Peace panel chairpersons of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH) have formally met with United Nations Assistant Secretary General Miroslav Jenka in Makati City on April 22.

 The Office on the Bangsamoro Youth Affairs of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OBYA-ARMM) organized the 1st Provincial Youth Congress last April 19 in Marawi City. 

DAVAO CITY -- Proponents of the 11-year-old Mindanao Trust Fund (MTF), a multi-donor grant facility, have agreed to extend its duration by two more years, or until 2019, to sustain ongoing projects and to serve as a bridge between now and the planned launching of a bigger funding program.

In a statement issued recently by the leadership of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (BIAF-MILF), Sammy Al Mansour, BIAF Chief of Staff viewed with grave concern and alarm the recent spate of operations conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) against legitimate officers and members of the BIAF in various places in the Bangsamoro Homeland.

 A group of Arabic School Teachers and Administrators from various madaris of North Cotabato Provincial Committee participated in the follow-through presentation of the First Bangsamoro Strategic Plan on Education and Culture Development held at the Ma’had Kabacan on April 18, 2017. 

 Cotabato City- A Moro Doctor, Dr. Shahid Sinolinding who is serving as a barrio doctor and his security aide were shot to death today, April 18 inside his clinic located at the 2nd floor of Cotabato Doctors Clinic, along Sinsuat Avenue, Cotabato City.

The wars on drugs and violent radicalism in Mindanao by the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte are yielding positive development. With some qualifications, these campaigns deserve the support of everyone. We cannot imagine a country full of drug addicts and extremists!        

In a speech during the Philippine-Qatar Business Forum, held in Doha, Qatar on April 15, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte reiterated again his promise to address the historical injustice committed against the Bangsamoro people, and, without saying, to set up a genuine self-governing Bangsamoro political entity, something higher and better than the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

It is good news to hear that the Duterte administration is pouring at least P21 million for the planting of bamboo and mangrove in the 288,000-hectare Liguasan Marsh. By modest standard, the money is too small but as a starting point, it is more than enough.  

Forty eight days to go before May 18, the timeline unilaterally set by the government for the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to come up with new Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). This timeline, while it is ideally sound, may not be too practical. This can only happen if the other side of inclusivity will work  wonder for the BTC; if not, even the adoption of internal rules, committees assignment, and which draft to use as working draft may take some time.

The ideological and political lines determine the conduct of revolutionary struggles and their objectives. This is the reason that one revolutionary group may differ from others. For instance, communist-led struggle always call for the overthrow of existing government, replace its system, as well as those running the state. In the case of MILF, we do not seek to overthrow the government in Manila, change its system, and replace its workers. All what is desired is to allow us freely to exercise our right to self-determination. And clearly that desire for now is overwhelmingly for the establishment of a genuine self-governing and autonomous entity in the Bangsamoro. 

In this uncertain times, self-less leaders are needed; those who think and act for the sake of the common good and higher interests of their people. They are who exhibit great wisdom and ability in the directing the affairs, say of the Bangsamoro people. They are what we must refer to as statesmen.

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Water Front Hotel, Davao City. February 24, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the first Mindanaoan President of the Republic, Secretary Jesus “Jess” Dureza, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process,

Members of the Cabinet and other officials of Government, Local Governments, Excellences of the Diplomatic Corps, Members of the MILF Central Committee and fellow mujahedeen, Brothers from the MNLF, Traditional Leaders, Sectoral Leaders, CSO’s, Media, Distinguished Guests; Brothers, sisters, friends, ladies and gentlemen, Let me extend to you our fraternal greetings of peace,

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, March 8, 2017 – In “Good! Enough? In All Honesty …” (COMMENT: MindaNews, February 22, 23 and 26), we said the New BTC (Bangsamoro Transition Commission) could craft a new Bangsamoro basic law and present it to President Rodrigo R. Duterte by July 24, 2017 for submission to the Congress if the New BTC were the only body to draft the basic law as mandated by Executive Order No. 08, s. 2017. However, three situations could complicate the drafting. 

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