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Vol. II, No. 07 | July 30-August 5, 2021 (Dhu’l Hijjah 20-26, 1442)

PRRD’s 6th SONA dismays movants for BTA extension By ALI G. MACABALANG

‘Politician’ pays negative news about BARMM – official


OTABATO CITY – People and groups calling for an extended transitional period in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) were dismayed over the failure of President Duterte to push for or mention about the clamor in his sixth and final State-of-theNational Address (SONA), the country’s longest so far.

A certain “politician” purportedly opposed to calls for an extension in the transitional operation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) governance was allegedly behind the series of published paid news stories discrediting the interim regional leadership. (Full story on Page A4)


President Rordrigo Roa Duterte.

UBJP, Maguindanao air last ditch plea for PRRD’s push for BTA extension


housands of supporters, led openly this time by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF’s) United Bangsamoro Justice Party) and backed by consistent followers of Congressman Esmael Mangudadatu, staged brief caravans and pocket rallies in

A3 Across BARMM

A6 Across Mindanao

BaSulTa farmers, fisher BIFF commander, folks to be trained by FAO 6 followers surrender -UN in Maguindanao

COTABATO CITY — Some five hundred twenty (520) farmers and fisher folks in the provincial islands of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi are set to undergo TechnicalVocational (Tech-Voc) skills training after an agreement was signed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) and Food and Agriculture.

Members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) lead by Commander Binladen (2nd from left in Maong Jacket) and his six followers raise their right hands as they swear allegiance to the flag of the Republic of the Philippines during their surrender ceremony at the headquarters of the Army’s 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade in Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

strategic areas of Maguindanao North Cotabato and nearby places in Lanao del Sur on July 24 to beseech a Presidential push for Congress to pass the enabling measure promptly. (FULL STORY ON PAGE A8)

A7 Across Mindanao

A9 Tourism

80 MSU-GSC faculty members finish USAID webinar

Issues, Concerns and Challenges on the TawiTawi Seaweed Industry (2)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY -– Eighty (80) faculty members of the Mindanao State University (MSU) in this city have gone through an initial leg of serial seminar programs coordinated with the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) to sustain or enhance academic excellence gradually achieved by the satellite campus here.

The success of seaweed farming and the industry as a whole, which started in 1973, may have seemed to be a perfect solution to the major problems that beset the people: poverty and, at the sideline, the violence that had been caused by the then secessionist movements. It could be said that it was a timely natural intervention in extinguishing the flame of insurgency in this part of southern Mindanao.


The Bangsamoro

Vol. II, No. 07 | July 30-August 5, 2021 (Dhu’l Hijjah 20-26, 1442)

PRRD’s 6th SONA dismays movants for BTA extension

Meranaos dismayed too over SONA’s silence on Marawi compensation bill By ALI G. MACABALANG



OTABATO CITY – People and groups calling for an extended transitional period in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) were dismayed over the

A portion of wrecked areas in war-torn Marawi City. (File)


OTABATO CITY – Meranaos were also dismayed over the absence in President Duterte’s final State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) of any sign of push for the passage of the longpending Marawi Compensation Bill, which seeks to indemnify properties wrecked in the 2017 fivemonth fierce battle in the country’s lone Islamic city. War-displaced or affected Meranaos from various callings said the President failed again in his two-hour, 46-minute SONA to mention a categorical statement about the status of the reparation bill pending in Congress since 2018. Mr. Duterte just conveyed a related twoparagraph segment in his Monday’s speech: “Our victory in Marawi is also a testament to how the Filipino’s patriotism is far stronger than any extremist group. As I have said before, many times, there is no room for lawlessness in this country; “Rebuilding a better Marawi remains today, still not completed. To Task Force Bangon Marawi, we need to race against time. And you have to finish the necessary work to rehabilitate the war-torn city and bring back its [displaced] families back home.” By “victory,” the President was referring to the military’s “liberation” of Marawi from forces of Dawla Islamiya (Maute group) and Abu Sayyaf militants, who occupied the city on May 23, 2017 and slugged it out with air strikes-backed state forces in five months of battle that left hundreds of enemies, soldiers and civilians dead, and ruined barangays inside the so-called Ground Zero or Most Affected Area (MMA). In his order to the TFBM, an interagency body tasked to oversee the rehabilitation of Marawi and recovery of IDPs, Mr. Duterte did not give a timeline – another thing that also ostensibly dismayed prominent displaced residents – or mention about the reparation bill. “The ultimate test of (the success of) Marawi rehab is the safe and dignified return of the IDPs,” MSU Prof. Tirmizy Abdullah said in a published report, corroborating earlier complaints about repeated delays in the homecoming of evacuees since 2018. For Amenodin Cali, chair of Kalimudan sa Ranao Foundation, Inc., “the rehab effort is a dismal failure (because) the government has backtracked on its promises and failed at consulting relevant stakeholders in planning and carrying the programs for rehabilitation.” Prof. Abdullah and fellow affected Meranaos were expecting that the President would also finally apologize in his last SONA to the thousands of IDPs, hinting that the Chief Executive had visited the war-torn city 10 times, attended the wakes of fallen soldiers, and offered his words of sympathy with cash aids. President Duterte, who earlier claimed that his grand maternal lineage had Meranao blood, has never consoled the largely Meranao IDPs, who receive no salaries from the government in contrast to soldiers. MERANAOS | A11

The President delivered his last SONA last July 26, exactly three years after he signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) or R.A. 11054 or BARMM charter in 2018. This vital fact made movants of a Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) lifespan highly expectant of an enabling Presidential announcement. But in his 286-minute speech, Duterte mentioned just a two-liner sentence in both his written narrative and ad libs: “With the help of Congress, we were able to pass the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, finally fulfilling a promise that was decades in the making.” Since last November, petitions, rallies and caravans driven by 1.2million signatures have been made to persuade Malacañang and Congress into deferring the 2022 BARMM election and extending the BTA lifespan to 2025 for it to amply accomplish its mandates under the BOL and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) inked by the government with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2014. On many occasions, cabinet officials had mentioned the President as “supportive” of the clamor, reportedly cognizant of the adverse effects of the Coronavirus on government functionaries including those of the BTA – the interim ruling body in BARMM. Last June 24, Palace Spokesman Harry Roque announced that the President had adopted neutrality on the clamor and left Congress to decide on it due to two factors: the disagreement among BARMM officials and political leaders on the issue; and contrasting

failure of President Duterte to push for or mention about the clamor in his sixth and final State-of-the-National Address (SONA), the country’s longest so far.

BARMM Education and MILF Vice Chairman Mohagher Iqbal, and Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu. Mangudadatu, who auopinions of the Justice play its noble duty to thored one of four simibuild a just and humane Department and the lar bills in the House. Presidential Chief Legal society,” and sustain the BARMM Education Counsel’s office on the national legacy via apMinister and MILF Vice question of whether or proval of the measure Chairman Mohagher not postponing the represented by a bill in Iqbal, who like BARMM polls would the Senate and four Mangudadatu physicalsimilar versions in the need a plebiscite. ly attended the SONA Days before the SO- House. delivery, conveyed simSeveral nitizens took NA delivery, movants ilar optimism. He beincluding even mem- to the social similar senlieved that extending saying the bers of the MILF’s Unit- timents, the BTA transitional touted ed Bangsamoro Justice President operations will be Party and led by the BARMM as his legacy “more beneficial” for the Civil Society Organiza- but seemed “not connational and regional tions Movement for cern” about seeing the governments as well as new parliament-styled Moral Governance the Bangsamoro peoautonomous govern(CSOMMG) staged last ple than the opposite. ditch caravans, hoping ance lead towards fruiLawyer Naguib the President would tion. Sinarimbo, BARMM Nonetheless, top change mind and ask spokesman and Local Congress to approve BARMM officials and Government minister, enabling bills pending Muslim lawmakers resaid he had not mained hopeful that the deliberation. watched the SONA but 18th Congress will postAlas, the President, he and other regional who considers the pone the regional polls officials remained optiBARMM creation as his and extend the BTA mistic for a favorable legacy on peace- interim operations, citing Congressional action. building, just mentioned a corresponding support “While the President the two-liner sentence by the Office of the is openly neutral, he in his final SONA. He Presidential Adviser on has his way of seeing a Process asked Congress to pass Peace positive action in Con(OPAPP). at least five measures gress to sustain the Senate Majority excluding the pending essence of his legacies bills on 2022 BARMM Leader Juan Miguel including the BARMM polls and BTA interim Zubiri told a summit governance and its here of BARMM officials period extension. functionaries,” Sinarim“We’re disappointed and political leaders on bo said. that the President did July 23 the higher Sinarimbo and chamber was likely to not mention the extenMangudadatu have pass the poll-deferring sion of the transition expressed sentiments period in the Bang- bill in a month’s time. about Congress taking Maguindanao samoro as a priority bill. consideration of facts District Rep. Nevertheless, we will 2nd that several elections in “Toto” not stop appealing to Esmael the defunct Autonohim and lobbying before Mangudadatu said he mous Region in Muslim Congress to pass a law remained confident that Mindanao (ARMM) had the House versions will extending the transition been postponed withalso be harmonized by a period in the Bangout a plebiscite samoro region,” Sam- technical working group held. (AGM) sodin Amella of the and passed in plenary CSOMMG) said in a possibly in time with the Reading maketh Senate schedule. report. “We are just waiting The 1BANGSA, a a man. nationwide Bangsamoro for the signal from Read Philippine group led by Alan Bal- Speaker (Lord Allan) angi-Amer, said Velasco for our swift Muslim Today. said “Congress now can to deliberation,”

Across Bangsamoro

Vol. II, No. 07 | July 30-August 5, 2021 (Dhu’l Hijjah 20-26, 1442)

Adiong calls for passage of Marawi Compensation Bill


BaSulTa farmers, fisher folks to be trained by FAO-UN By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL



OTABATO CITY — Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal “Bombit” Alonto-Adiong Jr. has urged Congress to pass the Marawi Compensation Bill long pending plenary deliberations, pointing out the “patience of my fellow Meran-

aws is wearing thin” after four years in waiting. Gov. Adiong issued the call when interviewed at the sidelight of the regional summit of the Bangsamoro autonomous governance here on July 23. homes again. We cannot blame them for wanting this. We appeal to Congress to pass the Marawi Compensation Bill so that the residents of the Most Affected Area of the Islamic City of Marawi (can) start the process of rebuilding their lives,” Gov. Adiong said. A Sept. 24, 2020 report of the Radio Mindanao Network (RMN) quoted House Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman as disclosing the three

In a separate brief interview here by The Philippine Muslim Today news, meanwhile, the governor announced that the P400million fund by the regional autonomous government for waterworks in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur has been allocated for three strategic areas of the city. He named the three recipient zones as the Mindanao State University-main campus, and Barangays Sugod and Guimba, all of Marawi City. The three zones comprise 40 clustered villages long suffering from inadequate potable water supplies for decades. MSU System President Dr. Habib Macaayong joined Gov. Adiong and partner implementing entities in breaking the ground for the construction of a waterworks project at the university campus last week. The separate project launch ceremonies for Barangays Sugod and Guimba were set this month, it was learned. In his call for Congress to revive deliberations of the Marawi Compensation Bill, Adiong said has been sympathetic with several thousands of families, who got displaced from the five-month military offensives against

that reportedly ranged between P30-billion and P50-billion. House Bill 3419, filed by Lanao del Sur 1st District Rep. Ansaruddin “Hooky” Adiong, younger brother of the governor, pegged the reparation cost at P50-billion. Two other bills sought P30billion reparation, the RMN report said. All three bills proposed the creation of a Marawi Compensatio n Board that will admin-

MAFAR Minister Dr. Mohammad Yacob (center), together with FAO Project team leader Ruben Miranda (left) and Assistant to the Minister for Special Concern Pendatun Patarasa (right), during the signing of Letter of Agreement (LOA) on July 22, 2021. (Contributed Photo)


OTABATO CITY — Some five

hundred twenty (520) farmers and fisher folks in the provincial islands of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi are set to undergo Technical-Vocational (Tech-Voc) skills training after an agreement was signed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) and Food and Agriculture .

handful number of combined Dawla islamiya (Maute group) and Abu Sayyaf militants, and lost their houses and other properties. Among those wrecked buildings were the residential compounds of Adiong’s maternal grandparents in the Alonto clan. The compounds covered the graveyards of the late Sultan Alauya Alonto, the country’s first Maranao senator, and his deceased sons Domocao, a former senator also, and Madki, the first governor of Lanao del Sur. “Four years after the Marawi siege, the patience of my fellow Meranaws is wearing this. Displaced families want to get out of the temporary shelters they are presently cooped up in and live in their

enabling bills for the demand for compensation on Marawi destruction had gained committee-level approval at the lower chamber of Congress. In the RMN report, Hataman announced that the harmonized Marawi Compensation Billwa s approved by the House Committee on Disaster Resilience in September 2020. Hataman reportedly said the committeepassed measure left for plenary deliberation the sums of compensation


ister the awarding of appropriate sums to legitimate claimants among thousands of residents with damaged properties, it was learned. The bills could have included one that was drafted by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and handed to the House and Senate leaderships by lawyer Saidamen Pangarungan before his appointment as National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) secretary in 2018. (AGM)


MAFAR Minister Dr. Mohammad Yacob and FAO Project Team Leader Ruben Miranda on W said he signed a P4.7-million Letter of Agreement (LOA) under the project entitled “The Project for Agricultural Training for Establishment of Peace in Mindanao”. Yacob said it is funded by the Government of Japan, and the project is geared towards capacitating farmers and fishers’ skills in production techniques and adaptive practices to sustain agri-fishery sector in the islands. It is projected to conduct 26 training batches of farmers and fishers, who will be trained on agriculture and horticultural courses, including basic agrientrepreneurship, livelihood, and skills training. These are composed of former combatants and immediate families, Bangsamoro Women’s Auxiliary Brigade (BWAB) members, small holder farmers and fisher folks, indigenous people, out-of-school youth, and former beneficiaries of Japan International Cooperation Agency -Market Driven Local Industry Promotion (JICA-MDLIP). MAFAR Minister Yacob expressed his gratitude to FAO and Japan Government for their partnership and commitment to “support achieve self-reliant, food-secured and resilient Bangsamoro”. Meanwhile, FAO ensured to provide assistance to the ministry for effective implementation of the training program in the three provincial islands. Also present at the LOA Signing Ceremony were MAFAR Assistant to the Minister for Special Concern Pendatun Patarasa, Director for Agriculture Services Engr. Ismail Guiamel, and other MAFAR and FAO key dignitaries who attended online. (JIJ)



Clarification on my view of Duterte reign


est I be misunderstood to be anti-Duterte, I am stating the following views: More avid than ordinary supporters – Years before the 2016 election, I had campaigned hard for the bid of the Vice President Jejomar Binay to the presidency, he being my fraternal brother in Alpha Phi Omega whose members adhere to one slogan: Apo First Before others. ”But when then Davao Punchline City Mayor Rody Duterte filed his substitute presidential candidacy, my focal stride shifted to him for his being the first aspirant from our beloved Mindanao and especially for his touting about having a Maranao blood by his grand maternal lineage. Like Secretary Selvestre “Bebot” Bello III, a fellow brother in APO, we informed the Binay national campaign office of our shift of support, albeit painstaking. My ALI G. MACABALANG campaign for Duterte gained ground not only among my friends, peers and followers in over four decades of media practice, but among my voting relatives that account for over 5,000 (the figure must have increased tremendously because of Maranao’s penchant in human breeding to say in jest). No vested interest - While in the campaign for Duterte, some friends often jested at me to say I would be appointed to a key government if the Davao mayor wins. I just laughed and told them I did not receive even a single centavo of campaign funds and that I will not apply. On June 4, 2016 when Mr. Duterte and thousands of supporters staged a victory rally in Davao City, former Buluan, Maguindanao Mayor Ibrahim “Jhong” Mangudadatu picked me up in Kidapawan City aboard a private helicopter and brought me to the festive venue. Many fellow journalists were shocked to see me very close to the stage while they were about 60 meters away from the platform. I saw and met many people, who were later appointed cabinet members. Then Governor Toto Mangudadatu, who was on an official trip abroad to receive an award, called me up and said he’s glad that his brother, Datu Jhong and I went to the celebration party. The siblings were also optimistic I would be in a key position in the Malacañang media circle of new appointees. Some fellow journalists were appointed to media-related government positions and others in state-controlled corporations. In my case, I never made any manifestation of desire to be an employee by the Administration, either orally or in black and white. It was enough that I felt super glad for having helped in the election of a President from Mindanao. In my 44 years of media practice, I have never initiated or supported efforts that would in the long run benefit me first before the majority people. Positive perception – In the initial years of Mr. Duterte’s reign, my enthusiasm peaked upon seeing many bold unprecedented measures in fighting criminality, especially illegal drug use and trade, and carrying out massive infra and socio-economic strides that resulted to the enjoyment at last of Mindanao people of four to six-lane highways. Waned admiration – My continued support to and admiration of the Duterte administration gradually waned when he ordered the full -scale military offensives against a handful misguided or terrorbound Maute and Abu Sayyaf militants who laid siege in Marawi MACABALANG | A10


he Philippine Muslim Today is published every Friday by Philippine Muslim Today Inc. with main offices at Mercury and Pluto Streets, Rabago Subdivision, Villa Verde, Iligan City 9200 PH. Phone: +63 63 2290965 (PLDT); +63 9152184388 (Mobile) Email: Portal: Https://

NCR SATELLITE OFFICE: ADDRESS: 9052 Viscarra Compound, Molino 3, Bacoor City 4102 Cavite Province PHONE: +639778430218 | +639353138549 Email: | Opinion of the writer expressed herein is not necessarily the opinion of Philippine Muslim Today nor of its management.

Vol. II, No. 07 | July 30-August 5, 2021 (Dhu’l Hijjah 20-26, 1442)


‘Politician’ pays negative news about BARMM – official C OTABATO CITY – A certain “politician” purportedly opposed to calls for an extension in the transitional operation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) governance was allegedly behind the series of published paid news stories discrediting the interim regional leadership. At least two stories had already came out last June and July in the online news channel, which published the “paid” articles as “advertorials” and used the photo of Senator Imee Marcos and her photo to make it appear she was instigating a Senate probe on the interim BARMM operations. The first story was attributed to an alleged complaint from one Jannah Vilegas of a group called Malayang Lipunan Movement (MLM). It alleged an instance of bloated allocations for purchases of supplies allegedly amounting to P6 billion from the BARMM budget in 2020.

Corps, an independent group of private journalists, staged separate verifications after another “advertorial” or paid story came in the channel last week. The second story was attributed to a certain Aio Bautista of a group called Transform PH Alliance (TPA) as a source in the article claiming some alleged irregular implementation of multi-million peso infrastructure projects in BARMM areas, notably Maguindanao. Just like the MLM and Jannah Vilegas, verifications discovered the TPA and Aio Bautista to be bogus. BIO Director Andrew Alonto and the regional press corps reached out to Ryan Rosauro, the Mindanao Bureau chief of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), which was believed to be the mother unit of the Director Alonto came up with a reaction story, but said his piece could not be accommodated. He said he was prompted to link

The first article prompted BARMM spokesman Naguib Sinarimbo to call for a press conference and vehemently deny the allegation. Sinarimbo spent several minutes clarifying that supply purchases did not reach such an amount and that all processes involved in procurements passed through prudent watch by auditors and officials pursuing the BARMM administration’s campaign for “moral governance.” Verifications by members of the Bangsamoro Press Corps showed that Jannah Vilegas, who was using many aliases including Ice Autida, had been wanted by authorities for alleged extortion-type of media practice victimizing mayors in Maguindanao. About two weeks after the publication attributed to her, Vilegas posted a message on Facebook and apologized about it. The Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO), the BARMM’s official media body, and the Bangsamoro Press

up with the billing section of the PDI, particularly that of the He said he learned from the section that the “advertorials” were paid by a “politician,” whose name was not given, Alonto said. Rosauro told the Philippine Muslim Today news that the was “for sale.” Subsequent verification showed that the “domain” of the” was indeed “for sale.” BARMM officials have reportedly exerted efforts to unearth the identity of the “politician” in prelude to filing a legal suit. The regional efforts came amid rumors that political camps were allegedly bankrolling efforts opposed to the passage of a Congressional bill for the deferment of the 2022 BARMM parliament election and an extension in the lifespan of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the regional government’s interim ruling body, to 2025. ALI G. MACABALANG

Opinion DUTERTE CAN RUN FOR VICEPRESIDENT BUT SHOULD HE? (1) “…The President shall not be eligible for any re-election…” - Section 4, Atticle VII, Philippine Constitution


resident Duterte is back to his old antics in 2021 – I will run for President, I will not run for President. This back and forth technique of I will run and I will not run kept him in the public eye, Mainstream and social media delighted in the guessing game. It befuddled the people, media and politicians. This Duterte ploy was a good propaganda approach. It worked for Duterte and his boys. It got him elected President. It was a roaring success for Duterte but it was a disaster for the country. Repeat of history: President Duterte and his boys think that the 2016 tomfoolery will work again. It may happen again. It is good propaganda ploy. The political Opposition components, whatever that means, are involved in a useless legal exercise. The socalled legal luminaries are saying that President Duterte cannot run for Vice-President because it would violate the spirit of the constitutional provision. In an effort to defend their theory, they cite a rule of statutory interpretation that what cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly. This rule of interpretation cannot apply because it is subject to a lot of speculation. Suppose if the President does not die in office, the Vice-President stays in the same office. Suppose if the President does not resign or does not get removed while in office, the VicePresident stays in his position. In fine, the Constitution cannot be subject to speculation or hallucination. As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once issued a caveat to ambitious constitutional interpreters, to remember that “it is the Constitution they are expounding.” And if I may add, stop acting as mindless partisans. The correct rules: There are rules of constitutional and statutory interpretation which

support the desire of President Duterte to run for Vice-President. First, the provision is written in simple English. When the words of the law are clear, there is no room for interpretation. The constitutional provision only prohibits “any re-election”. Second, there is no prohibition, under the Constitution, for a President to run for VicePresident. The rule of statutory interpretation is what is not prohibited is allowed. So it is clear that President Duterte can run for Vice-President in the 2022 elections. There are no ifs or buts – he can run. The more relevant question is – Should President Duterte run for Vice-President in the 2022 elections. Analysis: What are chances of President Duterte running for Vice -President of the Philippines in 2022? Examining Duterte’s behavior as President, there are reasons to believe he will run for VicePresident. First, he declared publicly, not just once but several times - he will run for VicePresident. Second, it is obvious he was the one who instructed ViceChairman Alfonso Cusi of PDP-Laban to convene the party’s National Council to pass the resolution urging Duterte to run for VicePresident and choose his presidential candidate. Third, there are compelling reasons why Duterte wants to be Vice-President, among them are – a) to protect himself from obvious domestic criminal prosecutions if he is not in the circle of power in the next administration; b) to protect himself from possible ICC arrest; c) to continue with his disastrous policies and their criminal and mismanaged implementation; and d) to continue to enjoy the perquisites and abuse of power.

Diliman Way

HOMOBONO A. ADAZA These are very strong reasons why Duterte will run for VicePresident of the Philippines in 2022. As a continuous interested observer of the conduct of Presidents in this country, including Duterte, I am almost certain, he will run for VicePresident. But should he? My view: If there is anything rational left in his system and if he loves this country which he claims he does, he should not run for VicePresident. Why? As President, he is a disaster. As Vice-President, he would be a catastrophe. Let us begin with his record as President of our country. There is nothing significant he has done worth remembering. The wrongs he has done are tremendous and horrendous – extrajudicial killings in five years, most of them indefensible, almost ten times more than those killed by the military and police of President Marcos in twenty years; giving away the West Philippine Sea to Communist China and corona virus Xi Jinping; allowing the entry of thousands of members of the People’s Liberation Army into our country in the guise of POGO workers, according to Senator Lacson; continuing rampant graft and corruption in the Duterte government, on Duterte’s own admission; rampant graft and corruption in his government; killing of activists; non-renewal of franchise of ABS-CBN television and radio network; persecution of critics, including journalists; calling the Christian God stupid, cursing the Pope, calling former President Obama as a son-on-of a bitch; inducing the killing and robADAZA | A10

Vol. II, No. 07 | July 30-August 5, 2021 (Dhu’l Hijjah 20-26, 1442)


PMT-19 on its level up; Welcome to a Rasul Clan member as our new columnist


he Philippine Muslim Today (PMT19) is now in Volume 2, No. 7 meaning we have surpassed already the 1 year of variant or grueling race. This Digital Online newspaper was born on June 19, 2020, hence it is referred to as PMT-19 as its birth was alongside with many areas in the Philippines that were under strict lockdown due to the onslaught of Coronavirus that started in 2019, now popularly known with its infamous name COVID-19. When we organized this PMT-19, we did not foresee that it could last one solid year. Our aim initially while we were under lockdown where the freedom to travel was restricted, our idea at that time was to keep us busy and to fight the 24/7 boredom. We kept on writing weekly and share the link to all our friends in an online platform. Considering that we don’t have enough budget

our media work including our Columnists were writing for us gratis meaning no compensation at all. We would like to thank them for sharing with us and our readers their words of wisdom on the different topics from tourism, environment, religion, culinary, and medical columns as well. Some stayed with us voluntarily. While others maybe they have some agenda to fulfill just took time out from writing. We do understand the situation since as I have said writing for PMT-19 is purely on voluntary basis and we have no right to compel them to continuously write for us. We should be thankful they once shared with us their words of wisdom and to our readers in particular. I have said that PMT-19 is on the verge of leveling up that is aside from our usual

Batanes to Tawi-Tawi

JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL Digital Online platform we will continuously go back to hard copy as we have started already a trial run some 3 issues in Volume 2. As I quote the Administrator & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Davao City -based Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA) Abdulghani “Gerry” Ajul Salapuddin, at the same time our Columnist writing for his column “Southern Frontier” he said this when he learned about the level up of PMT-19: “ That's great news! It signifies the "slowly but surely" stride of PMT-19 to join JANNARAL | A10



he State of the Nation Address or SONA of any President is always of great interest to us for various reasons. The SONA of the President contains the major accomplishments of the administration and on the other hand, it also spells out the future plans and legislative agenda of the President to Congress. On the same occasion, the President endorses to Congress his Proposed Budgetary Expenditures for the following year. And since the SONA of the President last Monday, July 26th, was his last report to the nation, as he is on his last ten months in office, the more it arouses great interest to the nation. In the national level, the President’s score card is judged by his accomplishments on his three priorities, namely: drugs, crime and corruption. On his anti-drug or ‘War On Drugs’ (WOD) Campaign, the President was humble enough to

accept his failure during his last SONA to fully eradicate the drug menace in the country. However, it cannot be denied that his WOD campaign had tremendously reduced the proliferation of drugs and the arrest of big time drug lords or dismissal from service of police officers and the elimination or prosecution of local executives involved in the illegal business of drugs. With all fairness to President Duterte, he dares to plunge into his WOD, where all his predecessors failed to act decisively against the drugs problem in the country, he alone take the big challenge. He may have not completely eradicated the decades old drug problem, but at least he tried his best. The drug problem will become a carry over challenge to the next administration. On his crime busting job, the positive effect of his campaign is best felt by the feeling of saf-

Southern Frontier

GERRY SALAPUDDIN er to go around in Manila because the criminal syndicates had temporarily taken a leave of absence from their usual nefarious activities. It may have not been completely eradicated but it had been tremendously neutralized. On his anti-corruption campaign, he tried his best to trim down the requirements of doing business and minimized the red tape in government. But since corrupt practices of some people in government is prevalent and is an ‘invisible’ practice, unless caught red handed, the “termites” in the bureaucracy and in the SALAPUDDIN | A10



BIFF commander, 6 followers surrender in Maguindanao By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL

Vol. II, No. 07 | July 30-August 5, 2021 (Dhu’l Hijjah 20-26, 1442)

Police forces more disciplined now, PNP chief tells BARMM By ALI G. MACABALANG


OTABATO CITY - Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar has assured leaders of the Bangsamoro Autonomous

ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG: Members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) lead by Commander Binladen (2nd from left in Maong Jacket) and his six followers raise their right hands as they swear allegiance to the flag of the Republic of the Philippines during their surrender ceremony at the headquarters of the Army’s 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade in Ampatuan, Maguindanao.(Contributed Photo)


OTABATO CITY – A deputy field commander of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and six of his followers surrendered to the military in Maguindanao on Monday afternoon, July 26. Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, commander of Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) on Wednesday said “based on the report from the ground, the BIFF officer known as Commander Binladen and six others submitted themselves to the troops of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade and handed over two M14 rifles, one M16 rifle, one Barret with tripod and magazine, one Garand rifle, one M79 Grenade Launcher, one rocket-propelled grenade, one 20 rounds cap magazine for M14, one 30 rounds cap magazine for M16, and one RPG ammunition.” They were subsequently presented to the Brigade Commander Col. Pedro Balisi, Jr., at the unit headquarters in Barangay Kamasi, Ampatuan, Maguindanao. “The successful surrender of the seven BIFF personalities under Bungos Faction was made possible through the concerted efforts of the 2nd Mechanized Battalion and our intelligence units,” said Col. Balisi. During the initial debriefing, the surrendered personalities revealed that the focused military operations of the military units in central Mindanao forced them to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law. Joint Task Force Central Commander, Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy said the military will continue to hunt and pound the remaining terrorists. “Nevertheless, all the military units under my command are always ready to welcome those who wish to surrender and end their armed struggle peacefully,” said Maj. Gen. Uy. Since January 2021, 134 BIFF personalities were neutralized, of which 69 were killed, 63 surrendered, and two were apprehended. “I commend the troops of the Joint Task Force Central for their numerous accomplishments,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. All our successes are attributable to our stakeholders and the civilians who continue to support and cooperate with us as we endeavor towards achieving our common goal,” the commander added. The surrendered personalities are still undergoing custodial debriefing as of this writing. (JIJ)

Gen Eleazar conveyed the assurance to lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, BARMM Interior and Local Government minister, at the meeting here that formed part of the PNP chief’s threeday tour of police offices in the Bangsamoro region on July 19 to 21. The local media quoted Eleazar as telling Minister Sinarimbo that the police organization “is now well organized, welldisciplined, and more ready to serve and protect the people” in what other host officials described as reassuring in the wake of some controversial instances in this city. It may be recalled that some city cops were caught in cellphone cameras uprooting BARMM flags along roadsides here during the 2nd founding anniversary fete of the autonomous government last Jan. 18. Observers condemned the act as a show of policemen playing “political partisan” for the city hall’s rejection of the regional governance. The incident was

Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) that the country’s police force is more disciplined now than ever.

PNP Chief Guillermo Eleazar in his meeting with Minister Naguib Sinarimbo on July 20. (Photo supplied) heralded by media entities, notably The Philippine Muslim Today news. In less than two weeks, the sitting city police director was replaced. Minister Sinarimbo received Eleazar, who was sporting a Bangsamoro head gear, and thanked him “for joining us in the celebration of Eid ul Adha,” an Islamic holiday that fell on July 20 this year. Their meeting happened that day. “We discussed peace and order issues in the region and we briefed him on the implementation of our programs in support of the PNP such as the ongoing construction of four municipal police stations, distribution of

5 police patrol vehicles, and the procurement of additional 5 police stations in the region,” Sinarimbo said in a Facebook post. Eleazar was in this city since July 19 evening for an inspection at the city police office after visiting their headquarters in Tawi-Tawi, the second segment of his three-day swing to PNP offices in the BARMM. He also inspected the Police Regional Office (PRO)-BARMM headquarters in nearby Parang, Maguindanao. On July 18, Eleazar visited the police offices in Maimbung, Sulu, and those in Basilan province, and aired elation. “I was surprised to see our police stations

in the region where I visited unannounced,” he said. “Due to bad weather, our helicopter was diverted on Monday morning to the Jolo police office in Sulu which was not part of our itinerary after our visit to Tawi-Tawi, and I was surprised that the Sulu stations were very clean, organized, and beautiful.” Eleazar was referring to the Jolo police station and the Sulu provincial police headquarters, both situated in the municipality, which he described as “very tidy” in appearance. He lauded BARMM governance for its assistance extended to the police organization, and batter for a swift action in preventing law enforcement problems. “Small problems must be addressed immediately to prevent these problems from getting worse,” he said. From here, Eleazar and his party proceeded to Marawi City in Lanao del Sur to complete his tour in BARMM. (AGM)

MoH inoculates 44 Bangsamoro journalists, kin COTABATO CITY – Medical workers of The Ministry of Health of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MoHBARMM) have administered coronavirus vaccines on 44 journalists and this family members upon request of their newly formed media group. Twenty (20) members of the Bangsamoro Press Corps (BPC) and 24 of their immediately relatives received the first dose of Sinovac vaccine at the lobby of the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex (SKCC) of the BARMM government seat here on Wednesday, July

29. A team of physicians and nurses administered the inoculations on instruction of MoH Minister Bashary Latiph and Director General Amirel Usman, who were earlier requested by BPC President Ali Macabalang, news editor of The Philippine Muslim Today news, for possible provision of COVID-19 preventive services for media workers. BPC Treasurer Ella Dayawan and second Secretary Crizbelle May Lorenzon arranged with the MoH officialdom the SKCC as a venue for Wednesday’s event.

SKCC is the same venue where the BPC was organized last April 17 and its pioneer officers, board of directors and members were inducted to office on July 3 by Undersecretary Joel Sys Egco, head of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS). The duo took photos of the inoculation proceedings, showing some of the 20 BPC

members seated in a row waiting their turns and their family members. Among those inoculated family members as shown in a photo is the mother of BPC Vice President for Print John M. Unson. The just inoculated 44 persons will receive their second dozes on Aug. 24 and 25, it was learned. (ALI G. MACABALANG)


Vol. II, No. 07 | July 30-August 5, 2021 (Dhu’l Hijjah 20-26, 1442)

In extended BTA lifespan

Ebrahim favors PRRD naming fresh parliament members


80 MSU-GSC faculty members finish USAID webinar



OTABATO CITY – In a likely extended Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) lifespan, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim has Ebrahim, incumbent interim Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), explained the preference of the MILF-led current BTA setup during a press conference culminating the 1st Regional Summit they conducted here on July 23. “Actually, that will depend on the content of a law (enacted by Congress for an extended transition),” Ebrahim pointed out, referring to the question of who should appoint the members of the 80-seat parliament for another three years of transitional operations by the BARMM governance. Earlier, some lawmakers disclosed that one or more of bills seeking to postpone the 2022 BARMM polls and extend the BTA transition period to 2025 would contain a provision vesting with the President the power of appointment. The incumbent BARMM officials led by Ebrahim were not opposed to such proposed provision. “Sa aming panig, we prefer that (the power of appointment is retained by) the President. Now, (in pursuit of major peace agreements with the government), we would want the parliament to be still led by

expressed favor for the President to appoint a fresh set of 80 Parliament members to run the affairs of the new autonomous governance until 2025.

BARMM Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo at the press conference in Cotabato City on July 23. (Photo supplied) the MILF,” Ebrahim said. He said their organizational clamor is for “the MILF to nominate at least a majority of 41” of the 80 BTA members to be appointed again by the President to sustain the intents of the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) and R.A. 11054 (BARMM Charter) of 2018. The remaining 39 members including at least six representatives from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) shall be appointed among nominees from different sectors, Ebrahim hinted with respect to the existing MNLF final peace accord of 1996 with the government. Prior to his inaugural installation of the BARMM Parliament and bureaucracy on March

29, 2019, President Duterte had appointed staggeringly the 80 BTA members, 41 of whom were nominated with six MILF representatives and the rest from other sectors. In appointing the 80 BTA members, Duterte also named Ebrahim as interim Chief Minister, who formed the BARMM bureaucracy by naming heads and key officials of various ministries and line agencies. Ebrahim hinted that the President may this time not name him as interim chief minister again because the new BTA members would elect among themselves the BARMM top executive and their Parliament officers. Earlier, BARMM Ministers Mohagher Iqbal of education and Nagui Sinarimbo of lo-

cal government had explained that the call for poll postponement and BTA extension was not for the sake of sitting officials but for the retention of a transitional system to fully accomplish the mandates of the CAB and the BARMM Charter known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). Ebrahim’s views at the press conference reflected their desire for continuity of organization transition, not for the retention of incumbent BTA members and bureaucracy or cabinet officials. Some sectors opposed to a delay in the 2022 poll have been claiming that some incumbents in BTA and BARMM bureaucracy were “good only for receiving hefty salaries, allowances and other subsidies.” (AGM)

BARMM posts highest population growth in PH – PSA


OTABATO CITY – The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) population has spiked to almost five million at 3.26% growth rate from the 2015 census, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). BARMM has posted the highest population increase among all regions in the country during the period of 2015-2020 as shown in the comparative table posted in the official website. The PSA announced on July 7 the official results of the 2020 Census of Population and Housing (CPH), and declared official for all purposes by the President under Proclamation no. 1179 dated July 06. Based on the official result, the total population of the Philippines as of 01 May 2020 is 109,035,343.

The country’s population represents the total number of persons living – including Filipinos in Philippine embassies, consulates, and missions abroad, as of 12:01 AM on 01 May 2020 in the 17 administrative regions of the country. BARMM | A11


ENERAL SANTOS CITY -– Eighty (80) faculty members of the Mindanao State University (MSU) in this city have gone through an initial leg of serial seminar programs coordinated with the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) to sustain or enhance academic excellence gradually achieved by the satellite campus here. The webinar participants belonged to different colleges of the MSU-General Santos Campus (GSC) now girding for the opening of this year’s academic period in a fashion aptly complying with the protocols of the still gripping effects of the global coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Anshari P. Ali, campus chancellor, announced. The three-hour webinar was held last July 14 as a maiden leg segment of the campus’ partnership with the USAID’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) and the U.S.-based Golden State University (GGU), Dr. Ali told The Philippine Muslim Today news. It may be recalled that Dr. Ali, representing the MSU-GSC, signed virtually with Dr. David J. Fike, GGU president, a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in a virtual ceremony last March 31. Four days earlier, Ali inked another MoU with Dr. Chetan Kumar, Philippine head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with Bangsamoro autonomous government spokesman Naguib Sinarimbo witnessing. The July 14 webinar was facilitated by the MSU-GSC’s Office of International Affairs (OIA), which invited experts as counterparts to foreign lecturers on two main topics – Tips and strategies to maximize Zoom platform in classroom distance learning; and Systematized Ideas for Better Students Management, it was learned. Dr. Jay Gonzalez and Prof. Ignacio Dayrit, both public administration experts, handled the first topic, while Dr. Mick McGee – director of the Doctoral Program of Business Administration, and Prof. Jim Hynes, professor and former Assistant City Manager of Berkeley, supplemented the lectures on the second topic, OIA officials said. The OIA was created by Dr. Ali upon his investiture as campus chancellor on April 28, 2019, with Dr. Anderson Avila designated as maiden director, to globalize the MSU-GSC campus operations and build linkages with counterpart universities in the Asian, Western and European regions. Dr. Ali said the July 14 event featured a webinar on Flexible Learning Modality in Zoom and Moodle platforms, which the OIA designed to be followed up by succeeding interactive episodes hosted by the USAID-SURGE City Program Coordinator Gemma Borreros alongside counterparts from the California-based GGU. He said GGU is one of California's oldest nonprofit private universities, with thousands of students and more than 68,000 alumni. The university's main campus is located in San Francisco with additional teaching sites in Seattle and Silicon Valley. Established in 1901, GGU has been helping adults achieve professional goals by providing college and graduate education in Accounting, Law, Taxation, Business and related areas, he added. MSU | A11



Zubiri says BARMM poll-deferring bill passage imminent in Senate

Vol. II, No. 07 | July 30-August 5, 2021 (Dhu’l Hijjah 20-26, 1442)

UBJP, Maguindanao air last ditch plea for PRRD’s push for BTA extension By ALI G. MACABALANG


OTABATO CITY – Supporters of calls for deferment of the 2022 Bangsamoro parliament polls staged a last ditch of plea for President Rody Duterte to reconsider certifying the

enabling bills as urgent and ensure the fruition of the new autonomous government as his administration lifetime legacy for stable peace and equitable growth in Mindanao.

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.


OTABATO CITY — Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Friday said the bill seeking to extend the lifespan of Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) is likely to gain prompt approval in their chamber when the 18th Congress resumes sessions this month. “We in the senate are in the final stages of passing the bill postponing the BARMM elections, so that you will be able to deliver our promises to our people of (achieving) peace and prosperity… Within a month’s time, we will get it done,” Zubiri told the first Bangsamoro governance summit here on Friday, July 23 via Zoom. Senate Bill 2214, which seeks to reset the 2022 Bangsamoro parliament poll to extend the BTA transitional period to 2025, was about to be approved on second reading on June 3, but the chamber leadership went on adjournment sine die after learning that the House version was still at committee-level deliberation. Sen. Zubiri lauded the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) interim officialdom in holding consultations to assess its governance, ascertain the needs in the countryside, and uplift its constituents’ well-being. “I am very happy to see that despite the challenges of this pandemic, the BTA and our LGUs are able to hold much-needed consultations to identify the needs of our people,” said Zubiri, who has played vital role in processes involved in the evolution of the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to BARMM. The 80-seat BTA is the interim BARMM governing body set to cease operation upon election of its regular parliament members in the 2022 polls. Zubiri said “consultations are necessary for the BTA to successfully parlay the BOL-mandated budget into meaningful projects and programs that will really reach our people at the grassroots level.” BOL stands for Bangsamoro Organic Law, otherwise known as R. A. 11054, which Congress enacted in July 2018 to create BARMM. The lawmaker from Bukidon, who authored the BOL in the Senate, also lauded the BARMM interim governance for budgeting its annual block grant and national subsidies to education, public works, agriculture and fisheries, health, social services and vital infrastructures that can bring the new autonomous region to greater heights. Though expressed via Zoom, Zubiri’s remarks drew resounding applause from summit organizers led by BARMM interim Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim, and delegates from provinces, cities, towns, and villages comprising the new autonomous region. Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo graced the summit physically, and read a written message from Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go before conveying his own thoughts of BARMM creation as a legacy of the Duterte administration in the search for meaningful ZUBIRI | A11

PNP Chief Guillermo Eleazar in his meeting with Minister Naguib Sinarimbo on July 20. (Photo supplied)

Supplied photo of mostly female UBJP members lined up along roadside on Saturday to convey last ditch plea for the President to push the Congressional passage of a harmonized bill postponing the 2022 Bangsamoro regional polls. Thousands of supporters, led openly this time by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF’s) United Bangsamoro Justice Party) and backed by consistent followers of Congressman Esmael Mangudadatu, staged brief caravans and pocket rallies in strategic areas of Maguindanao North Cotabato and nearby places in Lanao del Sur on July 24 to beseech a Presidential push for Congress to pass the enabling measure promptly. “We appeal to the good heart of our President to break from neutrality and ask Congress to pass the harmonized bill in a fashion we never forget about him,” Sahida, a fatigue uniformclad UBJP female member, told The Philippine Muslim Today news in the vernacular. Sahida was one of dozens of mostly female UBJP members that caught the attention of travelling journalists while lined up on the roadside of the national highway along Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao waving fliers and flashing streamers that contained words of appeal to the Chief Executive and Congress.

For his part, Rep. Mangudadatu and his thousands of followers staged pocket rallies and short caravans along the highway linking Maguindanao’s capital Buluan town to adjacent municipalities on the same day, chanting consistent calls for the Duterte administration to extend the operation of the Bansamoro Transition Authority (BTA) for it to fully carry out the its mandates under existing peace agreements and R.A. 11054. Mangudadatu, who chairs the House Committee on Peace, Unity and Reconciliation, said Saturday’s caravans and rallies were timely to convey messages for the possibility of President Duterte to include in his July 26 final Stateof-the Nation Address (SONA) an announcement for Congress to pass promptly the enabling bills. He authored one of four similar bills seeking to postpone the 2022 parliament election and extend the BTA lifespan to 2025. The House leadership has formed a technical working group to harmonize his bills and those of Majority Floor Leader Martin Romualdez and Deputy

Speakers Loren Legarda and Isidro Ungab. A substitute bill, authored by Senator Francis Tolentino, is pending approval of second reading in the Senate and will likely be passed in just a month’s time under normal situation, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zuniri revealed at a Bangsamoro government-sponsored regional summit here on July 23 via Zoom. Earlier published reports had cited Senate President Tito Sotto and House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco as assuring once the President that their chambers could pass the pollpostponing bills swiftly once certified urgent by the Chief Executive. Palace Spokesman Harry Roque had announced that the President declared neutrality last June 24 on the fate of the bills due to the disagreement among officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and some elected leaders in the region. Roque said Mr. Duterte opted to leave the issue for Congress to decide because of the contrasting opinions of the Justice Department

and the Presidential Chief Legal Counsel on whether deferring the polls would entail a plebiscite. The Senate and the House leaderships will jointly host on Monday, July 25 for the last time Duterte’s SONA, marking the resumption of the 18th Congress sessions. Rep. Mangudadatu, more known in his community as “Toto,” prodded anew his fellow lawmakers that the BARMM replaced the 29-year old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which charters had been amended eight times and the elections therein were reset without any plebiscite. He said the evolution of autonomy for Muslim Mindanao, especially the birth of the BARMM had involved the loss of close to 200,000 lives and heavy magnitudes of socio-economic dislocations for decades. “I wish to remind the public and my colleagues in the legislature about a religious narrative that ‘saving one life is as good as saving the whole humanity,” Mangudadatu told Philippine Muslim Today news. (AGM)


Tourism & Culture



Vol. II, No. 07 | July 30-August 5, 2021 (Dhu’l Hijjah 20-26, 1442)

Issues, Concerns and Challenges on the TawiTawi Seaweed Industry (Part II)

he success of seaweed farming and the industry as a whole, which started in 1973, may have seemed to be a per-

were gripped with fear and uncertainty; and movements to freely seek for their traditional source of livelihood like fishing and farming

ment. An ordinary farmer may not see this problem but in a larger perspective and to the keen eyes of a researcher and environ-

ganisms mentioned form part of the larger ‘biodiversity’ responsible for the so-called ‘balance of nature’. Biodiversity, as de-

fect solution to the major problems that beset the people: poverty and, at the sideline, the violence that had been caused by the then secessionist movements. It could be said that it was a timely natural intervention in extinguishing the flame of insurgency in this part of southern Mindanao. Before the introduction of seaweed farming by the late Dr. Maxwell Doty, the province of Tawi-Tawi and practically the then 9 municipalities were a hotbed of secessionist movements the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). It’s people

were restricted to the confinement of their homes. Thanks to Dr.Doty, seaweed aqua-ventures have transformed TawiTawi and its people into a very productive source of world-class seaweed and its derivatives, the carrageenan. Its people, especially the Sama tribal group, who are mostly coastal dwellers, have found a golden opportunity cashing on the novel venture which can be had right in their seawater backyards. Just like any other ventures, seaweed farming has its own problems especially in relation to its environ-

mentalists, there is a looming threat and risks especially when the industry increases for a bigger share in the usage of ‘maritime space’ to meet a multimillion dollar demand for the products. There is the socalled ecological impact. In the propagation of seaweed farms, just like in the terrestrial or land area, there are numerous organisms, both macro & micro-organisms that are being ‘removed, deprived or totally deleted’ from where the ‘newly-introduced’ organisms like seaweed plants are being cultured. The original or-

fined, is all the different kinds of life you’ll find in one area—the variety of animals, plants, fungi, and even microorganisms like bacteria that make up our natural world. Each of these species and organisms work together in ecosystems, like an intricate web, to maintain balance and support life. Biodiversity supports everything in nature that we need to survive: food, clean water, medicine, and shelter. In the case of seaweed farming, several organisms are being trampled upon, wittingly or unwittingly removed if only to maximize growth, production and the quality of finished product. A good example is the diminution of the seagrasses which is a vital component of an aquatic ecosystem that serves as shelters and breeding spots where a variety of fishes deposit/attach their eggs. (To be continued as Part III in the next issue).





he Bangsamoro Halal Cuisine as a Culinary Column of Philippine Muslim Today (PMT-19) now under Volume 2, Number 7 continues to give our readers with a wholesome and delicious recipe good for snacks or merienda time, which is the “Crispy shrimp fritters” loaded with shrimp and bean sprouts. This homemade shrimp fritters recipe is so easy to make and taste so good with chili sauce. Anybody can prepare this recipe. INGREDIENTS -1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted -1 tablespoon rice flour, optional -4 oz. (115 g) peeled baby shrimp, rinsed and pat dry -4 oz. (115 g) bean sprouts, rinsed -2 tablespoon chopped scallions or chives -1 large egg -3/4 cup water -1/4 teaspoon salt -1/2 teaspoon fish sauce -1/2 teaspoon sugar -Oil, for deep-frying INSTRUCTIONS 1. Combine all the ingredients (except the oil) in a bowl and mix well. 2. The mixture might seem very dry at first, but eventually, it will become slightly watery. 3. Heat up a wok with enough oil for shallowfrying. As soon as the oil is fully heated, lower it to medium heat. 4. Use a tablespoon to scoop up a heaping tablespoon of the mixture and gently drop it into the wok. 5. Repeat the same until the oil is 80% filled with the shrimp fritters (you will have to fry in 2-3 batches depending on the size of your wok). 6. Turn the shrimp fritters over and fry until both sides are golden brown. 7. Dish out with a strainer, draining excess oil by laying the shrimp fritters on a dish lined with paper towels. 8. Serve immediately with your favorite chili sauce. (MFO)




Vol. II, No. 07 | July 30-August 5, 2021 (Dhu’l Hijjah 20-26, 1442)

MACABALANG | from Page A4

Clarification on my view of Duterte reign City on May 23, 2017. The Presidential order flattened hundreds of residential and business establishments in the city, instead tapping hundreds of military and police snipers to pin down the enemies with-

out indiscriminate casualties on civilians and sans massive infrastructure destructions and human displacement. My admiration has further waned when the Duterte administration

has transformed the Marawi-Cotabato road, which is Mindanao’s road-network reference (original) point, into four lanes from its current hellish state. The continued lying of his trusted officials involved in

rebuilding Marawi and appeasing displaced residents in the snailpaced rehab efforts. Still hoping - As of writing, I saw the possibility of seeing President Duterte to announce surprise

measures that make up for the lapses in the Marawi-Cotabato road, the sluggish Marawi rehab efforts, the dormant state of the Marawi Compensation Bill, and his pronounced “neutrality” on

the issue of postponing the 2022 Bangsamoro Parliament election and extending the interim government’s transition. I hope my last-ditch wishes will come true before President Duterte bids goodbye from the Palace. (AGM)

ADAZA | from Page A5

DUTERTE CAN RUN FOR VICE-PRESIDENT BUT SHOULD HE? (1) bing of Catholic bishops; treating women as mere biology; institutionalizing cursing, and bullying as acceptable behavior; dishonoring the Office of the President; violation of many provisions of the Constitution; mismanagement of the government, including the pandemic; excusing the criminal behavior of illegal drug enforcers; nonprosecution of many corrupt and grafters top officials who are his friends or favorites; non-

prosecution of favored illegal drug lords and coddlers; and a lot more offenses and questionable behavior. Reasons for running: President Duterte has given the public the two major reasons why he is running for VicePresident – to maintain equilibrium and to insure the continuity of his programs. Both reasons do not jell as they are irrational and imaginary. On maintaining equilibrium, these questions immediately arise

– where must the equilibrium be maintained and why; and what is the program to be continued and why? I am afraid that the last person to speak about equilibrium should be President Duterte. Why? He is the exact opposite of equilibrium. He is always unbalanced. In words and action, balance is the last thing you can expect from him. Even as he admits being injected with the most dangerous drug from

Communist China, Fentanyl, and also admits to taking marijuana to get some sleep when he is tired attending a conference, he never shows equilibrium when he is awake and in policy implementation. He is divisive and absolutely wanting in balance. Equilibrium is a product of his meandering imagination. On continuity of programs, many questions immediately come into view – what programs; why the need of conti-

nuity; and what is in it for the country? There is no program of the Duterte government worth promoting. They are disastrous to the national interests as mentioned earlier. They have all gone haywire. For Duterte to be elected Vice-President is to flirt with catastrophe. As we used to chant in the tail-end of the Marcos administration – Tama na, sobra na, palitan na sa 2022. Someone should be chiseling into President

Duterte’s head this reminder from Marc Antony in Julius Caesar – “The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones.” At this point in time and as we look forward to ten years from now, when the name of Rodrigo Roa Duterte is mentioned, people will only remember what he has done to devastate the country and its institutions and the good, and there is a few of them, will be buried with President Duterte’s bones. (HAA)

JANNARAL | from Page A5

PMT-19 on its level up; Welcome to a Rasul Clan member as our new columnist the big league of journalism. And proudly from a Muslim point of view.” Our Editor-in-Chief Masiding Noor Yahya had just left Manila bound for Iligan City after he bought a state of the art printing machine or offset printer known as SOLNA 125. It will be temporarily installed in Iligan City. But as soon as we can have a suitable

place in Cotabato City where we can have a place for Production Area and Editorial Department our aim is to relocate PMT-19 to Cotabato City permanently. Somehow, we would like to thank our benefactor who supported us in this endeavor because this Digital Online Newspaper is not solely a business enterprise but rather as

a “Bearer of Glad Tidings.” This is a newspaper for the Bangsamoro people and produced and managed by Bangsamoro Journalists who are all members of the Fourth Estate for several decades already. On the other hand, by next week particularly effective Vol. 2, No. 8, we will have a new Columnist who will write anything under the Sun. She is Fatima Irene

Rasul, the daughter of former Senator Santanina Tillah-Rasul and the late former Ambassador Abraham Rasul. She is also the younger sister of Amina Rasul, President of Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy (PCID) based in Quezon City. Fatima is a graduate of Industrial Engineering from the University of the Philip-

pines in Diliman, Quezon City. She was also the Secretary of the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) at the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) when the Founding Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Chairman Nur P. Misuari was the ARMM Regional Governor. She graduated valedictorian in Notre Dame

of Jolo High School Class 1972 and a batch mate of this Batanes To Tawi-Tawi Columnist. Fatima Irene Rasul will be the first female Opinion Columnist of PMT-19. Our avid readers please let us all welcome her to the PMT-19 Family! For your Comments/Suggestions, please send an email to: julmunir1845@gma

over a billion pesos compared to the present trillion peso National Budget. On the part of President Digong, despite only in power for 6 years and for a term due to constitutional limitation, through his “BUILD, BUILD, BUILD PROGRAM, the Duterte Administration has built more infrastructure projects than all his predecessors. His administration builds more roads throughout the country, repaired and expanded more airports and seaports, currently building the modern subway train system

between Quezon City and Manila, successfully eased the nagging traffic in EDSA and many more infra projects. Noticeably, according to many Mindanaons, all the mega infrastructures are in Metro Manila and the nearby provinces in Luzon and some few in Visayas. So far, there are no significant mega projects in Mindanao, except for road repair and widening. Even the much touted Mindanao Railway System, until now has not taken off at all! As the first President of the Republic

from Mindanao, his constituents were expecting highly from his administration. Maybe, the economic planners from Metro Manila want Mindanao to just continuously be their agricultural supplier and economic provider of raw materials? With only ten months in office and soon getting into the election period, many infra projects funded from the 2022 National Budget cannot anymore be implemented until after the election period is over and under the next President. (TO BE CONTINUED)

SALAPUDDIN | from Page A5

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PRRD LAST SONA three branches of government, i.e. legislative, executive and judiciary, are difficult to eradicate. It probably can only be reduced, but never completely eradicated. I can recall, in the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or USSR, when Mikhail Gorbachev became the President, he launched a two pronged programs of “Glasnost,” which means “openness and/ or transparency” and “Perestroika,” which refers to “restructuring” of the huge and secretive Russian socialist economic and political systems. Among the

focus of President Gorbachev was a campaign against corruption in all levels of government. One time, he exasperately revealed to his trusted Chief Executive Assistant his frustration in ridding government bureaucracy of corruption. His Assistant courteously replied: “Sir, if we decisively implement your anticorruption campaign without fear or favor, I am afraid, only the two of us will be left in government.” With what he heard from his Assistant, President Gorbachev was speechless.

Since the dawn of humanity and civilization, corruption has been taught to men by Iblis or Satan, as an act of rebellion against Allah, which like rust, corrodes the moral integrity of man. THE PRESIDENT’S “BUILD, BUILD, BUILD PROGRAM Of all the Philippine Presidents, only President Ferdinand E. Marcos was able to build many important and significant infrastructure projects, which were never equalled by all his successors, despite his Annual Budgetary Expenditures was just

Vol. II, No. 07 | July 30-August 5, 2021 (Dhu’l Hijjah 20-26, 1442)


MERANAOS | from Page A2

Meranaos dismayed too over SONA’s silence on... A week before the SONA, Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal “Bombit” Alonto-Adiong Jr. called on Congress to pass the Marawi

Compensation Bill, one of three versions of which was authored by his younger brother Rep. Ansaruddin “Hooky” Adiong.

Congress is expected to deliberate soon the national budget for 2022, and no amount for indemnification money for IDPs

with lost properties could be appropriated next year unless the Marawi Compensation Bill is adopted, economic and political pundits

said. The bill requires urgency as compensation requires appropriations and its 30 to 50 billion peso proposed budget is not included in the National Expenditure Pro-

gram (NEP) for 2022, the basis for the General Appropriations Act that will be submitted soon by the Executive to the Legislative, they said. (AGM)

ernance, development planning, risk reduction, and crisis response, social welfare programs, and business market analyses, among others. “These (statistics) are particularly vital in the current BARMM administration’s planning, execution and evaluation of various projects and policies meant to achieve

“moral governance” in the infant autonomous region,” Usman said. The PSA central office has lauded the public for their support and response to the 2020 CPH despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 CPH is the country’s 15th census of population and 7th census of housing since 1903. (ALI G. MACABALANG)

BARMM | from Page A7

BARMM posts highest population growth in PH – PSA The PSA cited BARMM for being “fastest-growing” population indicated from its 3,781,387 in 2015 population count to 4,404,288 in the 2020 CPH (excluding Cotabato City and 63 barangays in North Cotabato). The figure translates to an annual population growth rate of 3.26 percent, the country’s highest, the

agency said. The latest BARMM population count covers Maguindanao (1,342,179); Lanao del Sur including Marawi (1,195,518); Sulu (1,000,108); Tawi-Tawi (440,276); and Basilan including Lamitan City (426,207), and Cotabato City (325,079). The population figure for the 63 autonomy-opting barangays in North Co-

tabato was not indicated in the report. Officials of the PSABARMM led by Engr. Nasser S. Usman, OICregional director, conducted a virtual media forum on July 22 to explain some circumstances characterizing the conduct of the 2022 census. Former PSAARMM Director Raz Mangelen, now provincial head for Maguinda-

nao, assisted in the data explanations. Despite the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic, Usman and Mangelen said the PSA has overcome unprecedented challenges to collect and produce high-quality data. They asserted that updated precise census statistics are imperative in critical decisionmaking for good gov-

ZUBIRI | from Page A8

Zubiri says BARMM poll-deferring bill passage imminent in Senate autonomy, stable peace and equitable growth in the region. Secretary Panelo also portrayed brighter prospects in the new autonomous region, but his own speech did not stir enthusiasm as much as Zubiri’s among many of summit delegates, especially journalists, who deemed his presence replete with promises reflective of his inkling for a senatorial bid in next year’s national elections. During lunch break, Panelo busied himself having selfies with everybody and even journalists, who inter-

viewed and pressed him to explain earlier reported assertion by him that a plebiscite is needed if the BARMM poll would be reset from 2022. His stand contrasted the Justice Department view that no plebiscite is needed as exemplified in the past deferments of polls in Muslim Mindanao by Congress. (Read a separate story about his interview.) The summit was organized by the BARMM officialdom through the Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG) to sum up the results of presummits in Lanao del

Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu, and TawiTawi and the clustered 63 autonomy-opting barangays in North Cotabato. MILG Minister Naguib Sinatimbo said pre-summits allowed the provincial and municipal LGUs to submit high-impact proposed projects for harmonization with the BARMM government priorities for funding under the regional budget for 2022 and to do away with contrasting thrusts and past instances of duplicate subsidies on similar strides. Sinarimbo presented his ministry’s thrusts

in upgrading the operations of LGUs in BARMM requiring the presence of: Wellequipped government centers; Active elected and appointed officials; Functional local special bodies; Approved mandated plans and budgets; Available, visible and accessible basic services; and Sound fiscal management. He hinted at the need for the BARMM governance to make a difference in the evolution of autonomy since the Marcos regime. The national government had viewed the previous autonomous governments as “failed ex-

periment” or “failed autonomy.” In separate speeches, Chief Minister Ebrahim and Senior Minister Abdulraof Macacua echoed their administration’s vision and mission to operate under the principle of “moral governance,” underscoring transparency, functionality and responsible governance. The summit was among the enabling measures that can flesh out such vision and mission. Ebrahim admitted challenges to pursuance of ideal administration in the 27month old BARMM,

especially with the advent of the coronavirus pandemic at its infancy that prompted regional and national officials as well as concerned civil society groups to call for an extension in the interim operations of the regional governance. Lawmakers have responded to the call for extension in the BTA lifespan to 2025 by deferring the 2022 election for the first 80 regular parliament members. A substitute enabling bill and four versions are pending deliberation in the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively. (ALI G. MACABALANG)

IPS | from Back Page

IPS anxious of ancestral domain, tribal justice system fate in short BARMM... ject recipient-towns in Sulu as Pata, Pangutaran, Pandami, and Panglima Tahil. The names of project recipient-towns in Tawi-Tawi were not given as of press time, even as the Philippine Muslim Today new asked for a specific list. Record-setting intervention According to past research, deficiency of drinking water has been a problem in Sulu since its creation and even after Tawi-Tawi was carved out of it under the Marcos government.

Before and during the Marcos government, then Sulu Governor Murphy Sangkula had proposed projects aimed at providing the then undivided province with an institutional source of potable water, including a plan to build a giant underwater pipe to draw potable water from mainland Zamboanga or purchase desalination mac hines. Both plans were never realized due to insufficient funds or lack of support from higher authorities and the national govern-

ment, it was learned. In past years, affluent families tried drilling deep wells to generate any form of potable water in what residents and local aid providers deemed as another failed venture. Sometime in 2017, eight people died and over a hundred others were downed by diarrhea, dysentery and typhoid caused by intakes of water from “contaminated” deep wells in some Sulu villages. The incident prompted relief and technical teams from the defunct Autono-

mous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to respond. Then ARMM Public Works Secretary Don Loong, who led a technical team, confirmed the presence of contaminated deep wells in some Sulu areas and provided the media some photos of the deep well water that appeared greenish. The brief diarrhea outbreak prompted the ARMM government to allocate P200-million for the regional public works, with the assistance of a Manilabased consultancy firm,

to scout spring sources in mainland Sulu and develop water supply systems for Indanan, Patikul, Parang, Maimbung and Talipao. The systems continued to work, deriving most water from the socalled “Kiram Spring” in the capital Jolo town, a published report said. But for the rest of the 20 island towns in Sulu, no springs have been found and residents in such distant waterless municipalities, especially the poor, have relied upon rain water impounding or stocking or bottled

water donations from affluent or donor quarters. Sources from the MILG said Minister Sinarimbo, in one of his recent visits in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, received fervent requests from residents for the BARMM government to provide them desalination machi nes. According to initial information, each of the desalination machin es to be stationed in a plant can convert 20,000 liters of drinking water daily from sea water. (AGM)

percentage in Bar examinations and top notch records in various board exams. The field unit, one of at least seven satellite

campuses of the Marawi City-based MSU system, has been chosen as one of five testing centers in Mindanao for this year’s Bar exam. (ALI G. MA-

MSU | from Page A7

80 MSU-GSC faculty members finish USAID webinar “Inshaallah (God willing), we shall be able to sustain if not enhance our

gradual achievement of academic excellence despite the challenges posed by the global health

pandemic,” Dr. said. Since 2019, higher education authorities have classified the MSU-GSC

campus among the top 10 state universities in the Philippines after the satellite unit had produced high

ARMM acquires new state university By ALI G. MACABALANG

COTABATO CITY – The infant Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has acquired a new state university, courtesy of the upgrading of the Cotabato City State Polytechnic College (CCSPC) in legislative and bureaucratic processes initiated by then Maguindanao 2st District Rep. Sandra Ampatuan-Sema. Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Prospero de Vera came here on July 22 to lead BARMM officials alongside academic dignitaries and stakeholders in the symbolic inauguration of the CCSPC now as Cotabato State University (CSU). In its online post, the CHED acknowledged former Rep. Sema’s role as the CSU founder, for introducing the bill that evolved to R.A. 10585 titled “An Act Converting The Cotabato City State Polytechnic College In Cotabato City Into A State University To Be Known As The Cotabato State University And Appropriating Funds Therefor.” Chairman De Vera formally installed CCSPC President Sema Dilna as the pioneer president of the CSU, and hailed the school upgrading as a great leap in the quest for higher education development in this city and BARMM. The CSU founder, a wife to former City Mayor Muslimin Sema, addressed the inaugural rites with utmost elation. “I cannot express the happiness in my heart being a mother, an educator, a Bangsamoro (for) seeing our dreams come true. Without education, we will not be where we are now. This is the time for the Bangsamoro. Now, the Cotabato State University will be a partner of the Bangsamoro government in championing the minds of our dear students,” the former lady lawmaker said.

BARMM’s Minister of Basic, Higher and Technical Education Mohagher Iqbal attended the event, and aired elation. “Gaining the university status is not only a matter of prestige for the ones who made this possible. Rather, it is more of a dream unleashed for decades. More importantly, it opens a window of hope for the larger part


Vol. II, No. 07 | July 30-August 5, 2021 (Dhu’l Hijjah 20-26, 1442)

bal said in his speech. De Vera told Minister Iqbal the CHED and CSU would need sustained assistance by BARMM, particularly MBHTE.

through higher education in the context of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL),” De Vera said. CSU pioneer president Dilna said he

for the honor. The unveiling ceremony was witnessed by incumbent Maguindanao 1st District Rep. Ronnie Sinsuat, lawyer Ryan Estevez, OIC-Executive Director of the Unified Stu-

Photos show CHED Chair Prospero De Vera, left; former Rep. Sandra Sema, center; and BARMM Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal delivering messages; and of the receipt of token by De Vera from Iqbal, far above, during the inauguration of the CCSPC upgrading to Cotabato State University on July 22. (Contributed Photos.) Sema filed her bill in May 2012, and had since exerted persuasions until the Senate and the House to pass R.A. 10585 February 6, 2013. “But the CCSPC could not comply with (national) requirements in five years. I pushed the amendment in 2018, and finally CHED approved it this year,” she told The Philippine Muslim Today news via Messenger chat.

of the BARMM populace in the Central Mindanao who have been deprived of higher education caused by lack of financial resources, armed conflict and other similar reasons,” Iq-

“We need MBHTE’s assistance so we can extend our services to Bangsamoro students especially in CSU. CHED provides technical assistance to the BARMM government

“humbly accepted the duties, responsibilities and accountabilities, as well as the challenges inherent to my decisions with your (CHED and MBHTE) support.” He expressed gratitude

dent Financial Assistance System (UniFAST), Commissioner Ronald Adamat, CHEDRO XII Director Nelia Alibin and CHEDRO VII/HECBOL Director Maximo Aljibe; and other BARMM officials. (AGM)

IPS anxious of ancestral domain, tribal justice system fate in short BARMM transition COTABATO CITY – The infant governance of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) dispatched desalination machines to potable waterless islands towns in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi in what officials described as another bold step in making the difference in the evolution of southern autonomy and in addressing inadequa-

cies. Interim Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo inspected the machines and supervised their loading onto container vans for shipment from Polloc Port in Parang, Maguindanao on Friday, July 30. Operators took samples of sea water and processed in the ma-

By ALI G. MACABALANG chines into drinking flu- and Tawi-Tawi provincid, part of which the two es,” CM Ebrahim said in officials and other the TV news report. In corroboration, BARMM workers drank to demonstrate the fea- Minister Sinarimbo said sibility of their well- the BARMM governconceived intervention ment introduced the water desalination methfor island towns. “The purpose of the od after its technical desalination machine people failed to derive dispersal is to squarely potable water in some address the lack or in- island towns of the two adequacy of drinking provinces after repeated water in some distant deep well drilling. Sinarimbo signed towns of the island Sulu

last May 27 a contract with the Water Equipment Technology Industries Inc. (WETII) here for the purchase of 10 units of desalination machine worth P144-million from the 2020 contingency fund of the Office of Chief Minister. WETII is a known supplier of desalination machine s, employing expert installers, it was learned.

“The machines will convert sea water into drinking fluid for (recipient) island towns, which for generations have been lacking potable water because no amount of drilling would yield drinking fluid,” Sinarimbo told reporters on May 27. In his Facebook post shortly after signing the contracts, Sinarimbo identified the initial proIPS | Back to A11

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Vol. II, No. 07 | July 30-August 5, 2021 (Dhu’l Hijjah 20-26, 1442)

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Vol. II, No. 07 | July 30-August 5, 2021 (Dhu’l Hijjah 20-26, 1442)


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