Islamiyah supporters surrender in Lanao del Sur

July 18, 2019

“The two surrenderors revealed that they’ve provided logistical support to the group of Owayda Marohombsar, or known as Abu Dar before he was neutralized in the neighboring barangay”, Lt. Col. Ian Noel Ignes, 55th Infantry Battalion commander. It was on March 14, 2019, when four of DI-Lanao Group, including Abu Dar, were killed in an encounter with the government forces in Brgy Dinaigan, Tubaran, Lanao del Sur. Khaledyassin Papandayan, Mayor of Tubaran also facilitated the surrender of the two supporters who also yielded two 1911 caliber 45 handguns. “The death of top DI-Lanao leaders and Maute Brothers and the surrender of their members have significantly contributed to the sustained peaceful environment in the province of Lanao del Sur”, said Brig. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., 103rd Infantry Brigade Commander, who has operational jurisdiction of Lanao del Sur. “We continuously collaborate with local chief executives and other stakeholders to encourage other supporters or even the locals with loose firearms to surrender and submit themselves to the folds of the law in order to stop the criminalities and attain a more peaceful community”, Brawner added. Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Roberto Ancan, the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) commander, commended the efforts of the troops and the local government unit of Tubaran for the successful surrender of Dawlah Islamiya supporters. “Your 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division, in collaboration with the LGUs and other stakeholders, remains steadfast in its commitment to attaining just and lasting peace in our area of operation thru our campaign against DI-Lanao group and loose firearms,” said Ancan. “Likewise, we thank the local government and other stakeholders for their continued trust and support to our troops in sustaining an environment conducive for peace and development in the whole province of Lanao del Sur,” Ancan added. 

UNICEF launches U-Report in Bangsamoro region

July 17, 2019

The U-Report uses polls, alerts, and collect real-time responses. It empowers the youth and encourages them to be the voice of their communities.   Andrew Morris, UNICEF Philippines Mindanao Field Office chief, said the U-Report will give adolescents and young people opportunity to make their views known in a much more powerful way.   The U-Report in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is the first in the country. It was launched in partnership with the Voluntary Service Overseas Philippines and the Office on the Bangsamoro Youth Affairs – BARMM.   “For UNICEF, we know that the passion, the ideas, and innovations of young people can transform the Bangsamoro’s future. We know that. But if young people like to do that, they need to be involved, consulted, empowered, and be equipped,” Morris said.   To become a U-Reporter, Bangsamoro youth must log in to their Facebook accounts, search for the U-Report Philippines page, open the messenger app and click join. Upon joining, reporters can start participating in the polls and send reports.   “I know that the Bangsamoro young people can play the same role as the other young people in the countries around the world,” said Morris.   “Your voice matters. Sign up to U-Report and take part on the weekly polls,” he told the hundreds of youth who were present in the launching ceremony.   “For UNICEF, we will do, with our partners, whatever we are able to do to support adolescents and youth in the Bangsamoro; to have their say, to make their views known, to have strong influence over (making) decisions,” Morris said. 

Restrictions waived for Moro fighters aspiring to become cops, soldiers

July 16, 2019

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez, Jr. said that MILF members will be given priority in the hiring process for security forces in the newly-created Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).   He particularly cited the Police Regional Office-BARMM, 6th Infantry Division (ID) based in Maguindanao, 1st ID based in Zamboanga del Sur and 11th  ID based in Sulu would give priority in the hiring process to qualified Moro combatants, including members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).   “We will write the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and the PNP (Philippine National Police) that qualified applicants coming from MILF and MNLF communities be given preference as part of community policing and the normalization process,” Galvez, head of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), told MindaNews in a text message.   Galvez, BARMM interim Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año had discussed the matter of foregoing some requirements for Moro combatants to become members of government forces.   In terms of the waived educational attainment, undergraduate Moro combatants hired as state troopers should finish a degree within 15 years of service, Galvez said.   “This is not an integration (of Moro combatants into government ranks) but a normal process. Part of the (peace) agreement allows the waiving of some requirements to accommodate more qualified applicants,” Ebrahim said in a text message in Filipino.   Ebrahim, popularly known as MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, said no quota was discussed since it will all depend on the individual MILF member whether or not he or she will join the police or the army.   The government and the MILF signed the final Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in 2014 after four decades of conflict that left dead over 120,000 people, including civilians.   The CAB’s major component is the creation of a new Bangsamoro region, which was realized with the ratification early this year of Republic Act 11054 or Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, popularly called the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).   The BARMM replaced the 29-year-old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.   Under the BOL, the age, height, and educational requirements of MILF combatants may be waived by the National Police Commission, and that they should apply within five years from the ratification of the BOL, OPAPP said in a statement.   The MILF is a splinter of the MNLF, which signed a separate final peace agreement with the government in 1996.   Under the CAB’s Annex on Normalization, Galvez said that at least 1,600 PNP members will be trained as part of the Joint Peace Security Teams (JPST).   The JPST members will help secure communities during the camp transformation and the decommissioning of 12,000 or 30 percent of MILF combatants this year.   Based on the normalization timeline, 35 percent of the combatants will be decommissioned by next year. The rest will undergo decommissioning from 2021 to 2022. This process will be completed before the signing of an exit agreement as stipulated in the CAB.   The pilot decommissioning of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, the MILF's armed wing, happened in 2015 during the term of former President Benigno Aquino III, as a result of the signing of the CAB the previous year.

NAPC to Help Reduce Poverty Incidence in BARMM Inbox

July 9, 2019

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur  -The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) vowed to help the Bangsamoro Government reduce poverty incidence in the region.   NAPC Secretary Noel Felongco said they will gather local chief executives, planning officers, and BARMM ministers to orient them on the Commission’s poverty alleviation projects. NAPC will roll-out a five-year development plan (2019-2023) dubbed the Sambayanihan Serbisyong Sambayanan to deliver basic social services prioritizing the poorest communities. It aims to help attain the administration’s poverty reduction target and contribute to the realization of the AmBisyon Natin 2040. Felongco said the national government  seeks “to accelerate the country’s economic engine and reduce overall poverty incidence from 21 percent in 2015 to 14 percent by 2023.” Communities in the Bangsamoro autonomous region are among the NAPC’s Sambayanihan priority areas. “We will ensure that all basic needs are accessible in BARMM,” he added. Derived from the unifying themes of the calls of the basic sectors at the National Anti-Poverty Sectoral Summit in 2016, the ten basic needs of Filipinos are food and land reform, water, shelter, work, health, education, social protection, healthy environment, peace, and participation.   The agency will also prioritize five key issues in the region such as peace and order, increasing inflation rate related to agriculture and fisheries, lack of inter-agency collaboration, inadequate community participation, and climate change. “Majority of the population in BARMM are farmers and fishermen. If we can improve agriculture and fisheries, we can reduce poverty incidence,” Abdullah Cusain, BARMM assistant executive secretary said. In 2018, BARMM’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) posted 7.2 percent growth rate in which the sectors of agriculture, hunting, forestry, and fishing remained the largest share in the region’s total economic performance

JICA Presents CCDP Final Report for Bangsamoro

July 9, 2019

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur -The Japan International Cooperation Agency met with the key officials of the BARMM on Thursday, July 4, to present its final report on the Comprehensive Capacity Development Project (CCDP) for the Bangsamoro.   The CCDP is a JICA project implemented from July 2013 – July 2019. It sought to help improve the system and institution of the new autonomous Bangsamoro region and upgrade its human resources capacity. It also aimed to reduce the poverty rate in the region, especially in the conflict-affected areas.   The CCDP was composed of three components: governance, public service delivery, and community development, and economic enhancement.   One of its projects was the Revenue Enhancement Assistance for LGUs (REAL) in ARMM which helped improve the revenue generation in the region.   “We assure you that your sacrifices and the taxpayers’ money will not be put into waste, it will enhance many of the programs that we tend to (implement),” Minister Naguib Sinarimbo of the local government ministry told the JICA officials.   Among the BARMM officials who attended the meeting were Executive Secretary Esmael Pasigan, Assistant Executive Secretary Abdullah Cusain, Cabinet Secretary Asnin Pendatun, and others. 

LGU Piagapo Develops Curriculum for Madrasah Education

July 8, 2019

The local government of Piagapo has developed a centralized curriculum for Arabic schools (Madrasah) within the municipality to ensure that students receive a coherent learning experience that contributes towards their spiritual, educational, social, and psychological learning and development.   For the first time in the history of Arabic education in the province, the said curriculum will be introduced to teachers and students this month after Piagapo former mayor now vice mayor Engr. Ali Sumandar turned over the said documents to different Madrasah heads in a small ceremony held on July 3 at the municipal hall.   The unified curriculum is designed for Kinder (Tahderia), Grade (Ibtida), High School (Motawasit), High School (Thanawi), and College (Kolya) students which was crafted by Muslim religious scholars in close coordination with the local government through its office on Islamic Affairs headed by Cosain Datumaas and Aleem Mostafa Panganting, Focal Person and Piagapo’s Deputy Mayor for Islamic Affairs, respectively.   The curriculum was developed to also help combat the spread of religious extremism and radicalism in the country.


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