Monthly Archives: March 2017

Hello from New York!

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Hello! I finally have the time to just sit down and blog! It’s true – this surely is the city that never sleeps. I’m talking about New York City, USA! Yup, I’M BACKKK!!! Can…

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‘War is not an option’

BALINDONG, Lanao del Sur  – Entering the camp of Moro Islamic Liberation Front leader Abdulrahman Macapaar, more popularly known as Commander Bravo, in the mountains on top of this town, one could easily notice the patch of newly planted spring onions on a soccer-sized field. “We flattened this ground to accommodate the landing of the […]

“Recidivist environmental violator” in Dinagat spared by DENR

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/31 March) — Local environment officials and advocates expressed both wonderment and anger over why a large-scale nickel mining firm which has been penalized several times for environmental violations was spared from the suspension and closure orders imposed by Environment Secretary Regina Lopez. Roger de Dios, regional director of Mines and Geosciences Bureau […]

Preps for MILF decommissioning underway

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/31 March) – Preparations for the decommissioning of Moro Islamic Liberation Front combatants are now underway to speed up the process once Congress approves the Bangsamoro Basic Law, government peace implementing panel head Irene Santiago said Wednesday. During the third year commemoration of the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro at the Waterfront […]

Sans truce, expect NPA attacks even as peace process moves on — Sec. Bello

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/31 March) – Expect the New People’s Army to launch attacks even while the peace process is ongoing because the rebels want to “negotiate from a position of strength,” Labor Secretary and concurrent of the government panel in talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines Silvestre Belllo III said Friday. Bello […]

A SOJOURNER’s VIEW: Like us, you will be forced to take radical options

(Commencement address of Redemptorist Brother Karl Gaspar, CSsR, at Xavier University, Ateneo de Cagayan in Cagayan de Oro City on March 30, 2017. The university conferred on him an honorary degree for Doctor in Humanities in recognition of his “extensive and excellent work as an inspiring theologian, interfaith scholar, multi-awarded writer, and Mindanaoan artist in pursuit […]

COMMENT: BBL* Ahead of Federalization (4)

Last of four parts IV. Do Something GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/31 March) — The President, the GPH and MILF implementing panels (IPs) and the Congress – they with authority and power to remove the obstructions and hindrances — must do something to insure the safe passage of the BBL by December 2017 and the installation […]

PEACE TALK. Prof. Rufa Cagoco-Guiam: “A more inclusive world after a long armed conflict”

Prof. Rufa Cagoco-Guiam made history in the early 1990s as the first  — and thus far, only — Moro woman editor in chief of the country’s longest running Catholic newspaper, The Mindanao Cross, in Cotabato City. Guiam, however, was not just editing the paper from 1991 to 1995 while teaching Anthropology at the Notre Dame […]

PEACE TALK. Fatima Pir Allian: “Ang RSD ng Bangsamoro is very much alive”

Fatima Pir Tillah Allian loves to talk about journeys. Her journey as a Moro woman, the journey of her generation, the journey of the Moro people in asserting their right to self determination, the journey to peace.   She was five months old during the “Jolo-caust” (a term Tausug writer Said Sadain used to describe […]

PEACETALK. Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Jr. on passing the BBL: “Conservatively, sa House, give me a month or two”  

Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, Jr. sparked a major controversy 10 days after the May 9 elections last year, when the then presumptive Speaker of the House of Representatives was reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer as saying there was “no more need” for a Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) because the country will shift […]

PEACE TALK. Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III: “It makes more sense to push for BBL first .. but the simplest would be straight to federalism”

On the wall of the receiving room of the office of the Senate President on the 6th floor of the Senate building in Pasay City is a huge portrait of Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., sitting down and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III standing beside him — father and son from Mindanao who became Senate President: the […]

Jaafar: No ISIS in Mindanao but…

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 30 March) – Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) first vice chair Ghazali Jaafar said global terrorism group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has not penetrated Mindanao yet but said the younger generation of local terrorist groups are growing impatient over the current status of the Bangsamoro. During the commemoration […]

Delicious Taiwanese cuisine at Tien Ma’s CDO

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My first visit to Taiwan is still pretty fresh in my mind. Obviously, I really had so much fun in Taipei, Jiufen and other nearby Taiwan areas for me to still remember that oh-so-lovely…

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Thanks for the tractors but a political problem requires a political solution – Jaafar

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 March) — The government (GPH) must deliver a “political solution” to end the Bangsamoro armed struggle by fully implementing the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) through the passage of an acceptable enabling law, said Ghazali Jaafar, the new chair of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) who is also first […]

COMMENT: BBL* Ahead of Federalization (2nd of 4 parts)

II. Liked with Fear GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 29 March) — The second main concern focused on the implications on BBL of federalization as the BPDR provides – the “Federalism + Enabling Law Approach” or the “Enabling Law (Legislative) and Federalism (Constitutional Convention) Simultaneous Tracks”. If the Senate will agree, “Constitutional Convention” in the […]

Nur and Digong

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte meets with Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chair Nur Misuari and family at the Presidential Guest House in Davao City on March 27, 2017.  RENE LUMAWAG/Presidential Photo

Nene Pimentel on barangay polls: respect power of the people to elect their leaders    

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 28 March) — Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr., the “father of the Local Government Code,” is against moves to postpone the October 23, 2017 barangay elections to May 25, 2020 and have his party mate, President Rodrigo Duterte appoint OIC barangay officials. Pimentel told ANC’s “Beyond Politics” on Tuesday […]

COMMENT: BBL* Ahead of Federalization (1st of four parts)

I. Unity: Heart of the Issue GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/ 28 March) — How shall Bangsamoro be established? As gleaned from two MindaNews reports (3/7/17: Will federalism hold the Bangsamoro hostage?) and (3/8/17: Moro groups race with time, grope for ‘convergence’ on peace agenda) this emerged as the proverbial “hard nut to crack” during the […]

Hungary seeks stronger EU-ASEAN economic ties

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/28 March) – Stronger economic ties between the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will help the former regain its competitiveness, a Hungarian official said. “Actually, we are absolutely interested in tighter cooperation between the EU and the ASEAN because we understand that this is a very dynamically developing region […]

Hungary seeks stronger EU-ASEAN economic ties

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/28 March) – Stronger economic ties between the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will help the former regain its competitiveness, a Hungarian official said. “Actually, we are absolutely interested in tighter cooperation between the EU and the ASEAN because we understand that this is a very dynamically developing region […]