Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Sparkling Kingdom of the Orient

By Prof. Clemencio S. Bascar
(Author: Sultanate of Sulu; the Unconquered Empire)

Let me tell you a story of a fascinating and fabulous Kingdom of the people of the current established in the middle of the 15th century when other civilizations in Asia, like Cebu and Manila, would even hardly be recognized and considered as a settlement. This exotic kingdom was first ruled by Sultan Sayyid Abubakar who married the irresistibly beautiful daughter of Raja Baginda, named Paramisuli.

Having ascended to the Throne, Sultan Sayyid Abubakar and Dayang Dayang Paramisuli ruled this Kingdom so well that in so short a time it was transformed into a progressive and bustling Monarchy Asia had ever known. No wonder it easily became the fascination and fantasy of explorers, conquerors, monarchs and rulers of the Western world. As it passed on to other Sultans, the Kingdom continued to rise in fame, grandeur and power, and attained its greatest political and territorial expansion in the 17th and 18th Centuries, which unfortunately made it the object of conquest by lustful and greedy empires of the West, such as: Britain, Holland, France, Portugal and Spain, and finally, the United States of America.


Attempts after attempts to conquer this Kingdom of Sulu failed, and the Sultanate founded on the Qur’anic principle of consensus continued to flourish and became a superport and bustling commercial centre of the Far East to the envy of Western civilization.

Then by a stroke of fate, the Kingdom during the rule of Sultan Jamalul Alam, the Spanish forces after several desperate attempts to place it under the crown of Spain, succeeded in taking a part of the Monarchy in Jolo, forcing the Sultan to sign a Treaty of co-existence. The Sultan, among other things, allowed the Spanish colonial government to set up three little garrisons in Jolo, Siasi and Bongao. This Treaty of 1878 from the viewpoint of the Sultan was not a treaty of abdication or surrender but one of modus vivendi. 


The Spaniards never succeeded in acquiring overall sovereignty and territorial ownership of the SSDI. Their control was limited only to the confines of the Three Little Garrisons. In 1898, when the Spanish forces were collapsing due to the successful campaign for Independence of the Filipino revolutionary movement, the loyal and heroic warriors of the Sultanate attacked and captured the Spanish garrison in Bongao frantically forcing the Spanish to turn over peacefully the garrison at Siasi, and also arranged the turnover of the last Spanish garrison in Jolo at a later time.

But to the shock and surprise of the Sultan, on May 19, 1899, the American forces landed in Jolo violating International Law, Diplomacy and Military Protocol, to grab the honor of accepting the surrender of the Last Spanish garrison by virtue of the Treaty of Paris signed on December 10, 1898, wherein Spain ceded and sold to the United States of America, the Sultanate of Sulu., a territory which she did not acquire sovereignty nor proprietary rights either by conquest or purchase. Making this Treaty more scandalous and immoral was the fact the cessation and sale was consummated without the participation, knowledge and consent of the real owner, the Royal Sultanate of Sulu.

From then on, the Americans assumed bogus sovereignty and territorial possession of this Kingdom which was finally incorporated into the body politic of the Republic of the Philippines against the popular will and expression of the principle of self-determination of the Moro (Tausug) people.

The Americans invaded the territorial domains of this Islamic Kingdom without any formal declaration of war or congressional authority in blatant violation of their 1787 Constitution.
But the legitimate political aspiration of the people of the current will always remain ardently alive in their hearts and minds forever.


This is the fateful story of the Sultanate of Sulu, the once struggling and sparkling kingdom of the Orient.

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KFI celebrates anti-human trafficking day in Paglat

The Kadtuntaya Foundation, Inc. (KFI), through its Gender Justice and Children Protection Program,  joined the Municipality of Paglat in the Province of Maguindanao in the celebration of the International Day against Human Trafficking held at the town’s gymnasium on December 20, 2012. Anak Kawagib, a locally-organized youth theatre group, facilitated…

Welcome to my domain!

Hi! i’m Pilandok, your host in this domain – a Socio-Political Blog and may post anything personal rants and even folklore tales of Pilandok for literary discussion. Pilandok is known in tales as a greatest cleaver and prankster in meranao folklores. …

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Biyariin na in sila?

Kiyasulat sin January 22, 2013
Hambuuk adlaw, nakalandu’ tuud in hapdi’ ku. Wayruun aku nakakaun marayaw sin maynaat yadtu duwal tuna sandwich diyaragang ha hambuuk tindahan paglabayan ku iban tubig-tubig diyara ku pa iskul. Naubus mayan in klás namu’ sin maynaat (upat jám bagay), uws-uws na aku gimuwa’. Ampa nanglawag pagkakaunan bat damán makabáwi’ pasal wayruun nakakaun sin maynaat yaun. 
Awn pagkakaunan Tausug kaingatan ku. Maluhay in bayad (awn budget meal + libre sabaw tiyula’. yummm!). Sa’ malayu’-malayu’ siya panawun. Sa’ pagka labayan ku ra in Masjid pagsambahayangan ku, way na aku nagduwa-ruwa miyadtu pa kadday-kadday yadtu. Ganapan ta pa sin kulang in siyn diyá ku adlaw yadtu (kayman pilak da in nará ku kailu).
Ha lalabayan, nagtatali’ na aku bang unu in piy’un ku pagkaun… Ha halga’ 45 pilak, makakaun na aku hangka luag kaunun iban duwa lamay. Manjari manuk, manjari ista’, manjari ra isab sayul lamud-lamud atawa pansit bihon. Depende bang unu in nakaserve ha adlaw yadtu. Na namanawan na in bhoy.
Sakali, ha way pa aku naka-abut madtu, kiyta’ ku laung in bata’-bata’ ini kailu, kimukulang ha dán:

 Ampa aku isab namintangan… (tadaaaan!)

Imanud biya’ sapa’ in manga pangasubu ha lawm atay ku: Bang in aku ini hapdi’-hapdian na pasal wayruun hadja nakakaun sin maynaat yaun, biyariin na baha’ in sila ini? Nakakaun da baha’ sila misan da kuman Tuna sandwich? 
Bang in aku Alhamdulillah awn pa isab kay’man pilak hipamiy kakaun, biyariin na baha’ in sila ini? Awn baha’ sila misan da kuman hangpu’ pilak? 
Bang in aku makapiy’ pa bang unu in lamay ku gana-gana, biyariin baha’ in sila ini? Bang in aku makakaun na, kansuban na; in sila baha’ ini? Ka’nu baha’ sila last nakakinam sin kansub amu kansub maruhun yaun? 
Bang aku makauwi’ na pa báy ampa makahali-hali na, biyariin na baha’ sila ini? Awn baha’ kasilungan nila bang umulan matigda’? Awn baha’ katuwgan nila kantil-kantil ma-amu iban uw-an marayaw? 

Bang ha pagbati’ ku kunsum in problema ku amuna in bang hisiyu in magtugna’ sin kaunun, biyariin baha’ in sila? Bukun baha’ in problemahun nila kaagi bang háin sila makalawag makaun?
Bunnal wayruun na aku matabang ha bata’-bata’ yadtu duwal in manginduwaa ra kuman pa Tuhan sin tabangan siya, ha mammayan kalawagan niya in dán sin hiadáya. Misan in baran ku ini agun-agun di’ ku ra isab katabangan. Maray’ makatabang aku kaniya bang aku dumihil misan da kuman lima pilak, sa’ pag-ubus hádtu unu na? Pakain na siya? Magbalik na isab pa kulangan-kulangan niya ha higad-higad dán yadtu? Ampa na isab mangayu’ siyn? 
Wayruun aku kawasa umiyan subay humundung na sila ha pagpangayu’ pasal mikit na sila duun. Sa’ di’ aku magkahagad sin amura yadtu in dán hikabangun nila ha unu mayan in kahálan nila biháun. Mataud pa dugaing lalabayan, in shaa Allah mammayan kabatukan nila.
 Sari na madtu hapdi’-hapdian in tiyan, salugay di’ ta ra isab pahapdiun in pangatayan ta. Ayaw natu’ isab kalupahan pakaunun in pangatayan natu’. Bukun pasal mataas na in pangiskul ta, atawa sawkat mataas na in gadji ta kalupahan ta na in manga tau yaun daran natu’ pagkakitaan sa’ di’ natu’ pagsayuhun (pansinun).Tau ra isab sila. Biya’ kaymu, biya’ káku’. Bang unu in kalagihan mu, kalagihan nila ra isab. Misan isab dugaing tau sila, misan isab wayruun na kaw parsugpatan kanila; misan da kumán umuyum kanila, atawa umabut tinapay kapug-kapug, malaggu’ na yadtu. 
Mahuli’ subay di’ da isab kitaniyu malupa ha tiyap-tiyap lidjiki’ kiyaruhal katu’ niyu sin Tuhan Rabbul ‘Alamiyn. Magsukul kitaniyu sin awn pa makaun natu’. Mataud tau in di’ magpakakaun. Magsukul kita sin awn pa kasilungan ta. Mataud tau in dágan madtu ubus dágan mari hat hadja makasilung dayng ha ulan matigda’. Magsukul kita ha tiyap-tiyap awn kita. Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah.
Magmaap bang himaba’ na isab in suy-suy ku ini. Awn hadja waktu di’ ku na pagkahawiran in manga himumungan ini ha lawm atay ku, subay ku ra hisulat hibaktul; bat bang diy’, maray’ aku in mapikul. (dah!) Tammatan ta na riy.
Na, salam kasilasa kaniyu katan manga kakasi ku kalasahan! 
-Anak iluh.

Kaba’-kaba’ puti’

Natalus siyulat sin November 21, 2012
Kaba’-kaba’ puti’
Scientific name: Pieris rapae
(Ha wikipedia ku na kiyawa bat wayruun agutan hehe)
Awn ini kissa sung ku hitarasul. Sa’ sung ku mayan hisulat hibaktul, kiyahunitan aku manglawag kabtangan mabuntul. Kanda sa’ ku na hadja ini hisulat. Hisuysuy da kumán ha sasaat. Sari na misan sawsángat, salugay awn da isab makadawhat. Ha Mammayan hikalamud panumtuman, pa katán sin bakas na liyabayan. (Bang sawpama way niyu pa kiyabistuhan, in katan ini tiyuud siyulayan piyagkugdan-kugdan. 🙂
Hambuuk adlaw in aku namanawan, ha Pedro Gil street pag-ngánan. Piyasaran in baran nanglunsulan, misan harap pakain pa in abutan (salugay kabatukan da isab in dán balikan). Ha taud sin tau adlaw yadtu, tudju nila mari iban madtu. Di’ kaw makatuput ha lalabayan, biyariin pa bang ha sasakatan. In hibuk sin Manila’ makabisu na, in katan sin tambutsu nag-asu na; in tiyap-tiyap manusiya awn pag-uws-uwsan niya, duwal batu in di’ mag-iyg ha biyutangan niya. 
Sakali ha taud sin kahilu-halaan yadtu, awn hambuuk kaba’-kaba’ kiyta’ ku. Naglulupad iban pikpik niya asibi’, in walna’ niya anduw’ puti’-puti’. Na in aku isab ini nainu-inu, aykaw “dayng hain siya?” in pangasubu. Pasal tantu hambuuk puti’ kaba’-kaba’, ha hula’ ini máhang kaw makakita’. Hangkan isab in aku imapas, pakain in luparun niya hiuntas. Kalu ha ruhul sin dán ku kakitaan, in sumping pugad niya piyaghuhulaan.
Kimabad-kabad siya, limupad-lupad. Timaas, miyaba’ ampa limiyad-liyad. Atas ku timangkis ha manga tau ampa imuntas. Kabugaan in siya malawa’, ha pangatud ku mabutas. Sa’ in taud isab sin tau adlaw yadtu. In katán sila harap mari, in aku harap madtu. Aykaw ha taud nila, maray’ isa-isa ku ra háti’, in nakakita’ ha kaba’-kaba’ yadtu, kaba’-kaba’ puti’. 
Aha! Tagha’ awn limabay sasakatan dakula’. Tarak malaggu’, nagdará batu iban lupa’. In dágan di’ kahawiran landu’ in biskay. Anduw’ in kaba’-kaba’ ku yadtu, way rapat nasapsay. In aku landu’ isab nasusa, nagday’-day’ pa higad dán, kalu abutan ku pa. Sari na in sumping yadtu di’ na kakitaan; misan pikpik niya ra kuman in kasaksian. Pag-abut ku madtu hapus napas na. Puas limingi’ pa tuu, ampa isab limingi’ pa lawa. Misan lambung ikug niya wayna. Anduw’ in bagay ku yadtu, maray’ na hit-and-run na.  
Mahi baha’ awn waktu in bihayni magjatu? Awn na kabaakan mu, kakitaan mu maamu; sakali bang apasun gammán lumayu’ pa; bang sung na abutan, ampa na isab malawa’ pa. Adlaw yadtu namintangan sa aku, ha tiyap-tiyap adlaw tumagad da aku. Kalu baha’ kunsuwm ku’nisa kakitaan ku ra, in kaba’-kaba’ puti’ iban paglupad-lupad niya.
Salam iban kasilasa!

Chinese interpeters

According to an article written by Go Boon Juan, a number of Chinese were appointed as court interpreters to China by the Sulu Sultan. Among there are the following:”The first is Gong Ting Cai, a Chinese merchant in Sulu, who was appointed in 1726. Ma …

Arola Tulawie Municipality?

Yes this was the intent of Batas Pambansa 692 signed into law on March 7, 1984, to rename Talipao to Arola Tulawie Municipality.Source: BP 692 – http://www.chanrobles.com/bataspambansa/bataspambansablg692.html#.UQYvdx8j5-w

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From Jolo to Zamboanga

Yes there was a time when the regional center of Region 9 was in Jolo. The culprit is Presidential Decree 1555, while constituting Region 9 also transferred the center from Jolo to Zamboanga in 1978.Source:PD 1555 – http://www.chanrobles.com/presi…

From Bato-Bato to Bongao

When Tawi-Tawi was separated in 1971, the provincial seat of government was established at Batu-Batu in Balimbing Municipality (now Panglima Sugala) in mainland Tawi-Tawi. Fearful that the MNLF occupation of Jolo might be repeated, the seat was strateg…

Shrimp culture

In 1977, Republic Act 6273 was passed by Congress establishing a shrimp culture and demonstration farm in Tandubas, Tawi-Tawi. A sum of P60,000 from the National Treasury was appropriated.We wonder what happen to this farm?Source: RA 6273 – h…

Sulu Chinese

We call them “Lan Nang”, the local term for Chinese. Initial they are concentrated at “Tinda Laud”, an apartment lane on stilt of Chinese stores just across the “Walled City”.What makes Chinese in Jolo unique from other Chinese in the Philippines is th…

Another rich trove of materials

Written document within Sulu Archipelago is scarce. However, written documents about the Sulu archipelago is rich and diverse. Thanks to the internet and digitization, it is now easy to access these written documents.One of this is the online library o…

Janji’ Subay Hipagtunay

Sapantun awn 7 tau magbagay makusug in pagkasilasa ha antara’ nila. Ha bihadtu kahalan, naawn nila in pagjanji’ ha antara’ sin sila. In piyagjanjian nila di’ sila makajari maggaus daing ha unu-unu na pakaradjaan manahut-maaslag. Wala’ pa sila naputta s…

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Prove that FAB is the best option, KFI director says in Alamada forum

“Peace is in our hands.  Let’s make use of the Framework of Agreement on Bangsamoro (FAB) to give it a chance.” Thus exhorted KFI director Guiamel Alim the estimated 300 participants in a multi-sectoral forum on FAB held at the municipal gymnasium of Alamada, North Cotabato on December 4, 2012…

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Etude House Centrio Mall CDO For Cute Korean Cosmetics

A lot of Filipinas love Korean beauty brands. Not only are they of very good quality but these Korean beauty products come in cute, eye-catching packaging and they’re affordable. So it’s pretty good news that one of the world’s well-known Korean cosmetics brands has opened not just one but two (!) branches in Northern Mindanao. […]

UPDATED: Bukidnon Kaamulan Festival 2013 Schedule Of Activities And Tour

UPDATE: This is the final and official Kaamulan Festival 2013 Bukidnon schedule of activities! Bukidnon’s yearly grand ethnic cultural festival and gathering of the 7 hill tribes is finally here! The Kaamulan Festival 2013 is the gathering of Bukidnon’s 7 hill tribes namely Bukidnon, Umayamnon, Manobo, Talaandig, Matigsalug, Higaonon and Tigwahanon tribes. The Kaamulan Festival […]

Foot Notes Socks From Mark Bautista

When this Mindanao lifestyle blogger first shared the news about Foot Notes Socks several days ago, I received a lot of inquiries and a lot of comments from people who wanted to order their own pair of Foot Notes Socks by Mark Bautista, a popular singe…

Warrant of arrest out for ex-Bukidnon rep Neric Acosta, mom Coring

I received a phone call about two hours ago. It was a tip. Apparently, the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has issued a warrant of arrest for former Bukidnon First District Congressman Juan Romeo Nereus “Neric” Acosta and his mother, former Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon mayor Socorro “Coring” Acosta. The warrant of arrest was made in connection with […]

HOW THE MUSLIM WORLD BECAME PART OF THE GREATEST CONSPIRACY IN HUMAN HISTORY -PART 1

HOW THE MUSLIM WORLD BECAME PART OF THE GREATEST CONSPIRACY IN HUMAN HISTORY -PART 1
HOW COME OUR MUSLIM SCHOLARS NEVER SAW THIS COMING?  HOW DID WE END UP BEING USED AS TOOLS BY THE ZIONIST-ISRAELI’S?  
The Prophet PBUH said: “There will be a rebellion. When one side rests, the other side will become restless. Finally a herald will call from heaven: “your commanders are such –and- such.”…end of the quotation (IBN KHALDUN)
Could this be Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and now Syria? It could be and it is still in Progress…have we not thought of this? Why the Prophet did warn us about these rebellions? Could he be giving us clues what will come forth or what “age” are we into? Could this be the beginning of the Prophesized “Great War” that will take place before the last hour; where JESUS PBUH, MAHDI and DAJJAL (False Messiah) will appear? It could be, only ALLAH (S.W.T.) knows.
The Prophet PBUH said: “At the end of time there will be a rebellion in which people will be caught as firmly as gold is embedded in the ore. Do not Slander the Syrians, but only the bad ones among them, because among them are (also) Saints. Soon a downpour will be sent from heaven upon the Syrians. It will divide them so much that if nothing (stronger) than foxes were going to fight them, they would be defeated. At that time, there will come forth one from among my family and there will be with him 3 flags(regiments),comprising, according to the highest figure given,15 thousand men, or, according to the lowest figure, 12 thousand men. Their order of the day will be: Kill, kill. They will encounter 7 flags (regiments). Each of which will be commanded by a man who seeks Royal Authority. But God will kill all of them. He will restore to the Muslims their Unity, prosperity, remote (possessions), and Judgment.” …end of quotation (IBN KHALDUN)
Having reviewed this hadith several times- it felt like am watching CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera Networks…but wait, those Traditions or Hadiths were related to us thousand years ago? Could it be just a coincidence? Maybe, again only ALLAH (S.W.T.) knows.
Who could be the 3 Nations who will be with the MAHDI? And who could be the 7 nations whom the Mahdi will fight? It says in the above mentioned hadith that all of the 7 is commanded by a Royal Authority (Monarch), Could it be the Kingdoms of Bahrain , Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi, United Arab Emirates and Jordan?  Possible! Maybe, But wait, are these not the Nations behind the Revolution against Assad? What could possibly be the reason of these who claimed to be Muslim-States to turn against Assad? Were there really oppressions in Syria Prior to this Armed Revolt? Did we miss it in the News that it was the Qatari Special Forces and not the Syrians themselves who are fighting against Assad? The same Special Forces sent in Libya to topple down Kaddafi?  Do you know what Assad and Khadafi have in common?  Both do not recognize the State of ISRAEL.
“Narrated Mu’adh ibn Jabal: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The flourishing state of Jerusalem will be when Yathrib (i.e., Madina in modern-day Saudi Arabia) is in ruins, the ruined state of Yathrib will be when the great war comes, the outbreak of the great war will beat the conquest of Constantinople and the conquest of Constantinople when the Dajjâl (the false Messiah or Antichrist) comes forth. He (the Prophet) struck his thigh or his shoulder with his hand and said: This is as true as you are here or as you are sitting (meaning Mu’adh ibn Jabal) (Sunan, Abu Daud) 
Again reading this Tradition felt like I  am watching the WORLD NEWS-Turkey (CONSTANTINOPLE) will commence the WAR? A Turkey lead- NATO invasion of Syria will lead to the destruction of Yathrib (Madina)?  Is this the reason why Germany and Netherlands brought their Patriot-defense missile system in Turkey few weeks ago?  Is it still a secret to you that SAUDI ARABIA is aiding the opposition in SYRIA?  If you are reading and Watching the NEWS—your guess is as good as mine.
Note: To my Muslim Brothers who are still in denial and might accuse me of being a member of any sect—-you are missing the point—-use your Intuitive learning—do not be chained by Dogmas who follow certain Agendas. I am not a Member of any Sect I am a Muslim. Deal with that do not Lecture me about Aqeedah, that Power is reserved to ALLAH (S.W.T.) alone. Only he can read what is in our minds and Only He whom I worship and Follow.  To those who will be dragged in this WAR between SHIITE and SUNNIS to those Shiites and Sunnis killing each other in IRAQ, Pakistan, Lebanon and Syria—May ALLAH (S.W.T.) Guide us ALL.  We have become the tools of DAJJAL in fulfilling his Mission.
—To be continued….

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STOP! Felonious Forced Disappearances, Extrajudicial Killings

STOP! Felonious Forced Disappearances, Extrajudicial Killings

By Warina Sushil A. Jukuy, HAN-SecGen
“Calling For Justice For Shaykh Bashier Mursalun”

You, who shot him, if he still alive, give him back to us, we will hospitalize him; If he died, return his corpse to us, we shall bury him and return him to Allah. We believe that our Shaykh died as Martyr because indeed he is an innocent preacher.  ~Fwd Text from Concerned Muslims..

                Upon circulation of forwarded text message, PAHRA Chair Max de Mesa and PAHRA SecGen Rose Trajano were the first people among HAN partners to respond promptly. De Mesa advised for a background to be emailed so an urgent appeal can be made locally and abroad. Trajano likewise advised for a documented report albeit a brief one so she can take action and coordinate the case with Task Force USIG of the PNP to enforce NMM or National Monitoring Mechanism on  forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings, among others.
                We urgently appeal to our Muslim leaders, the PNP,  human rights groups and colleagues as well as other civil society organizations to join hands and collaborate to render justice to Shaykh Bashier Mursalun and similar others  before him and after him, insha’ALLAH.
                The Philippine Constitution states: “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty and property without due process of law.”  In Islam, to spill a drop of blood without just cause is a crime against humanity. I reiterate our call, in the name of Al Adl and of  Justice:
“…You, who shot him, if he still alive, give him back to us, we will hospitalize him; If he died, return his corpse to us, we shall bury him and return him to Allah. We believe that our Shaykh died as Martyr because indeed he is an innocent preacher.
LATEST UPDATE:
Based from a call from HAN partner ALNAJIB MAUJON an hour ago, a trusted source  intimated that  a witness survived; plate number of alleged perpetrators’ van was recorded and a spot report of incident is with the Zamboanga City cops; and that a certain Police Abdul of ZC checkpoint  noticed his shaykh inside the van. Surprised he commented that it was his guru but the alleged perpetrators replied that they are from PDEA. HAN partner Maujon’s source also gave information that when van broke witnesses saw switching of perpetrators and abducted Mursalun to another Adventure vehicle.  Contact imparted that cops could not trace the vehicle’s owner because plate number was unregistered. I believe that the original vehicle owner can still be traced through the chassis of the engine which in motor vehicles are stenciled at LTO.
Nonetheless, below is a blogpost, MURSALUN STILL NOT FOUND, written by fellow PAHRA paralegal worker and Han pioneer member.
MURSALUN STILL NOT FOUND
By Gamson Jr Mawallil Quijano, RRT

Families and friends of Ustadz Bashier Mursalun of Zamboanga City are still exhausting all means to find his missing body after he was gunshot by still unidentified perpetrators in barangay Labuan, Zamboanga City. The shooting incident took place lately this afternoon, Monday, 21 January 2013.

Report says that indeed Ustadz Mursalun was gunshot and allegedly dies, however as yet the whereabouts of his body were remains hidden. Moreover, the motive behind the incident is still unknown.

Via Facebook message, Ustadz Abdulwakil Kasim, a religious elder in barangay Ayala, Zamboanga City, a nearby barangay where the incident transpired, says, “The Barangay Chairman of Labuan are still coordinating with the local authorities about the whereabouts of the body of Ustadz Bashier.”

“As for us, we cannot yet confirm the status quo of Ustadz Bashier since we haven’t seen yet his body. Meantime, I and the rest of Ulama in Zamboanga City are still closely monitoring Ustadz Basher’s whereabouts.” –Ustadz Kasim added.

The Darul Ifta Director General Shiekh Abdulwakil Tanjilil notifies the concern government authorities in Zamboanga City to aid in seeking the missing body of Ustadz Mursalun.

Ustadz Bashier Mursalun was a well known Muslim preacher in Mindanao. He graduated his Islamic education major in Islamic Jurisprudence in Islamic University of Sudan.

A Muslim paralegal member of Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates urges Muslims media to participate in the monitoring of the case.

This happening has also been reached out to the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Secretary Mehol K. Sadain and Commission on Human Rights ARMM Regional Director Atty. Laisa M. Alamia for adequate and expeditious action. (30)

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Education and religion

By Amina Rasul, Surveil at Business World, posted on July 21, 2011 08:38:06 PM
__________________________

BEIJING — It is wet here in Beijing and I am glad that I am spending three days indoors, with 20 experts on religion, education, and social development. We are participating in a small conference focusing on Islam and security, hosted by the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) of Washington DC and the Chinese government’s think tank, the Institute of Ethnic Minority Groups.
While listening to Chris Seiple of the IGE focus our attention on the role that religion can play in helping communities grow stronger in a rapidly modernizing and globalizing world or its role to create societal instability, I could not help but think of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III’s forthcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday. What will PNoy announce on the peace processes that affect Mindanao? What will he announce as part of the agenda to reform the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, now that he has approved the law postponing the ARMM elections?
Certainly, many groups espousing a variety of issues are expecting the President to mention their advocacies. And typical of post-SONA discourses, some sectors will probably criticize the President’s speech for lack of details and specific plans.
For Muslims in the Philippines, there is an expectation that the SONA will go beyond the obligatory call for peace and development in Mindanao. To my mind, investment in education is clearly required to lay a strong foundation for peace and development in Mindanao, especially Muslim Mindanao. For instance, why isn’t government investing more in literacy for adults? If a mother is illiterate, can you expect her to raise educated children? The Magbassa Kita Foundation Inc. (MKFI) supported by the USAID is implementing the Literacy for Peace and Development (LIPAD) to help our communities find their wings to fly out of an oppressive situation. No-brainers.

Islamic Education and Peace
However, let me devote this column to an aspect of education not as well discussed or supported by government’s policymakers: the role of the madrasah or Islamic schools. First, Muslims thank the Aquino administration and the Department of Education for releasing over P250 million last week to pay for the salaries and strengthening of the madrasah and the Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education (ALIVE) program of the public schools in Muslim communities.
It is estimated that there are between 600 and 1,000 madaris (plural of madrasah) in Mindanao with a total student population of between 60,000 and 100,000. Aside from the madaris, the DepEd has 459 public schools nationwide now offering ALIVE to Muslim students as part of their civic education.

A lot has been written about the conflict in Mindanao and how to bring about peace and development to the millions of Muslims, Christians, and Lumads who continue to suffer from poverty and powerlessness. For conflict-affected communities, the centerpiece of any administration’s strategy has been, and continues to be, the formal peace process. It is an attempt to bring about a politically negotiated settlement to the conflict in Mindanao.
We, at the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID), continue to support the peace talks. We are, in fact, one of the local civil society organizations that are involved with the International Contact Group. But based on our experience, we know that there are complementary initiatives that can potentially bring about peace in Mindanao without waiting for the signing of a peace agreement. For instance, the strengthening of madrasah education is one of the ways to ensure that a culture of peace can be established that can support the gains of the peace process.
Education in the traditional madrasah focuses on Islamic values, Islamic religion, and the Arabic language. The madrasah system is a highly valued tradition that is instrumental in the preservation of Islamic religion and culture. The madrasah tradition is considered vital for the Muslim community. It is both an educational and socio-political institution that has, since its founding, kept the Muslim community united in their faith.
Its significance is highlighted by the fact that the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) guaranteed state support for Islamic education.
There are several types of madaris. Traditional or Weekend Madrasah refers to classes that are held on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) only or on days agreed upon by the teachers and students. There is no formal curriculum, hence it is non-graded and may have multi-age groupings. The students in this type of madrasah are also likely the students enrolled in public schools.
The formal madrasah offers hierarchically structured education and sequential learning generally attuned with the formal education system and offers kindergarten, primary, and secondary education. As former Education Undersecretary Monaros Boransing noted, most traditional and formal madaris are not recognized by the Department of Education (DepEd) if their curriculum is not compliant with the government’s national educational system. As such they are outside the formal system of national education, and not subject to government supervision and control.
Thankfully, government (national and ARMM) and the madaris administrators have been collaborating on the development of the Integrated Madrasah, which offers the public school curriculum as add-on to Islamic religious subjects and Arabic.
Despite the initial steps taken to encourage development of the madrasah system in the country, many challenges remain. The madaris continue to grapple with poor curriculum and quality of instruction, inadequate facilities and inadequate funding. Financial support for the madaris has been largely non-existent and there is also minimal coordination and networking among the different groups involved in madrasah projects. Better linking between and among the different groups would avoid duplication of projects and allow organizations to build on the success of others. This has the potential of maximizing the impact of the various programs and focusing efforts, not to mention resources, on areas that require greater support.
Apart from upgrading its capabilities so that it can become part of the national education system, the madrasah can also become the heart of the community and be the center for community outreach. PCID has been working since 2004 with Muslim religious leaders to this end. We are working on capacity building for the aleemat of the Noorus Salam (Light of Peace) who teach in the madrasah to provide services to the community: health, literacy, livelihood training, peace education, civic education and interfaith dialogue.
We have worked with our aleemat to utilize the Islamic peace education module we had developed, which draws on the Qur’an and the hadith to teach about peace and rights, and responsibilities. (If a religious school does not teach about peace and responsibilities and rights, who can?)
The initiative of the PCID to engage the Muslim religious leaders allows us to build their capacity and the madrasah to help our Muslim communities find the will and the ability to deal with the many problems that confront us, to include poverty, marginalization, armed conflict, and the lure of lawlessness.
And so as President Aquino III enters the second year of his presidency, we hope that his administration can support the development and institutionalization of Madrasah education. (Under the previous administration, there was a DepEd Road Map for Upgrading Muslim Basic Education: A Comprehensive Program for the Educational Development of Filipino Muslims.)
We believe that this is an important part of any efforts to bring peace in Mindanao. It is a program that respects the cultural and religious identity of the Muslims and provides a platform for the development of a culture of peace in the region.