Marawi City under siege

Isis-backed militants struggle for control in the southern Philippines

by Simon Tisdall, The Guardian, May 28, 2017

The death toll in Marawi city, where martial law has been imposed, stands at 85, with Islamic State claiming responsibility.

Philippine marines advancing on a militant base in the city of Marawi in the Philippines. Martial law has been declared in the area. Photograph: Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images

Fears are growing that a violent attempt by local militants to seize a city in the island of Mindanao, in the southern Philippines, marks the beginning of a wider attempt by Islamic State to open a new south-east Asian front in its campaign of global jihad.

Latest reports on Sunday from Marawi city, capital of the majority Muslim Lanao del Sur province, said 19 civilians had been killed by Islamist militants locked in street battles with security forces. The dead included three women and a child, officials said.

More about this story here.

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MNLF’s Nur Misuari joining the peace process again?

Misuari comes in from the cold


/ 01:10 AM November 04, 2016

Nur Misuari emerged from three years of hiding in his forested Jolo Island redoubt and was flown to Manila in a private jet for a meeting on Thursday with President Duterte in Malacañang, where he vowed to help bring peace to Mindanao and expose Malaysia’s role in the Abu Sayaff kidnappings for ransom in the south.

The 77-year-old founder of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the President embraced like “long-lost brothers,” said peace adviser Jesus Dureza, who was tasked with bringing the rebel leader to Malacañang after a Pasig court suspended for six months, at the government’s behest, an arrest warrant against him for the 2013 siege of Zamboanga.

See details here .

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Countering ISIS Threat among Muslim Youth in Mindanao

This is a colloquium/conversation on the growing radicalization among Islamic groups (Abu Sayyaf, BIFF, etc.)in the southern Philippines, partly due to historical factors and also to recent global events in the Middle East where ISIS and Al-Qaeda operate. How to prevent the youth from joining these jihadic groups is the subject of discussion in this forum.  Mussolini Sinsuat Lidasan, director of Al Qalam Institute of Islamic Identities and Dialogue, Ateneo de Davao University, is the speaker. The event is hosted by the Center for Philippine Studies, in collaboration with the East-West Center.

Date:  May 2, 2016, Monday, 1:00-3:00 pm
Venue: 1890 East-West Road, Moore Hall 416 (Tokioka Room)

More details at:

Abu-Sayyaf

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Another Maguindanao Massacre?

Maguindanao killing fields and SAF 44
Federico V. Magdalena, PhD

Fallen_44_PNP_SAF
Source: wikipedia

HONOLULU – January 25, 2015 is a bloody day in the town of Mamasapano, Maguindanao. This is where 44 members of Special Action Forces (SAF) perished. SAF is the police commando that launched Operation Wolverine to arrest two “high-value” terrorists: Marwan (Jukifli Abdhir) and Usman (Abdul Basit Usman). These terrorists are behind the series of bombings in Mindanao, authorities claim. SAF succeeded in taking down Marwan, with photo and cut finger for DNA testing as proof. (The FBI confirmed the DNA signature was indeed Marwan’s, after comparing it with his brother who is under US custody.) Unfamiliar of the terrain, however, they retreated into the lair of the 105th Base Command of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Outnumbered, the MILF mowed them down mercilessly with the help of rogue rebels, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Many call the death of SAF a “massacre,” the second to happen in Maguindanao province since 2009 when 57 civilians allegedly died in the hands of a local warlord. While SAF succeeded by killing Marwan, they gave away 44 of their kind and more than a dozen injured in exchange. The MILF also reported 18 of their members died, including some civilians. The brutality speaks about the way they died, defying the notion that it takes only a bullet to kill a person. At least 11 of the 44 SAF casualties were mutilated – their heads bashed or missing, their guns, cellphones, and personal belongings stolen. A fallen SAF commando from Iligan City bore signs of torture, with his eyes gouged out.

The clash is an ”overkill,” so complains PNP Officer-in-Charge General Leonardo Espina, who asked the MILF to at least return their guns to rebuild confidence in the peace process. The government and MILF just signed a peace deal in March 2014, where both parties are supposed to observe a ceasefire. Congress is now deliberating on a bill to grant more autonomy to the Bangsamoro (term for Philippine Muslims) and abolish, or replace, the dysfunctional Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao.

Marwan is on the list of Washington’s most wanted terrorists with a bounty of $5M on his head. A Malaysian engineer who trained in the US, he served as officer of terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiyah from Indonesia. He was part of the plot in the deadly Bali bombing in 2002, where hundreds of tourists died. In 2003 he sought refuge in Mindanao. Usman, his local counterpart and student, has also been accused of masterminding several bombings in Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, Iligan, and General Santos. He has a price of $1M for his capture, dead or alive. (The reward money for Usman and Marwan is said to have been increased by a million bucks each to make it more tempting for bounty hunters, according to a source.) Both are protected by BIFF, according to MILF chief Mohagher Iqbal. Ironically, MILF and BIFF coexist in the same territory. Both were seen fighting together, against the SAF who turned like a fair game in an open corn field in Tukanalipao, a remote village in Mamasapano.

Who is to blame in this carnage? After the initial accounting, SAF is at fault according to those who are themselves at the center of this botched operation. But the finger pointing has continued – among the military, Malacanang, MILF, priests, and even local officials in the likes of Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, who is kept in the dark, declared it was a “misencounter” between the police and MILF/BIFF. A Board of Inquiry is now probing into the matter.

Is the SAF leadership to blame, or is it the MILF and BIFF who killed the valiant SAF 44? Pity, blaming SAF is like blaming the victim. They failed to coordinate their action with the MILF, military, and their superior officers. Maybe the blame rightly belongs to the president who, as commander-in-chief, knows about the operation but did not alert the AFP when help was urgently needed. Maybe it is PNP chief Alan Purisima, who has a direct hand in the operation but did it solo. Maybe it is the MILF’s fault, for not informing the government beforehand about the presence of bad elements in their midst. It seems that somehow they all share the responsibility.

For his part, President Benigno Aquino III earned widespread flak: he did not show up when the remains of SAF 44 arrived at Villamor Air Base. He also seemed to have exonerated General Purisima, a longtime friend, who was widely believed to have a direct hand in the botched operation. Purisima was mum since day one, and has been suspended since December 2014 for graft charges. Former president Fidel Ramos accused Aquino for “breaking the chain of command,” knowledgeable as he was of the plan. Aquino was, in fact, in Zamboanga City that day SAF launched the Mamasapano raid. Some of the commandos are from that city. Other sectors, including religious leaders and militants even call for Aquino’s resignation. Perhaps stung by these criticisms, he ordered Justice Secretary Leila De Lima to study the filing of charges against those responsible for the mayhem, to include some MILF commanders. He was to issue a stern warning later to the MILF to turn in Usman, if they have him, or help in his capture, or clear the way during the pursuit to get him. But these are knee-jerk reactions after the fact.

By now, everyone wants to get to the bottom of this gruesome incident. Congressional hearings on the Bangsamoro Basic Law, the instrument that would give autonomy to the Muslims under the 2014 peace deal, have been tabled. At least eight bodies have been created to conduct investigations to ferret out the truth and pin down those accountable for the massacre. Will they provide the right information, or only add to the growing confusion and endless fingerpointing? Some say a Truth Commission will be more credible.

SAF Commander Getulio Napeñas, Jr. was sacked shortly after the incident. He was blamed for not coordinating with the military or MILF command. But Napeñas quickly retorted, “we don’t trust the MILF.” He invoked the case of the US Navy Seals who got Osama Bin Laden without the knowledge of Pakistani authorities. True enough, informing the “coddlers” of terrorists might result in the valued targets slipping away. How could the MILF make the public believe that they do not know about Marwan and Usman? Eid Kabalu, former spokesperson of the MILF, has doubts that the MILF command is unaware of their existence – these terrorists have lived with them for years.

But something more is under question as events unfold. Napeñas is reporting to General Purisima, who has no official jurisdiction as he is under 6-month suspension by the Ombudsman. General Espina as OIC has been kept out of the loop, and so has DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, who both learn of Oplan Wolverine when it is already in motion. Napeñas argues that Roxas is not part of the chain of command.

According to the 1997 agreement on cessation of hostilities, both the government and MILF must exercise coordination and restraint in handling cases like this. Government forces must give the MILF prior notice when they apprehend criminals in their territory. But the MILF is also enjoined to provide information, not sanctuary, to the government about these notorious elements, and are duty-bound to block their entry or escape. If they are equal partners in promoting peace, the tasks of coordination and cooperation must be mutual, not one-sided.

The massacre of SAF 44 also opened a crack in the presumed non-alliance between MILF and BIFF. The BIFF is a breakaway faction that insists on secession or independence, as the MILF pursues a substate arrangement under the 2014 peace covenant. On the ground, they are like one “family,” as BIFF spokesman Abu Misri Mama termed it.

At this time, relatives of the victims – both from SAF and MILF – cry for justice and accountability. Will they get it while PNoy is still president? Or will they suffer the same fate of the aggrieved parties in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, now on the verge of becoming a cold case?

About the author: Federico V. Magdalena is Associate Director and Faculty Specialist at the UH Center for Philippine Studies. He is project manager of a Mindanao peacebuilding initiative under a grant from the US Institute of Peace, jointly implemented by the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and Mindanao State University. This article is a slightly revised version of the copy that appears in the February 7, 2015 Hawaii Filipino Chronicle publication.
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Fieldwork Report on the Mansaka of Davao by Joy Marfil

I was in the Philippines from July 18 to August 4, 2013, to do my field research on Mansaka music in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, in preparation for my dissertation. My objectives were to interview musicians about their culture and traditions, and to record Mansaka songs, music, and dance. But I was surprised to learn that a protocol has to be followed in order for me to do research. Supposedly I had to meet the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and had to secure a Free and Prior Inform Consent (FPIC) to gain access for my research. Usually the process takes about three months and there is no guarantee they would permit me to do my research in the tribal community. So I went to see the newly elected mayor of Tagum City, Mayor Allan Rellon, to ask his help. He was very supportive and immediately called Honorable Datu Rudy (Kimud) Onlos (Tribal Chieftain, Tagum City Federation of Barangay Tribal Council) to allow and assist me in my research. Mayor Rellon believed that my research would benefit their tribal community as well. Also, my classmate in high school, Dr. Janet Veloso, who is now a Division Supervisor of the Department of Education, Davao Region, helped me to negotiate with Mayor Rellon and Datu Onlos, with whom she is close friends. If not for Dr. Veloso, I would have had a hard time doing my research.

Before I started the research, I was given an Acceptance Ritual, which is one of the protocols, initiated by a baylan (tribal priest) in the presence of other baylan and twenty tribal chieftains from the different tribes – Mandaya, Manobo, and Kalagan. After the ritual, Datu Sucnaan proclaimed, “From now on you’ll be called Bia Joy,” which means “Honorable Joy.” Datu Onlos remarked, “Think of us as your family. Once you have been given an Acceptance Ritual, you are part of our family even if you don’t belong to any of the tribes. If you were not given a ritual, you cannot commune with us. But now you are accepted already by the tribes.” Datu Onlos also added:

“In the old times when foreigners arrived and were accepted by the tribe, they were given a piece of land. But now our problem is that we have only a few lands. We are supposed to give you a piece of land. That is our custom and tradition. If you want, we have it in the mountain; if you want to plant or farm, you can go to our ancestral domain anytime. That is how our system works. We give land right away. That is how our heart works because this is not our land. The Lord entrusted this land to us. So any good man that can be a steward of the land, we give it to him. Just like you, you came and wanted to build a relationship with us, so we also treat you as our sister.”

It was an overwhelming experience. They accepted me not only to do the research, but deeper than that, they accepted me as their family member. So whenever I go back to Tagum, I can visit them anytime.

After the ritual I was allowed to start my research. For my safety, Dr. Veloso gave me a bodyguard to accompany me during my entire stay in Tagum. In my research I was able to do the following: Interview Datu Onlos and Datu Aguido Sucnaan (baylan – tribal high priest of Tagum City, Cultural Master and Chieftain of Barangay Mapandan) about their music, culture, and tradition; visit a Mansaka community at Barangay Pandapan; record some of the Mansaka songs, music, and dance performed by Mansaka Cultural Masters; dine and drink wine (made by Datu Onlos) with them; dance with them; and most gratifying of all, learn to play the gimbal and agung and perform with their ensemble. The Mansaka tribe does not record or notate their music. They were kind and generous enough to perform different songs, dances, rituals, and ceremonies for me to record and transcribe.

The Mansaka is an ethnic group found in the southern part of the Philippines, particularly in the provinces of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley. According to Datu Onlos, the Mansaka, Mandaya, and Kalagan (or Kagan) tribes used to be a single tribe. However, they became divided – some went up to the mountains (Mansaka), some to the upper portion of the river (Mandaya), and some stayed in the seashore or riverside (Kalagan). The Kalagan tribe is divided into two. Half of the group followed the Muslim faith, while the other half retained their traditional faith.

The term “Mansaka” derives from “man” meaning “first” and “saka” meaning “to ascend,” so Mansaka means “the first people to ascend the mountains or go upstream.” Farming is their primary source of living. According to Datu Onlos, the first generation of Mansaka was not open to new development. They wanted to protect their culture and tradition, and going up to the mountain was their way of protecting the community. Datu Onlos also mentioned that they believe in the God called Magbabaya. They also believe in the Holy Trinity – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (diwata), and Jesus Christ being the tamisa na anak ng Magbabaya (“the only Son of God”).

Mansaka instruments consist of the following: gimbal (double-headed drum made of deer skin); kubing (jaw’s harp); agung (wide-rimmed, vertically suspended gong); kulintang (row of eight small, horizontally-laid gongs); lantoy (mouth bamboo flute); parundag (mouth or nose bamboo flute, bigger than lantoy); and kudlong (two-stringed instrument, which resembles the Muslim kudyapi, where one string functions as a drone while the other string plays the melody). There are three different kinds of kudlong depending on the number of frets: Kyagan (five frets); Panganduan (seven or eight frets); and Binudyaan (thirteen frets). The more frets, the larger the instrument is. If two kudlongs are played together, it is known as bandayon.

While the beginner kulintang player uses a two- or three-gong kulintang, the advanced player uses a five- to eight-gong kulintang. Usually the instruments are played in pairs. For example, the gimbal and agung are played together, particularly for prayer/ritual on Pagtabi; and the kudlong and lantoy or parundag are also played together. The kudlong or any of the bamboo flutes can also be played as solo instruments. The instrumental ensemble consists of gimbal, kulintang (usually from 3 to 8 gongs), and agung. I found out also that two to three players may play on one agung – playing the boss, edge, and rim, creating different colors.

The instrumentation varies depending on the ceremony or occasion. Ideally, a bigger ensemble is usually used for a big celebration such as the harvest and wedding ceremonies, while a smaller ensemble is usually for solemn ceremonies such as a healing ceremony and acceptance ritual. A solo instrument – kudlong is usually played for courtship.

When a Mansaka engages in dancing, the hand and eye movements convey certain meanings. Usually it is a gesture of prayer. A dance for prayer or ritual is called Binalyan – communicating to Magbabaya (God). Datu Sucnaan stated that “According to our ancestors, God finds pleasure when you dance.” Sometimes the dancers imitate the movements of the bird called “kabuwa,” in which the dance step is called “kinabuwa.” This bird usually appears during summertime.

Mansaka music has specific functions in their lives as part of their culture and tradition. For example: Binarig is for courtship; Barabay is for entertainment; and Sinakay-sakay is used for all types of ceremonies and rituals – wedding, harvest, etc. Dancing has always been a part of every ceremony and ritual. Some examples of their ceremonies and rituals are:

• Piyagsawitan (harvest ceremony)
• Wedding Ceremony
• Pag-ipad or Pagdiyaga (healing ritual)
• Ritual to Become a Bagani (tribal warrior)
• Dawot (song)

In the Mansaka tribe, dawot is an extemporaneous singing that talks about their history, culture, and tradition. According to Datu Sucnaan, each story has a different babawoy or tonada (tune). There is no written record in their history and it is through dawot that their history is being told and preserved. In a way, dawot is a form of storytelling. As the story is told from one generation to the next, new information is added, thus making the dawot longer and longer. Very few Mansaka are able to perform the dawot, only those who are gifted and given wisdom – anointed ones. Thus, the singer depends on the Holy Spirit as he performs the dawot. Dawot can be sung in a cappella, ideally in high register. It can be accompanied by different instruments but usually is accompanied by the kudlong. While the singer performs the dawot, the audience motivates him through pag-iyak – a sort of shouting, which is the counterpart of Western clapping. Example: “Huh” or “Yahu.”

The Mansaka learn their music through their dead ancestors, who appear to them in a sacred place in Masara Mountain called “Pula,” where only the Mansaka are allowed. Non-Mansaka people are prohibited from going, to keep them away from trouble and sickness. According to Datu Onlos, they hear different kinds of music and instruments in the sacred place. The chosen ones, or what they call the cultural masters, learn their music by listening to the performance of their dead ancestors, who appear to them in human form, and they imitate the melody and rhythm. This may sound strange, but is fact. Datu Onlos himself actually sees and talks to his dead ancestors when playing kudlong in their sacred place. Thus, each of the cultural masters has their own specific music. Until the present time, that was their method of learning music. But of course the cultural masters teach the music aurally to the younger ones. However, if a cultural master notices that the young one doesn’t have an interest, he will not force him. Mansaka don’t have a method of notation but rather they play by ear and imitation. One of the concerns of Datu Onlos is the preservation of Mansaka music. He commented that the younger generation nowadays hardly appreciates their traditional music.

After transcribing several Mansaka songs (dawot) and instrumental music, I discovered that most of their music was constructed in pentatonic scale (a scale consisting of five tones), which is the main characteristic of Asian music. Chanting is a common practice in Mansaka’s style of singing. Ornamentation of the melodic lines is also common both in singing and playing instruments. In instrumental music, the rhythm is set for each kind of music with regular beat and meter. Oftentimes, each instrument plays with a variation of the basic rhythm. The tempo is set from the beginning and it is the same tempo throughout the entire performance.

The dance steps correspond to the beat. A change in dynamics will also indicate changes to their movements. For softer sound, their movement is fine, slow, and subtle. For louder sound, there are bigger, faster and sometimes wild hand movements and footsteps. The indication of a sudden change of the dynamics level from soft to loud is called lugoy.

Some pieces are strophic form, binary form, and through-composed. However, depending on the ceremony and occasion, the performance may last for several days. For example, in the wedding and harvest ceremonies, the celebration may last for weeks. Even in dawot, the singer can sing stories about their history and ancestors endlessly.

It was a fulfilling research. Datu Onlos and the rest of the staff of the Tagum City Federation of Barangay Tribal Council were very supportive and made sure that I received what I needed. It was sad news though when I received an email recently that Datu Onlos passed away on July 23, 2014. Indeed, he helped me so much with my research and so I would like to dedicate my dissertation to him.

———–

Joy Marfil is a PhD student in Music at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She is the first recipient of the Belinda A. Aquino International Philippine Studies Endowment. This research is conducted toward her PhD dissertation.

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The Petition of Zamboanga Muslim Leaders to the Ottoman Empire in 1912

By Caroline T. Baicy

“…As we are children of Islam. For this reason, your humble subjects plead with humility, requesting that an emissary from His Highness [the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire] be sent here to observe our speeches and actions in the Moro Province… and to teach us two things, how our customs and laws of Islam can be combined with American customs and laws, and how we could follow the words of God and uphold/establish the religion of Muhammadiyyah as stated in the Qu’ran and hadith of the Prophet…”

In 1912 a petition was written by Haji Abdullah Nuño and 58 others requesting the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmet V, to send a Muslim scholar in order to teach the Moro population of Taluksangay, Zamboanga about Islam.  The district governor of Zamboanga, John Finley, delivered this petition to the Sultan in Istanbul. After meeting with Sultan Shayk al-Islam, the latter promised to send one of his officials, Sayyid Muhammad Wajih al-Jilani, to Mindanao. Wajih al-Jilani arrived at the port of Zamboanga on January 1914 and went to speak about the duties of a good citizen. The religious excitement of his visit was a cause of concern for the U.S. administration who believed that his visit might strengthen the influence of the hajis and imams.

Hadji Nuño’s background is quite interesting. He was a captive, together with several women and children and brought to Isabela, Northern Luzon by the Spaniards after a war in 1848 with the Sama Balangingi Moros. He was baptized as a Christian, but decided to come back to his homeland after about 35 years and returned to the fold of Islam. He became an influential leader among the Moros of Taluksangay, an important center of Islamic propagation in Western Mindanao.

The petition itself consists of Tausug text, signatures, Arabic translations, and covers. The cover on the side of the Arabic translation is decorated with a flag consisting of the yellow crescent moon and star as well as red and yellow ribbons tied into bows. Along with such decorations is an Arabic inscription consisting of the words of the Sharada as well as a message in Tausug that indicates the titles and name of the addressee. The cover on the Tausug text is decorated with red, yellow, and green ribbons as well as two magical squares. These magical squares are used for a talismanic effect to ensure that the manuscript will safely reach the addressee.

The use of the Tausug language in the petition indicates the predominance of the Tausug language as a means of communication in the Sulu Archipelago. In contrast, the petitioners led by Hadji Nuño speak Sama. This is further emphasized in the late nineteenth century, in which the Tausug language was used by various leaders and lay people in Sulu to express their views and transmit reports concerning affairs with colonial officials.

This petition plays an integral role in displaying the relationship between the Muslims of the Philippines and the Ottoman Sultan. This conception of a relationship between the two regions is due to the Ottoman Sultan’s responsibility to look after Muslims of the world. This relationship is further underscored in the used of honorific titles when addressing the Sultan as well as the petitioner’s referring to themselves as “humble subjects,” thus displays their submission to the authority of the Ottoman Sultan.

The goal of the petition was to educate the Moros about Islam and make it fit the policy of the colonial government. When the Moro province was inaugurated in 1903, United States government officials investigated the laws of the Moros and non-Christians and found many of their customs offensive and undesirable, some of which include slaveholding, the low position of women, and the use of blood money as retribution for killing another Moro. Governor Finley believed that the Moros were steeped in such practices because they did not have adequate knowledge of Islam. Thus, he believed that bringing in a Muslim scholar from the Ottoman Empire would help expand the Philippine Muslims understanding of the values and virtues of Islam. In the case of Nuño’s goals, he wanted to establish the religion of Islam in a way that could meet the needs of socio-political conditions under American rule. This was due to his awareness of Western powers encroaching on Muslim lands. Thus, he wanted to establish links with centers of Islamic learning as well as seek protection of the United States government to avoid exploitation of his people.

Source: Kawashima, Midori. The ‘White Man’s Burden’ and the Islamic Movement in the Philippines: The Petition of Zamboanga Muslim Leaders to the Ottoman Empire in 1912. Monograph Series 17. Institute of Asian Cultures, Sophia University, 2014, Tokyo, Japan.

Caroline Baicy is a Program Assistant working on the eMindanao Project under the auspices of the United States Institute of Peace. 

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Ferrer: Parts of Bangsamoro bill may be unconstitutional

(Manila) The chief government negotiator in peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) admitted on Wednesday that certain provisions in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) might be unconstitutional. By Catherine S. Valente. The Manila Times on July 23, 2014.

http://www.manilatimes.net/breaking_news/ferrer-parts-of-bangsamoro-bill-may-be-unconstitutional/

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Real score: Are Charter changes needed?

COTABATO CITY, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III’s fifth State of the Nation Address (Sona) is fast approaching and this would be the time to articulate the clear direction and the real matuwid na daan in dealing with the Bangsamoro issues. By Fr. Jun Mercado, July 20, 2014.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/621520/real-score-are-charter-changes-needed#ixzz38Q6RjeX5

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Cardinal Quevedo to Lumads: “sorry”

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/09 June) — Mindanao’s first Cardinal, Orlando Quevedo of the Archdiocese of Cotabato, has apologized to the Lumads (indigenous peoples) for their under-representation at the International Conference of Cotabato on June 6 and 7. By Carolyn O. Arguillas

Read more http://www.mindanews.com/peace-process/2014/06/09/cardinal-quevedo-to-lumads-sorry/

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A month later, draft B’moro Basic Law still under review by PNoy’s office

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 23 May) — One month.  The draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) submitted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to the Office of the President (OP) on April 21 has not been sent to Congress as it is still being reviewed by the OP as of May 23. By Carolyn O. Arguillas.

Read full article at www.mindanews.com

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