Thursday, August 13, 2015

NPA arms cache seized in Misamis Oriental

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 13): NPA arms cache seized in Misamis Oriental

Troopers from the 4th Infantry Division captured a New People's Army (NPA) arms cache during an hour-long firefight in Sitio Ilaja, Barangay Aposkahoy, Claveria town, Misamis Oriental Wednesday.

Captured were an M-16 automatic rifle, one carbine, one unexploded improvised explosive device, 14 blasting caps; two cellular phones, two ICOM radios, 20 backpacks, a solar panel; linked ammunition for K-3 machinegun; a voter’s ID; and subversive documents.

Capt. Alberto Caber, Eastern Mindanao Command public affairs office chief, said the items were seized by soldiers from the 58th Infantry Battalion during an encounter with an estimated 30 rebel fighters led by one "Budo" around 10 a.m.

The troops were on security patrol during that time.

Civilians in the area reported that the killed and wounded NPA members were carried by their companions during their retreat.

Pursuit operations are still ongoing as of this posting.

Pangasinan town declares 2 Army officers as persona non grata

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 13): Pangasinan town declares 2 Army officers as persona non grata

The rift between the 70th Infantry Battalion of the Army's 7th Infantry Division and the municipality of Binmaley widened when two Army officers were declared persona non grata by the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Binmaley town.

Declared persona non grata in a resolution passed by the Binmaley SB were Lt. Colonel Edgardo Batenga, commanding officer of the 70th IB, 7th Infantry Division, and Capt. Laurencio Panit Jr., company commander, based in Camp Andres Malong Army Reservation located in Barangay San Isidro Norte, Binmaley.

This was after Batenga did not honor the invitation extended to him three times by the SB which was looking into the action of the Army in asking the PENRO to stop the municipal government from further dumping of garbage into parts of the 19-hectare Army reservation.

Capt. Panit admitted during the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkasters sa Pilipinas (KBP) forum in Dagupan on Thursday that it was he who attended the first time when Colonel Batenga was invited, but members of the SB were not satisfied and said they wanted Batenga's presence.

The second time around, Batenga ignored the invitation which enraged members of ths SB more, and so, he was sent another invitation and when he again refused, the town's legislative body passed a resolution declaring him and Capt. Panit persona non grata in Binmaley.

A report said Col. Batenga asked that he meets the officials of Binmaley to discuss the issue of dumping of garbage on a portion of the Andres Malong Army Reservation in a neutral place and not at the SB session hall.

Department of Interior and Local Government Provincial Director Reggie Colisao said a persona non grata resolution is merely an expression of sentiment of the legislative body.

Batenga maintained that the resolution of the SB declaring him and Panit as persona non grata, which he said was done sans due peocess, stemmed from their complaint before the PENRO accusing the municipal government headed by Mayor Simplicio Rosario of serious violation of Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste and Ecological Act and not his refusal to appear before the SB.

As a result of their complaint, PENRO Chief Leduina Co issued an order stopping the municipality from further dumping garbage inside the military reservation.

At the same time, Panit said before the KBP forum that although Binmaley is no longer dumping garbage in the military reservation, it did not remove the mountains of decaying matters they left at the site, but merely covered them with beach sand.

The municipality of Binmaley was earlier ordered by PENRO to remove the garbage and restore ecological balance in the area.

BRP Romblon auxiliary engines up for upgrades

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 14): BRP Romblon auxiliary engines up for upgrades

In line with its efforts to ensure that all its assets are mission-capable at all times, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) announced that it is allocating the sum of Php3,495,067.23 for the overhauling of the port and starboard auxiliary engines of BRP Romblon (SARV-3503).

Winning bidders are required to deliver the goods and services within 45 calendar days.

The BRP Romblon is a 35-meter (115 foot), all-aluminium patrol boat designed by Tenix Shipbuilding in Australia, based on the company's Pacific-class patrol boat.

Four vessels were delivered to the Coast Guard in December 2001.

Bid opening is scheduled for Sept. 1, 9 a.m. at the Philippine Coast Guard Conference Room, 2F Admin Building, 139 25th Street, Port Area, Manila.

Bids will be opened in the presence of the Bidders’ representatives who choose to attend at the address below. Late bids shall not be accepted.

The PCG reserves the right to accept or reject any bid, to annul the bidding process, and to reject all bids at any time prior to contract award, without thereby incurring any liability to the affected bidder or bidders.

Soldiers asked to help in preserving nature

From the Sun Star-Pampanga (Aug 13): Soldiers asked to help in preserving nature

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.

Muslim leaders reject substitute BBL

From the Manila Times (Aug 13): Muslim leaders reject substitute BBL

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.

COA employee gunned down in Cotabato

From ABS-CBN (Aug 13): COA employee gunned down in Cotabato

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.

Lady soldier’s gun hits child

From Tempo (Aug 13): Lady soldier’s gun hits child

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.

Militiaman unscathed in gun attack

From the Sun Star-Zamboanga (Aug 13): Militiaman unscathed in gun attack

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.

Abu Sayyafs’ ransom courier falls

From the Sun Star-Zamboanga (Aug 13): Abu Sayyafs’ ransom courier falls

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.

Ransom fails to save life of village chief

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 14): Ransom fails to save life of village chief
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.

Philippines Special Forces look like they come from 1975, but do it correct (VIDEO)

From (Aug 13): Philippines Special Forces look like they come from 1975, but do it correct (VIDEO)

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…

Troops, NPA rebels clash in MisOr

From the Sun Star-Zamboanga (Aug 13): Troops, NPA rebels clash in MisOr

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.

‘GPH will answer to int’l community, if good BBL is not passed’ – Iqbal

From the pro-CPP online propaganda publication Bulatlat (Aug 13): ‘GPH will answer to int’l community, if good BBL is not passed’ – Iqbal

“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

L to R: Dr. Rommel Linatoc of NCCP, Mohagher Iqbal of MILF, Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, Amirah Lidasan of Suara Bangsamoro at the Aug. 12 forum (Photo by D.Ayoroso/

L to R: Dr. Rommel Linatoc of NCCP, Mohagher Iqbal of MILF, Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, Amirah Lidasan of Suara Bangsamoro at the Aug. 12 forum (Photo by D.Ayoroso/
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 [3] 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/

MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal (Photo by D.Ayoroso/

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

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

Posted to the MILF Website (Aug 13): Marcos report is a “progress” but BTC still appeals for a BBL that is faithful to signed agreements

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.
The BTC however still stands pat with the resolution it adopted on July 29, 2015 that the original form of the BBL is the “most appropriate version” since the provisions of the same are consistent with the 2012 Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

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.

MILF: Southern Mindanao CSOs express support for the passage of “undiluted” BBL

Posted to the MILF Website (Aug 13): Southern Mindanao CSOs express support for the passage of “undiluted” BBL

Southern Mindanao CSOs express support for the passage of “undiluted” BBL

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 CSO leaders comprised of Moro, Indigenous Peoples and Christians from the provinces of South Cotabato, Sarangani and General Santos City urge the Philippine Congress to respect the peace agreement between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

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.

MILF: Mindanao CSOs Intervene to Supreme Court

Posted to the MILF Website (Aug 13): Mindanao CSOs Intervene to Supreme Court

Mindanao CSOs Intervene to Supreme Court

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.
PHILCONSA has been alleging that FAB and CAB are similar with Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) in 2008.

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).

MILF: MMPC holds 5th General Assembly

Posted to the MILF Website (Aug 12): MMPC holds 5th General Assembly

MMPC holds 5th General Assembly

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.

The MMPC General (GA) Assembly aimed to present and consolidate updates and accomplishment of the cooperative; to revisit its strategic plan in order to upgrade if necessary according to the demand of time which is appropriate enough to the communities it serves; and finally to strengthen its operation.

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.

MILF: Malacañang renews call for passage of BBL that adheres to GPH-MILF Peace deal

Posted to the MILF Website (Aug 12): Malacañang renews call for passage of BBL that adheres to GPH-MILF Peace deal

Sen. Bongbong Marcos meets with MILF Chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal( STAR/Senate PRIB file photo)

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).

"Ang posisyon natin dito ay malinaw. Kailangang magkaroon ng Bangsamoro Basic Law na magtataguyod at magsusulong sa prosesong pangkapayapaan at may mga mahahalagang probisyon ito na naaayon sa mga kasunduang nilagdaan ng Philippine at MILF panels," Coloma Jr. also said.

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

Propaganda statement posted to the MNLF Website (Aug 14): Editorial/Bangsamoro Historical Notes: "When will Filipino colonizers end injustice and genocide war against the oppressed Bangsamoro people?" Reverend Absalom Cerveza

The stark injustice committed by the Luzon-based Filipino colonizers against the oppressed tri-people (Muslims, Animist Lumads and Christians) of the Bangsamoro homeland of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (MINSUPALA) has surely led to the prolongation of the Filipino-Moro conflict in the war-torn territory.

The decades-long colonial genocide war of conquest by the Filipino colonialist land-grabbers today has only duplicated the savagery and wickedness employed by the Spanish, American and Japanese colonizers in the past. The Spanish, American, Japanese and Filipino invaders have similarly used colonization as oppressive weapon to subjugate and to enslave the Bangsamoro people of Mindanao. Worse, the heartless colonizers resulted to using their own alien laws or man-made constitution in justifying their land-grabbing scheme, plunder and crime against humanity with the callous intent to deceive both the Filipino and Bangsamoro communities as well as the whole of humanity forever.

Today, the Filipino colonizers have used the same colonial strategy to stranglehold the Bangsamoro people, turning deaf and blind to the grave injustice done against the colonized victims. Worse, they want to impose a “cursed” identity and prostituted culture upon the colonized and brutalized Indigenous Peoples.

Thus, the Mindanao tri-people (Muslim, Animist Lumad natives and conscious Christian settlers) have militantly opposed their tyrannical colonial conquest by continuously pursuing a freedom struggle to liquidate Philippine colonialism in the Bangsamoro homeland.   

Today to help right the wrong, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) spearheaded by its once President Cardinal Orlando B. Quevedo, Archbishop of Cotabato, has repeatedly pointed out the “injustice” against the identity, sovereignty and development of the Bangsamoro people of Mindanao as the primary root cause of the conflict.

However, the Filipino colonialist land-grabbers, headed by the political leaders in Malacanang, both Houses of Philippine Congress and majority of the so-called justices in the Philippine Supreme Court have shown no moral integrity and uprightness to accept the truth? On this turn of colonial events, Reverend Absalom Cerveza, Spokesman of the MNLF Peace Panel, has always bewailed the brazenness and callousness of the Luzon-based Filipino colonialist land-grabbers in committing the grievous injustice against the Bangsamoro people of Mindanao. In the past, he has publicly posited that “Mindanao peace is Bangsamoro freedom, not injustice of Philippine colonialism.” He has also called the attention of the Filipino colonizers to take stock of the damage and danger of the continuation of the Mindanao war. He has pleaded for the stoppage of the crime against humanity by the Filipino colonialist occupation forces for Mindanao peace. He has earnestly appealed time and again to Philippine colonialism to be straightforward, serious and sincere to achieve a permanent and comprehensive peaceful settlement to the Mindanao problem. He has called repeatedly on the Filipino colonizers not to betray Mindanao peace time and again because it will only make the “Catholic” Filipino nation a land of war-mongers and continuously “sick man of Asia.”


But the Philippine government or ‘Imperial Manila’ has had repeatedly betrayed Mindanao peace by reneging on correctly implementing the peace agreements forged between the government and the MNLF except in implementing its own unilateral superficial version.  

Now, Reverend Cerveza has posed another question to the Filipino colonizers and the whole of humanity: “When will Filipino colonizers of Luzon end the injustice and genocide war against the Bangsamoro people of Mindanao?”

He is also now wondering why the notorious Mamapasano invasion was designed by Malacanang to be used again a justification to create another unilateral and farcical autonomous entity in the Bangsamoro ancestral homeland that never can guarantee Mindanao peace. The treacherous Mamapasano invasion led to the killing of 43 Filipino PNP SAF invaders, 8 Bangsamoro  freedom fighters and 12 civilian Muslims that contributed to the rough sailing of BBL to be enacted into law.


“It is impossible that the unilaterally created ARMM and another Philippine Congress-enacted BBL can bring Mindanao peace,” said Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

He has emphasized that the comprehensive solution to the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao is for the two parties in agreement to correctly implement the international peace agreements. He could not just understand why the ‘peace process’ is used by the Manila government to prolong merely the Mindanao conflict to institutionalize Philippine colonialism in the occupied territory.

He has also bewailed the colonial strategy of the Manila government to divide and to deceive both the Bangsamoro leadership and people in order not to implement correctly the international peace agreements that have guaranteed to establish ‘just and lasting’ peace in war-wracked Mindanao.

He has always expressed the positive view that the September 2, 1996 GRP-OIC-MNLF Jakarta Peace Agreements could definitely end the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao once correctly and sincerely implemented by Philippine colonialism instead of using dilatory and deceptive political tactics in undermining the agreement. The MNLF chairman has just recently presided over a general meeting of MNLF political, military and religious leaders in the MNLF GHQ in the Bangsamoro heartland. The meeting was attended by the different MNLF State Committee (or Command) chieftains, military officers and religious headmen from all over Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan, including North Borneo. How does the MNLF Chairman diagnose the problem besetting Philippine colonialism vis-à-vis the farcical Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that proposes another version of autonomy to be simply called “Bangsamoro?” It is recalled that all unilateral fabrication of the Philippine government geared to attain Mindanao peace, such as the Marcos version 2-region autonomy (region 9 and 12), 4-province ARMM created by the Corazon C. Aquino regime and the 5-province ARMM crafted by the Arroyo government, proved only a miserable failure to net Mindanao peace.


Presently, President Benigno S. Aquino III, the son of the first lady Chief Executive, has boldly with sinister design embarked on duplicating the “failed experiment” or political legacy of her mother and other predecessors by stubbornly posturing for the passage into law of the controversial BBL.

 However, with the controversy now surrounding the BBL political project, bordering on the Mamapasano invasion fiasco, non-consultation of major stakeholders by OPAPP, unconstitutionality question, etc., the sure betrayal of Mindanao peace is again a probability.

On this colonial development surrounding the political strategy of Philippine colonialism, MNLF Chairman Misuari has pointed out that both the ARMM and the new version prospect autonomy based on BBL is nothing but a mirage to delay only the complete settlement of the Mindanao war. The unilateral political exercise of the Manila government to bring meaningful and durable peace to Mindanao may border only in wishful thinking and deceptive formula. Surely, it would be impossible to bring peace to war-torn Mindanao because it would emanate from another peace agreement that can be easily betrayed by Philippine colonialism.

The MNLF chairman has cited the simple fact that the Philippine government has had forged three peace agreements with the MNLF since 1976 up to 1996. But none of the substantial peace accords has been correctly and completely implemented except unilaterally establishing the 2-region 9 and 12 fake autonomy in 1977 and later manufacturing the 4 and 5-province ARMM that dismally ended only as the “cheating capital of Philippine elections.”

He has again reiterated that “without justice, there can never be an end to the war in Mindanao.”


In revisiting the historical era of the Spanish land-grabbers in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, it all started when the dark historical past was punctuated by buccaneerism and so-called exploration conquest.

The foreign invaders patronized injustice and used the vehicle of colonization in land-grabbing native lands and enslaving the native inhabitants. The Spanish invaders for one started in using the “law of the jungle” that “might is right” with all impunity in colonizing the natives and robbing them of their agricultural, mineral and aquatic resources in the name of their despotic king, country and religion.

The Spanish buccaneers or ‘conquistadores’ forced their way to the Orient, particularly Southeast Asia, starting early 1500s to land-grab the islands situated in Visayas and Luzon in the name of ‘exploration’ and ‘proselytization.’ They also in turned converted the natives into Christianized colonial slaves as the Spanish king considered the commoner Spaniards his loyal servants and soldiers of genocide war of conquest.

Although the 1521 Ferdinand Magellan exploratory invasion ended in a debacle because he was killed in mortal combat by Rajah Kulafu (‘Lapu-Lapu’), a Tausug/Sama Bangingi warrior from the Sultanate of Sulu, the Spanish invaders under Miguel de Legazpi pursued in occupying Visayas islands around 1540s. The Spanish buccaneers named the island habitat ‘Islas del Filipe’ (‘Philip islands’) in honor ofthe immoral and “king of inequities” Philip II of Spain. The islands of Luzon were later included under the new Spanish land-grabbed nation, which in the beginning was inhabited by flourishing civilizational settlements under the Muslim and non-Muslim natives. The Spaniards called the native settlers distinctively “Moros” after the Muslims of Mauretania whose inhabitants were called “Maurus”, “Moors” or “Mauris.” Mauretania with Arab support conquered and ruled Spain for 782 years.

On one hand, the Spanish invaders branded “Indios” the non-Muslim settlers in Manila. While the Spanish colonizers easily subdued the settler native Indios, the Moros in Manila under Rajah Sulayman Mahmud and Rajah Matanda as well as Rajah Lakandula of Tondo (‘Tondal’) fought fiercely the Spanish invaders in the so-called Battle of Tondal. But at the end of the day the native Muslims were defeated by the heavily-armed Spanish soldiers. The remaining Moro settlers in Luzon hurriedly withdrew from the area to seek refuge in Brunei and Mindanao

In 1977 Carmen Guerrero-Nakpil cited the historical antecedents of Luzon pre-Hispanic period in her own candid words. She clearly narrated:

“It is hard to believe that Manila was once firmly under Muslim heel, Muslims controlled the seat of government, the wealth and trade and down the Pasig and Boi Lake Batangas as well as the sea lanes to Mindanao and Borneo. The Muslims were the ruling class in Luzon; the rich traders, cultural leaders and missionaries, the ones with the know-how and the right connections, the literacy and what’s more, the right religion.”

After three centuries later, the American and Japanese invaders pursued the colonization conquest of Filipinas (later Philippines) composed only of the islands of Luzon and Visayas as well as ‘Moro Nation’ (Bangsamoro homeland of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan). While both the American and Japanese marauders handily defeated the Filipinos of Luzon and Visayas, they met stiff resistance from the Moros of Mindanao. The Bangsamoro people considered them similarly just another ugly face of colonialist land-grabbers ruthlessly on rampage to trample their fundamental human rights and freedom.

The Muslim freedom fighters of Moroland continuously staged open revolt against the American colonizers during their more than 40 years of colonial conquest in the region. The strong protest against American colonial rule was demonstrated both in violent and peaceful means.

The American dark crusade in the Bangsamoro homeland was notoriously marked by the merciless and brutal massacres of Muslim fighters and civilians characterized by the mountainous Bud Bagsak and Bud Daho battling events in Jolo Island.

Indeed the 1906 Bud Daho battle was literally a “massacre” and only proved the wickedness and brutality of America to pursue colonial land-grabbing. The heinous incident massacre only showed the propensity of the American soldiers to brutalize aboriginal natives in depriving them of liberties and ancestral homeland as perpetrated against the native aborigines in North America. The Bud Daho massacre explicitly mirrored the brutal U.S. government colonial conquest campaigns against the Bangsamoro aborigines of Lupah Sug (Sulu).

The clearest violation of human rights and deprivation of the basic freedom of the island natives was even protested by a conscious American writer in 1910, coming out with a personal journal thesis that read:

“Reflection on the ‘Battle of Bud Daho,’ Jolo, Sulu, March 1906.”

“A Pen Warmed-up in Hell, Mark Twain in Protest 97 (1910).”

“A tribe of Moros, dark skinned savages, had fortified themselves in the bowl of an extinct crater not many miles from Jolo, and they were hostile and bitter against us because we have been trying for eight years to take their liberties away from them…General Wood’s order had been to ‘kill or capture those savages’…The enemy numbered six hundred – including women and children and children – and we abolished them utterly, leaving not even a baby alive to cry for his dead mother. –Mark Twain, Grief and Mourning for the Night.”

During the short-period Japanese colonization campaigns in early 1940s, the Moro freedom fighters of Mindanao only proved the Bangsamoro people’s tag as the “unconquered race.” They registered in the Japanese journal to have killed thousands more Japanese imperialist soldiers compared to all the combined Japanese soldiers killed in Luzon and Visayas by the Filipinos.

To 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.”

After World War II, the treacherous colonization of the Bangsamoro homeland and the ancestral Cordillera Region of the Igorots were perpetrated by the U.S. government in conspiracy with the Philippine Commonwealth regime. The Mindanao territory of the Bangsamoro people and ‘Mountain Province’ of the Igorots were illegally and immorally incorporated into the U.S. government-created “Philippine Republic” on July 4, 1946.

The 1946 American-Filipino conspiracy of depriving both the Bangsamoro and Igorot peoples of their fundamental human rights, independence and sovereignty to stagnate, to suffer and to face “suicide” under the “rotten to the core” (according to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte) Philippine colonial leadership has just led to the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao today. Furthermore, it also resulted to the continued restlessness of the Igorots in Filipino-occupied Cordillera Region.

In emphasizing, the tragedy of both the Moros and Igorots under Philippine colonialism, the crystal-clear analysis of Joseph E. Fallon in 1987 is worth a review. He vividly illustrated:

“At the start of the U.S. occupation of Moroland in 1913, the Muslims represented approximately 98% of the territory’s population. Virtually all of the land at that time was owned or occupied by the Moros. As a result of half a century intensive, systematic Filipino colonization, the Moros are now a dispossessed minority in their land. They constitute only 40% of the current population (Filipino sources claim they are just 27%), own less than 17% of the land, most of it barren land in remote, mountain areas, and have had 80% of their people reduced to the status of landless tenants…after so many decades of abuses and betrayal, for the Moros and Igorots to trust Manila and to remain with the Philippines would not only be naïve, it would be suicidal.”

Indeed, the clear objective analysis has only confirmed today the miserable backwardness, stagnancy and uncertainty of the Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao and Cordilerra Region under the Philippine colonial government. The colonized victims can never hope to fully progress and develop under Philippine colonialism that only takes pride in continuous injustice and genocide war. 

In the final analysis, to help end the historical injustice inflicted by the once Spanish, American and Japanese colonizers on the oppressed Bangsamoro people of Mindanao, why can’t the past colonizers see the light of true justice today? Why can’t they help right the clearest injustice committed against the Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao and Cordillera now still suffering untold misery, agony, uncertainty and inhumanity under the Luzon-based Filipino colonialist land-grabbers?

Why can’t the justice-conscious Spanish, American, Japanese and Philippine government today morally end the monumental injustice committed against the colonized Bangsamoro and Igorot peoples of Asia?

Does this mean that Spain, America, Japan and Philippines have no morality and humanity at all to be a true and justice-conscious nation? –osm,

Sulu solon slams Abu Sayyaf over hostage’s beheading

From the Manila Bulletin (Aug 13): Sulu solon slams Abu Sayyaf over hostage’s beheading

Jolo, Sulu – Sulu 1st District Rep Habib Tupay Loong yesterday extended his condolences to the family of Dapitan City village chief Rodolfo Buligao who was beheaded by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits.

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’.

The decapitated body of Boligao was found dumped by the road in Barangay Lunggang in Maimbung, Sulu, about 10 p.m. Tuesday.

“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.

Loong, a former leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in the province appealed to the group to release unconditionally the two Philippine Coast Guard personnel who was abducted together with Buligao.

“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.

SN2 Villaruz and SN1 Pagaling are both members of the PCG and were temporarily stationed at the island to monitoring arriving and departing sea vessels.

Woman in kidnap of Australian expat nabbed

From the Philippine Star (Aug 14): Woman in kidnap of Australian expat nabbed

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.

Philippines, Russia to facilitate pending defense, military technical cooperation

From Ang Malaya (Aug 13): Philippines, Russia to facilitate pending defense, military technical cooperation

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.

US Navy hospital vessel gives ‘smiles’ in Subic

From Ang Malaya (Aug 13): US Navy hospital vessel gives ‘smiles’ in Subic

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.

China: No threat against PHL in newspaper ad

From GMA News (Aug 13): China: No threat against PHL in newspaper ad

China on Thursday denied issuing a veiled warning against the Philippines in an advertisement that appeared on a daily broadsheet earlier this week.
The full-page advertisement by the Chinese Embassy in Manila on the Philippine Star last Aug. 11, entitled, Window to China, featured the statement delivered by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a regional forum in Malaysia last week.
It also contained an ancient poem, which some view as a cryptic warning directed to the Philippines – one of Asia’s most vocal critics on Beijing’s sweeping claim in the South China Sea.
Wang’s statement admonished the Philippines and its allies, such as the United States and Japan, for questioning its policies and ownership over the resource-rich where it claims to have “historical” and “indisputable” sovereignty.
The Chinese official also singled out Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario for his scathing remarks against China in the same meeting that was also attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry and foreign ministers from Southeast Asian nations, Japan, Russia and Australia, among others.
Embassy spokesperson Li Lingxao, in a statement to GMA News Online, downplayed media reports implying that China is threatening the Philippines.
“The article ‘Wang Yi on the South China Sea issue at the ASEAN Regional Forum’ published on "Window to China" on Aug.11 is meant to express the official position of the Chinese government on the issue of the South China Sea,” Li said.
“It has been reported by major newspapers around the world including some Philippine newspapers,” she added.
The same advertisement also included a poem by Chinese philosopher Zhuang Zi that read: “The mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the oriole waiting in the backdrop.”
An explanation was written below the poem, saying: “This image describes those shortsighted people wanting to hurt others, unaware of greater lurking dangers.”
China and defense analyst Jose Custodio said n a television report that such references by China is already considered a warning against the Philippines.
China, he said, had a practice of using cryptic messages against its enemies in the past.
“I think it’s a warning. It’s a cryptic message. If you still don’t get what they’re saying then something will happen,” Custodio said in Filipino.
Li called Custodio’s observation as “far-fetched.”
“’Window to China’ introduces the Chinese traditional culture each week such as ancient poems, verses and philosophies as a way to let people know more about China,” Li said. “It is far-fetched to link the particular traditional Chinese saying with other things.”
Without referring to China, Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose reiterated the Philippine position that all countries with claims to the South China Sea must abide by the 2002 non-aggression agreement.
“We call on all claimant countries to adhere to the provisions of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea that call on parties to exercise self-restraint and not to use force or threat of force in asserting their claims in the South China Sea,” Jose said in a text message.
Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei are the other claimants to the South China Sea, home to a cluster of islands, islets, shoals, cays and reefs where undersea oil and gas deposits in several areas have been discovered.
Taiwan, a self-ruling democratic state considered by China as its renegade province, is not a signatory to the sea code, but also asserts ownership to the waters.