BOD Chariman and Engr. Labay as General Manager (GM) of the cooperative.
Engr. Rahib Labay, former Chairman of MMPC presented the proposed “MPC 2020, a 5-year development plan of the cooperative as another milestone of the cooperative for the next five years starting from mid of 2015 and will end up to mid of 2020, but due to time constraint, the participants unanimously agreed to set another time for it"
Other important things presented were about the present status of the MMPC pertaining to its entrepreneurship/business particularly on the supply of rice for its members by Hasim Iskak, BOD Member; the acquisition of 5.6 hectares of farm lot at Barangay G.T. Biruar, Parang, Maguindanao by Sheikh Ahmad Hassan, BOD Member; and “Financial Stability” by Carolyn Biruar, MMPC Member.
Among the most important strategies to further enhance the operation of MMPC, Engr. Rahib Labay, GM, emphasized, "We need to prioritize more and intensify our support by strengthening the entrepreneurship/business of this cooperative and the farm utilization and management.
In support to the aforementioned idea, Dr. Rizaldy Piang, BOD Chairman, quoted and explain in brief 3 Hs of a Chinese trader such as honesty, humility and hardworking,
In addition, he emphasized that, "We have to lay down how much we can as our additional share capital so that we can start further strengthening the operation of MMPC.
The MMPC as multi-purpose cooperative based in Barangay Nituan, Parang, Maguindanao envisions to be a model cooperative with united and productive members who deliver quality services and develop community-based enterprises for the establishment of economically viable community; and in pursuit of its vision, the cooperative endeavors to adhere to Islamic principles of cooperativism, promote competence in the delivery of services and patronize locally viable resources, all for promoting quality of life.
Sen. Bongbong Marcos meets with MILF Chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal( STAR/Senate PRIB file photo)
In a press briefing yesterday, Malacañang through Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. renewed its call for the passage of a Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that adheres to the peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Coloma made the statement after Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government, filed a committee report on Monday containing the substitute bill for the BBL version submitted by Malacañang and backed by the MILF.
Coloma said he has yet to read the substitute BBL filed by Marcos, but he assured that the Palace is coordinating with Congress regarding the passage of a BBL that will ensure lasting peace and progress in Mindanao.
Coloma added that the committee report filed by Marcos and signed by 17 senators is an indication that the upper chamber is ready for the plenary debates on the BBL on August 17.
He expressed hope that the Senate deliberations will advance the Bangsamoro peace process.
"Ang ating tinutukoy dito ay ang pagsulong sa prosesong pangkapayapaan at umaasa tayo na magkakaroon ng kaliwanagan ang mga isyu na ilalahad nila, bahagi ng kanilang pagtatalakay sa draft BBL," Coloma said.
Marcos will sponsor today at the Senate floor his substitute BBL, which he described as an "all-inclusive measure" since it carried the "applicable advocacies, positions, and proposals of all the stakeholders."
He said his measure will "establish a strong mechanism for peace" in the south.
"My legislative staff and I really worked on it and we did everything we could in order to ensure that the substitute bill can and will stand constitutional challenges. Also, we put things we deemed necessary so that it will be accepted by the people and will lay the groundwork for peace in Mindanao," Marcos said.
MNLF: Editorial/Bangsamoro Historical Notes: "When will Filipino colonizers end injustice and genocide war against the oppressed Bangsamoro people?" Reverend Absalom Cerveza
the very end of their freedom struggle against the new rampaging Asian
colonizers, the Muslim freedom fighters never wavered and surrendered to the
tyrannical Japanese forces unlike the Filipinos of Luzon, marking the “Fall of
Bataan” and the “Fall of Corregidor Island.”
Rep Loong said the act of the ASG is not in keeping with the teachings of the Kor-an and described the beheading as ‘un – Islamic’.
“They should also consider the family of Buligao, the village chief of Aliguay in Dapitan City, and if the family could not pay ransom to them, they should release him for humanitarian reason and consideration and not to behead him,” a fuming Loong said.
“I am appealing to the Abu Sayyaf who are still holding cost guard men SN2 Gringo Villaruz and SN1 Rod Pagaling to release them for humanitarian reason, their respective family needs them, “ Rep Loong said.
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Police have arrested a woman tagged in the kidnapping of an Australian expatriate more than three years ago in Trento, Agusan del Sur.
Edeliza Ulep, alias Gina Perez, was arrested during a raid on Villa street in Trento at past midnight Tuesday, according to Senior Superintendent Celso Bael, officer-in-charge of the Zamboanga Sibugay police office.
Bael said Ulep had a standing arrest warrant for the kidnapping of Richard Warren Rodwell on Dec. 5, 2011.
Rodwell was snatched from his house in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay and was released more than a year later in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur.
Bael said Ulep was the one who received the ransom money paid for Rodwell’s release.
The suspect was brought to Zamboanga Sibugay police for proper documentation.
During the ASEAN Foreign Ministers and related Meetings in in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last week, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario held several bilateral meetings with his counterparts from ASEAN states and partner nations which included a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“At the meeting, Secretary del Rosario and FM Lavrov agreed to facilitate the conclusion of several pending agreements between the Philippines and Russia, including the establishment of an intergovernmental commission on trade, defense and military technical cooperation, and combating transnational crimes,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said.
DFA said Secretary del Rosario likewise conveyed his appreciation to Russia for the conclusion of a new Air Services Agreement (ASA) in July that would pave the way for increased air traffic and tourist flows between Philippines and Russia.
The Russian Ministerproposed the publication of materials, among other things, to highlight the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Philippines and Russia next year.
The meeting was also part of paving the way for the historic visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Philippines to take part in APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) in November.
Volunteers from Operation Smile have performed cleft lip and palate repair surgeries on Filipino patients aboard the United States Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) August 9 in Subic. Operation Smile is a nonprofit medical service organization based in Virginia, USA.
Aside from providing cleft lip and palate repair surgeries to children worldwide, Operation Smile works as a non-governmental organization to reduce the occurrence of cleft lips and palates.
USNS Mercy is currently in the Philippines for its third Pacific Partnership 15 (PP15). Pacific Partnership is in its tenth iteration and is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Mercy will leave Subic Bay on August 14 and will sail to Da Nang, Vietnam to continue its PP15 mission.
While training for crisis conditions, Pacific Partnership missions have provided medical care to approximately 270,000 patients and veterinary service to more than 38,000 animals.