Bangsamoro Transition Commission is certain to finish proposed BBL in May

admin   •   March 30, 2017   •   3030

This month commemorates the third year since the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro is an agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for the creation of a new Bangsamoro autonomous government.

The new 21-member Bangsamoro Transmission Commission (BTC) is confident that the drafting of the new proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law will be completed in May.

“We have our staffing. We have a lawyer, a legal assistant, a peace officer. So we have the arms, arms in terms of providing us the necessary tools, the research and resources,” said BTC member, Samira Gutoc.

Implementing Panel GPH Chairperson Irene Santiago said, “By June that should be in Congress, should be filed in Congress so that the President can certify that as urgent by July when he makes his state of the nation address.”

BTC chairman and MILF vice chairman for political affairs Ghazali Jaafar said the conflict in Mindanao will not end unless a Bangsamoro government is given.

“Huwag po ninyong isipin na kasi nabigyan sila ng mga seedlings, mga traktor, lahat-lahat, happy na sila. No, they are not happy, they are not. magiging happy lang yan pag nandiyan na yung Bangsamoro government (Do not think that they are already happy because they were given seedlings and tractors. They will only be happy if the Bangsamoro government is already in place),”Jaafar said.

Implementing Panel MILF chairperson Mohagher Iqbal said, “We will continue to assert our rights; continuous assertion. We never spoke of going to war.”

The MILF and the office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process is not alarmed by the inclusion of MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari in the crafting of the BBL.

The MILF is confident of the BBL’s passage under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte who hails from Mindanao. — Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue

Duterte appoints MNLF’s Nur Misuari as Special Economic Envoy on Islamic Affairs

Marje Pelayo   •   December 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Founding Chairman Nur Misuari as Special Economic Envoy on Islamic Affairs to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) confirmed.

The President announced Misuari’s appointment during the first meeting on Sunday (December 15) of the newly created PH Government-MNLF PEACE Coordinating Committee where the remaining commitments under the Tripartite Review Process (TRP) of the 1996 Final Peace Agreements.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) together with the Philippine Government and the MNLF created the TRP in January 2016 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Duterte explained that his appointment of Nur Misuari will facilitate the speedy implementation of peace agreements between the government and the Moro fronts and eventually obtain the support from Islamic countries given that most of the leaders of the OIC are friends with Misuari.

Misuari is expected to attend the annual meeting of the parliamentary union of the OIC-member states happening in Burkina Faso in Western Africa from January 21 to 23, 2020.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the OIC is set to visit the Philippines in February 2020.

Misuari lauds Mayor Isko’s planned Muslim cemetery in Manila

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 15, 2019

Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Chairman Nur Misuari has lauded Manila Mayor Isko Moreno for his plan to build a Muslim cemetery in Manila by 2020.

During their meeting on Friday (November 15), Misuari expressed his gratitude for giving importance to the Muslim community when it comes to burial practices.

“It is extraordinary and magnificent,” he said.

According to Moreno, he considered building a Muslim cemetery because Muslims who died would have to be transported to burial places either in Bulacan, Taguig, or in Mindanao due to the lack of Muslim cemeteries in Manila.

“When I came in sabi ko ‘Bakit ganoon? Mayroon tayong Filipino cemetery. Mayroon tayong Chinese Cemetery. Bakit wala tayong Muslim cemetery?’ (I said, ‘Why is it that we have a Filipino and Chinese cemetery but not have a Muslim cemetery?’),” he said.

The planned Muslim cemetery will have its own entry gate and washing building.

“It’s done next year. This one, considered it done. We are just waiting for the funding,” Domagoso told Misuari.—AAC

Gov’t eyes special scholarship program for decommissioned MILF combatants

Robie de Guzman   •   November 7, 2019

Agents of an independent decommissioning body inspect surrendered firearms in the town of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, Philippines, 07 September 2019 (issued 08 September 2019). More than six months after the Bangsamoro Organic Law was ratified in a plebiscite, Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) turned over close to a thousand high-powered firearms to an independent decommissioning body, reports said.

MANILA, Philippines – The government is eyeing to provide a special scholarship or capacity development program for decommissioned members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and their families.

The program is among the key points provided in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

CHED chairman Prospero de Vera III said the MOU, which was signed last Oct. 30, aims to provide assistance and ensure access to quality tertiary education in the BARMM.

The MOU was inked by De Vera, OPAPP Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., and BARMM Technical Education Minister Mohagher Mohammad Iqbal.

“We are assisting the BARMM consistent with the policy of President (Rodrigo) Duterte that all young Filipinos must have access to quality education and that no qualified student is denied access to education on account of poverty,” De Vera said in a statement.

He added that the implementation of initiatives relating to higher education is consistent with Executive Order No. 79 or the Implementing Annex on Normalization Under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

Aside from providing special scholarship program, the MOU also seeks to do the following:

  • Determine the areas to extend technical assistance to the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) in relation to BARMM higher education institutions (HEI) and the CHED Registry;
  • Capacitate MBHTE in monitoring the compliance of BARMM HEIs with the standards of quality education;
  • Communicate to DSWD the importance of ensuring the inclusion of underprivileged BARMM students and the children of decommissioned MILF combatants and selected beneficiaries from the Six MILF camps in Listahanan 3.0;
  • Encourage the deputized Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP) HEIs in Mindanao to help children of decommissioned MILF combatants and selected beneficiaries from the six MILF camps to complete their undergraduate study;
  • Offer study grants and capacity-building programs to target beneficiaries, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations and procedures
  • Propose professional development programs to faculty and staff of BARMM HEIs through the available CHED and other national government funds;
  • Mobilize leading HEIs to provide technical assistance to BARMM higher education needs identified by MBHTE;
  • Provide MBHTE with necessary assistance in the creation of a tribal university system;
  • Assist MBHTE with the necessary technical assistance in the crafting of the Education Code.

Galvez, for his part, said they are requesting Congress to allocate funds for the implementation of the scholarship program for the decommissioned combatants.

“I hope that through this agreement, we shall be able to reach out to those students residing in the ‘last mile’ areas, the underserved and most especially, the children of decommissioned MILF combatants. We are committed to supporting them until they achieve their full potentials,” he said.

Galvez believes the recipients of this program will eventually become the next leaders of the BARMM and strong advocates of peace and moral governance.

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