GO SAYS GOV’T COMMITTED TO LASTING PEACE, PROGRESS IN MINDANAO

Go says gov’t committed to lasting peace, progress in Mindanao

MANILA – The government is dedicated to sustaining President Rodrigo Duterte’s vision of long-lasting peace and development in the country.On Saturday, the President reiterated that commitment during the fourth anniversary of the liberation of Marawi from the Islamic State-linked… Read More

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SINOVAC VACCINE is “halal”

BARMM health exec says Mindanao Muslims assured of ‘halal’ vaccines

Sinovac is certified by the Indonesian halal certification body. Philippine halal certification board can certify AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines

March 3, 2021, 7:46 pm

COTABATO CITY – Health authorities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) said the region is sure to receive vaccines against Covid-19 certified as “halal” or permissible to the Islam faith.Dr. Amirel Usman, acting head of the BARMM health office, said… Read More

DUTERTE TO BANGSAMORO: Be loyal to cause of peace

Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) marks 2nd anniversary

Strengthened collaboration between the national government and the Bangsamoro government in achieving meaningful and lasting peace in Mindanao

 January 21, 2021

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday enjoined the Bangsamoro people to “remain loyal to the cause of peace.”Duterte made the call in his keynote speech delivered during the commemoration of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (BARMM) second anniversary.

“I am indeed pleased [and] happy that in the past two years, we have strengthened the collaboration between the national government and the Bangsamoro government, a significant step in achieving meaningful and lasting peace in Mindanao,” he said in a speech delivered at Malacañan Palace. “My good friends, may we remain loyal to the cause of peace.”

The BARMM, established in 2019 after two plebiscites, replaced the now-defunct Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in the hopes of achieving lasting peace and security in the region.

Since the creation of BARMM, peace and stability in the region have prospered, Duterte said.

“As I have promised during the early part of my term, we have laid the groundwork for lasting peace and progress in Mindanao,” he said. Read More

Warring North Cotabato Muslim clans smoke peace pipe

COTABATO CITY – Warring families in the borders of North Cotabato and Lanao del Sur were brought together on Friday to end their long-drawn “rido” (family feud).

SETTLED. Members of Moro warring clans are emotional during a peaceful settlement of a long-standing family feud involving three big clans in Banisilan, North Cotabato and Wao, Lanao del Sur on Friday (Dec. 25, 2020). The clans had been at odds for three decades. (Photo courtesy of NoCot PIO)

Tears fell and excitement ran high after North Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco, with the help of Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr., the Army’s 34th Infantry Battalion (34IB), and other local officials, successfully gathered the families who were locked in a decades-old clan war into the negotiating table in Banisilan, North Cotabato.

“I am very glad to be part of the settlement that reunited the families of Rajamuda, Mantitayan, Tidong,” Catamco said, referring to the families who live in Banisilan and the adjacent town of Wao in Lanao del Sur.

AFP CHIEF GAPAY: Islam ‘religion of peace’

FOSTERING PEACE. AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Gilbert Gapay meets with local officials and religious leaders in Sulu at the Provincial Capital on Thursday (Dec. 10, 2020). During the meeting, Gapay said the AFP believes that Islam is a religion of peace and stressed the importance of cooperation between various stakeholders to prevent radicalization as part of efforts to combat terrorism. (Photo courtesy of AFP Public Affairs Office)

Calls for unity and cooperation between the AFP and the Muslim community to protect and shield vulnerable sectors of the society against radical groups

 December 11, 2020

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) believes that Islam is a religion of peace, its chief said on Thursday.Gen. Gilbert Gapay made this remark following a meeting with Sulu local government officials and religious leaders in Sumadja Hall, Provincial Capitol Thursday.”We in the… Read More

House bill resetting BARMM elections filed

Mangudadatu files bill resetting BARMM elections to 2025

 December 2, 2020

COTABATO CITY – Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu has filed a bill in the House of Representatives seeking to move the elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) from 2022 to 2025.

The proposed measure effectively seeks to extend the transitionperiod for the BARMM set by the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) from 2019 to 2022 for another three years.  Read More

MUSLIMIN SEMA, reelected MNLF chair vows for peace collaboration in BARMM

COTABATO CITY – Reelected Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Central Committee (CC) chair Muslimin Sema vowed to continue working with his counterparts to achieve peace in the Bangsamoro areas of Mindanao.Sema was reelected and positioned anew as chair of the MNLF–CC, one of the two… Read More

ALSO READ: 1996 Peace Agreement key to Mindanao peace

BANGSAMORO GOVT WARNS VS FAKE BARMM FB PAGES

The Bureau of Public Information (BPI-BARMM) has been informed that there are Facebook pages that are fraudulently being presented as official pages of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

We would like to remind the public that there are three official Facebook pages being administered and managed by BPI-BARMM. These are the following:

1. Bangsamoro Government

2. Radyo Bangsamoro

3. Bangsamoro Inter Agency Task Force on Covid19

The public is advised to follow the aforementioned pages on Facebook for official information and announcements.

While we welcome the online support of groups and individuals, we will not tolerate those that share fake or malicious contents, especially when they try to masquerade themselves as the Bangsamoro Government.

We therefore are likewise asking for the public’s cooperation in reporting such pages.

This disclaimer is without prejudice to the Facebook pages created by the individual ministries and offices.

FLOOD OF CONDEMNATION SWAMP NORTH COTABATO MASSACRE

OPAPP: This barbaric attack shows the great lengths these lawless elements will go through to sow fear, anger and discord among the people

GPH PEACE PANEL: One with Moro people in our shared aim to exact due justice to this kind of violence which is an example of sheer disrespect of life and law and order

 

OPAPP condemns deadly attack

MANILA – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has condemned in the strongest possible terms the armed attack that killed nine people and wounded scores of others in Kabacan, North Cotabato on Aug. 29.“This barbaric attack shows the great lengths these… Read More

GOVT ASSURES MINDANAO MORO LEADERS: Anti-terror bill against terrorists not Muslims

LAW DOES NOT TARGET REGIONAL, ETHNIC GROUPS

By ROGER M. BALANZA

The Philippine government has assured that the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 would specifically target terror groups, not regional or ethnic groups,  to secure the country against terrorist violence.

The bill, that replaced the Home Security Act of 2007,  seeks to sharpen  the country’s fangs to curb terrorism, which remains as a major threat to peace and order.

Duterte signs anti-terror bill into law

President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law on Friday, July 3,  the bill that seeks to give the country more teeth to curb terrorism.

Compared to the anti-terrorist HSA of 2007, the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 is clawed with harsher provisions that could end two evils that for years rattled peace and order and stalled economic development  in the Philippine southern island of Mindanao: the communist insurgency and the violent Moro extremist groups.

 

The New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the National Democratic  Front (NDF), the umbrella of left-leaning groups, continues to sow mayhem and terror in the countrysides of several regions.

Mindanao is also home to several Moro terror groups, including the Maute Group, Abu Sayyaf Gtoup (ASG), the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Ansarul Khilafah Philippines (AKP) and the local cell of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Middle East-based group considered as the most dangerous international terror group. Military said ISIS is expanding operations worldwide, eyeing the Philippines as its province (caliphate) and the center of its terrorist activities in the Southeast Asian region. The most violent terrorist adventure of the local groups, backed by the ISIS, was the 7-month siege of Marawi City, the Philippines’ Muslim capital, in 2017.

mindanao terrorists

Several groups, including the political opposition, human rights advocates, Moro leaders opposed the bill fearing potential violations of human rights.

The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 allows detention of suspected terrorists for up to 24 days sans a warrant of arrest; 60-day surveillance with an allowable 30-day extension that can be conducted by the police or the military against suspected terrorists; imposes a 12-year jail term on a person who voluntarily or knowingly joins a terrorist organization.

A day before Duterte signed the bill, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) passed a resolution appealing to the President to veto the bill to allow a review by Congress.

Parliament  Resolution 239 expressed “grave concern” over the passage of the bill but “respectfully appealing” to  the President to veto Senate Bill 1083 and House Bill  6875  to “provide Congress the opportunity to review and address the issues of vagueness, overbreadth and other concerns.”
Resolution 239 stemmed from a letter sent to the 80-member Parliament by Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Muraj” Ebrahim on June 22, stating his position on the issue and calling on the President to “exercise his veto power vis-à-vis the Anti-Terrorism Bill.”
Ebrahim said that  while we (Bangsamoro people) ” agree that a policy framework needs to be enacted to fight the menace of terrorism, we feel that the fundamental guarantees of liberty and the institutions of democracy must be protected.”
Ebrahim is chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the biggest Moro group that front-lined the latest peace talks with government that led to the approval by Congress of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL)and the creation of the BARMM.
In his letter to the Parliament, Ebrahim said the MILF  “condemn(s) terrorism and have worked consistently to fight it but as the Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro “I cannot help but be alarmed by the language and foreseeable consequences of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill,” noting that it “stems from the long history of persecution, human rights violations, and discrimination suffered by the Bangsamoro.”
Ebrahim said the Bangsamoro leaders have raised worry that the anti-terror bill, once enacted into law, would lead to the rise in “incidents of violations of human rights” and would once again subject Bangsamoro people to “discrimination and abuse.”
“As the leader of a political entity born out of the struggle against injustice and oppression, it is my moral duty to speak out in order to ensure the measures intended to address terrorism will not be used as a means to subvert the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals, in general, and normalize abuse and discrimination against the Bangsamoro, in particular,”  Ebrahim said.
But presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Anti-Terrorism Act targets only terrorists and  allayed the fears of the Bangsamoro leaders’ concerns over its passage.
Roque said the anti-terror law does not target any regional or ethnic group, like the Bangsamoro people.

“Passing a class legislation against the (people of BARMM), I would like to stress, would not even cross the minds of the proponents of the said bill. This piece of legislation is against terrorists and terrorism and not against a particular regional/ethnic group,” he said.

Roque said Bangsamoro leaders may have prejudged the measure.

“We consider the concern that the bill would lead to abuse, especially to our Muslim brothers and sisters, unfounded,” he said. (With PNA and MindaNews reports)

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New anti-terror law fixes flaws in Human Security Act: Andanar

MANILA – The new anti-terrorism law aims to correct the flaws in Republic Act (RA) 9372 or the Human Security Act (HSA) of 2007, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said on Friday.In a press statement, Andanar said the new law, RA 11479 or the… Read More

New law uses ‘comprehensive’ approach vs. terrorism

MANILA – Republic Act (RA) 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism Act, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, aims to protect life, liberty, and property from terrorism deemed as “inimical and dangerous to the national security of the country and to the welfare of the… Read More

Bangsamoro looking to have representation in the Anti-Terrorism Council

Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim said that the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) respects President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s decision to sign the Anti Terrorism Act of 2020.

He also said that BARMM will engage the National Government to address terrorism and recommended to have Bangsamoro representation in the Anti-Terrorism Council. “The BARMM is open to engage the National Government on preparedness against this vicious phenomenon, as we collectively explore new potential approaches to holistically protect our people from the menace of terrorism. This engagement can start with the Bangsamoro having representation in the Anti-Terrorism Council”, he said. READ MORE

TERRORIST

New law ‘powerful’ in curbing terror threats

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday said the country has now a powerful law to protect the people against threats by terrorist groups, with the signing into law of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020,”We now have a powerful statute that provides law enforcement agencies the… Read More