An Australian embassy official urged the Bangsamoro youth who have graduated and will study under the In-Country Scholarship Program (ICSP) of the Australian Government “to be inspiration and role models to fellow Moros” during the recognition of graduates and scholarship contract signing ceremony held at Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City, last Friday (May 20).

A study conducted by a Moro Non-Government Organization (NGO) revealed that 97.8% of Maguindanaon farmers and entrepreneurs prefer Shariah-based micro-financing (SMF) over the conventional financing.

The leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) welcomed the confirmation by the European Union (EU) of the latter’s continued support for promoting stability, peace and development in the Southern Philippines during the MILF high level delegation visit to Brussels, Belgium on May 23-24, 2016.

The Chairman of Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) underscored the importance of seeking knowledge to every Muslim and said “We believe that getting proper education means empowerment” in his message to young Bangsamoro scholars during the scholarship contract signing ceremony held at Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City on May 20, 2016.

A Halal certifying body has been providing seminar on Halal to select establishments in major cities in the country in an effort to increase the number of Muslim-friendly facilities that could help boost tourism.

With the formal turn-over of a multi-purpose hall in Mungit-Mungit, Talipao, Sulu, on Wednesday (May 25), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) completed the hand-over of 20 Quick Impact Projects to selected post-conflict areas in Mindanao and island provinces with a goal that the facilities will contribute to the socio-economic development of its communities.

Without doubt, the statement of Davao Del Norte representative-elect and presumptive speaker of the House Pantaleon Alvarez, if he indeed made those sweeping statements, that the "there’s no more need for a BBL" and that the "Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) had been rendered moot by the new government and its plan to federalize the political system" is a non-starter. It does not build confidence that the Duterte administration understands the Bangsamoro Problem.

On June 3, 2010, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) had signed a Declaration of Continuity for Peace Negotiation. This was an unequivocal commitment of both Parties to uphold the way of peace in resolving the conflict in Mindanao, amidst uncertainties brought to fore especially after the government under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo failed to honour its obligation to sign the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) in 2008. Today, a similar situation happens, after Congress failed or did not pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), in which case, the Parties should come up with an agreement akin to it.

On May 9, the Philippines will elect a new president and vice president, alongside other positions. Right now, perhaps without exceptions, both candidates and their respective supporters, are jittery or nervous on what await them after tomorrow.

Mutilating the body of dead person, even if he is an enemy, is against the teachings of Islam. But the Canadians are not our enemy. They are in fact helping resolve the conflict in Mindanao in many ways and means including giving of grants for various projects or programs in the region. They headed the Independent Commission on Policing (ICP) which through their recommendations served as one of the references of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) in crafting the Bangsamoro Basic |Law (BBL).

Kidnapping in Sulu continues unabated. It is unstoppable. It is fast becoming another Somalia, this time in Southeast Asia. Instead of being stopped or even minimized, it has soared to unprecedented height with the kidnapping recently of 10 Indonesians and four Malaysians, who are all Muslims.

Precious blood continues to pour in Mindanao, as fighting on several fronts proceeded unabated. It is not a question of whose blood are wasted; they are still precious blood --- and should not be shed at all if there is a way to stop it. On April 9, 18 Philippine Army soldiers killed, with 53 more wounded, during the April 9 firefight with 120 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) gunmen in Barangay Baguindan, Tipo Tipo, Basilan.  This is not to include those who died during firefights with ASG in Sulu, BIFF in Maguindanao, and ISIS-oriented youths in Butig, Lanao del Sur.

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, May 22, 2016 – Unless it is his way of finding relief from his promises, presumptive President Rodrigo R. Duterte must restrain his cabinet-member designates and top allies in the Congress from making public statements contrary to his campaign and post-campaign commitments like what Davao del Norte representative-elect Pantaleon Alvarez said at the “Headstart” program of ANC (ABS-CBN News Channel) last May 19. He is Duterte’s candidate for House speaker.

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, May 18, 2016 – Will the Bangsamoro be established under the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte? MILF Chairman Murad Ebrahim sounds optimistic. (MindaNews, May 15, 2016: MILF’s Murad to Duterte: “We will partner with you and your administration”)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, February 11, 2016 – Bangsamoro is stalled. The BBL that would have launched it by June 30, 2016 had been disabled early in the Congress and substituted with the BLBAR. But, BLBAR had failed to take off when the Congress adjourned last February 5. Whether Bangsamoro can be relaunched during the next administration hinges on how Moro-friendly would be the next President and the non-Moro members of the 17th Congress.

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, January 25, 2016 – “A-DL” is Anti-Dynasty Law; “FOIL” is Freedom of Information Law. BBL is the original Draft Bangsamoro Basic Law. All three are still bills marooned in the 16th Congress. As BBL has been debased and pining for redemption and passage, A-DL and FOIL, long resigned to their fate, are comforting it: “Hindi ka nag-iisa” (You are not alone.)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, January 14, 2016 – No matter how unacceptable, let it be stated simply: The Bangsamor is banished indefinitely. This is seen through prevailing circumstances that look irreversible. This is squarely facing the fact. Let’s hope, though, that by a miraculous stroke of fate, the statement is proven wrong.

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, December 19, 2015 – The Philippine Star (December 16, 2015: House drops opt-in provision from BBL) reported the House of Representatives “has decided to delete the controversial opt-in provision from the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in a move to lessen opposition to the measure.” 

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Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem. Alhamdulillah. Wassalaatu Wassalaamu Ala Rasulillah. Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatoh

We, the members of the Bangsamoro Justice-Seekers for Martial Law Massacre Victims, a community of victims, survivors, and descendants of the horrendous bloody massacres committed in Mindanao during the Martial Law administration of the President Ferdinand Marcos make known our unequivocal position.

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