DAVAO CITY (March 8, 2017) –Practitioners of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) including  potential mediators from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are undergoing Basic Mediation Training being held at Brokenshire Resort and Convention Center in this city from March 6 to 10. The activity aims to capacitate potential and practicing mediators who will work for the reduction of the number of Rido (clan feuds) in the target communities in the ARMM.

The Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD) is set to launch a new Training Manual on Mediation and Conflict Resolution at 3PM on March 27, 2017 at Pagana Kutawato Restaurant, Cotabato City. More than a hundred personalities were invited including representatives from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and representative of non-government organizations.

 Conciliation Resources (CR) and United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) project team paid a courtesy call to the Office of the Pagalungan Mayor Datu Salik Mamasabulod on March 22, 2017 to strengthen their partnership in establishing local platform to deal and assist in addressing local security concerns.

Jeddah (IINA) - Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, in a statement seen by the International Islamic News Agency (IINA), condemned in the strongest terms the attacks near the House of Parliament in London on Wednesday.

A team composed of Matt Stephens, Ms. Pia Peeters both from World Bank-Mindanao Trust Fund, Steven Muncy of Community and Services International (CFSI),    Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan, BDA Board Chair together with their respective staff presented in a meeting with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front leadership the Status Report of the “Camps Project” Assistance.  

 The Provincial Government of Maguindanao celebrated Bangsamoro Week of Peace by conducting a Forum on Bangsamoro History and Struggle with the theme: "Revisiting the past, continuing the Cause”, participated by student leaders from different schools, Out-of-School Youth representatives from different municipalities in Maguindanao Province last March 18, 2017 at Women Center, Buluan, Maguindanao.

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.

The use of the term “convergence” is more of a government preferred approach in handling the emerging two tracks pursued by the MNLF and MILF and government, respectively. Lately, the MNLF seems inclined to it, which drifts slightly away from the “harmonization” approach being pushed by the Organization of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).  It is not bad per se; it only requires more appreciation that convergence is more of a process; and this is mainly through the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, and more importantly, through the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF) under the auspices of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The ugly face of kidnapping has surfaced again with the beheading of Jurgen Gustav Kantner, a German, by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) last February 24. It is so disgusting that despite the all-out war waged by the military against the group, they can still play their usual terror game almost at will.

At long last, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) is going to be launched tomorrow in Davao City. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim led key personalities from government and MILF, respectively, in gracing the occasion.  Members of the international community, as well as other sectors of society, are also attending.

“...Take not life, which God has made sacred, except by way of justice and law. Thus does He command you, so that you may learn wisdom.”

This is what God says in the Holy Qur’an in Surah Al-’An’am, verse 151, regarding capital punishment for certain crimes especially murder.

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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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