In his speech delivered during the celebration of the country’s 119th Independence Day in Zamboanga City, Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza urged stakeholders to work on relationship building and healing the wounds and divisions brought about by armed conflict, said a report by OPAPP posted in its official website.

A Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) volunteer is at the forefront of saving the lives of civilians caught in the fierce fighting between government forces and the Islamic State (IS)-inspired Maute group and Abu Sayyaf in Marawi City, an online Philstar report said on June 12.

“The lack of understanding of history fuels biases against Muslims as the ongoing clashes in Marawi City revive anti-Muslims sentiments in the country”, Asif Ahmad, British Ambassador to the Philippines said as quoted by Rappler in its July 10 report.

The government (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will create a single communications roadmap to strengthen the knowledge of the public on the Bangsamoro peace process, said an online Mindanews report on June 5.

Ms. Irene Santiago, Chair of the GPH Peace Implementing Panel revealed that the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) has approved the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on Tuesday, June 6.

134 trapped civilians in Marawi City were rescued on Sunday, June 4, when a 4-hour GPH-MILF humanitarian peace corridor opened from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, Mindanews said in its report on June5.

The historic ties between the Philippines particularly Mindanao and Indonesia have been revived and strengthened anew. This came about by the recent agreement between Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo to open up a new shipping route, which links the Philippine cities of Davao and General Santos to the Indonesian province of North Sulawesi.

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. 

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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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