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The Philippines’ First Muslim Digital Newspaper 12 Pages | P20

Vol. II, No. 13 | Sept 10-16, 2021 (Safar 3-9, 1443)

Bangsamoro Interim Chief Minister and MILF Chairman Ahod “Alhaj Murad Ebrahim” Balawag.

Page A2

House approval of Marawi Military sees end of BIFF dominance Compensation Bill hailed By ALI G. MACABALANG MARAWI SIEGE. Some destroyed commercial buildings in the 2017 Marawi Siege’s most affected area. (Online generated photo)


ARAWI CITY – Stakeholders from public and private sectors have hailed the House of Representatives’ approval of the bill seeking to indemnify the loss or destruction of residential and commercial properties in the five-month battle

of the 2017 siege here, hoping the Senate will pass its own counterpart measure soon. Lanao del Sur Bombit Alonto-Adiong, Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra and outspoken evacuees’ representative Drieza Lininding took turns in

praising the “long awaited but worthy” legislation, which overwhelmed momentarily their contrasting perceptions over the pace of physical rehabilitation efforts in the most affected area (MMA) and mode of bringing back displaced residents to their respective homes. HOUSE | A3

Be a Muslim Bangsamoro, brave and strong



OTABATO CITY: The surge in the surrender of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) continues amidst the military’s efforts to dismantle the different threat groups in Mindanao particularly here in Maguindanao province. Maj. Alfie Alonzo, public information officer of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMimCom) on Sunday said through the efforts of the 6th Mechanized Infantry Battalion and 1st Brigade Combat Team, four more members of the BIFFKarialan Faction surrendered to the military in Maguindanao on September 1. Maj. Alonzo identified them as a.k.a. Dauto, 20 years of age, single, and a resident of Barangay Tapikan, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao; a.k.a. Nas, 44, single, and a resident of Sitio Damalibi, Satan, same municipality; a.k.a. George, single, and a resident of Damalibi, Ampatuan, Maguindanao; and a.k.a. Rasul, 42, married, MILITARY | A11

It is almost certain that the term of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) which governs the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will be extended and that the first BARMM regular elections will be postponed to 2025. Our forecast is based on the approval of the final reading of Senate Bill No. 2214, and the House of Representatives is expected to follow suit. This is a good development and those like me who care for the Bangsamoro People — the people who has been engaging the government for a long time in wars to assert their rights for self-determination and identity — have reason to revel. YAHYA | A6


The Bangsamoro

Senate OKs postponing 2022 BARMM polls By ALI G. MACABALANG

Vol. II, No. 13 | Sept 10-16, 2021 (Safar 3-9, 1443)

Officials praise Senate’s nod on BTA lifespan extension Lawmakers urge BARMM to work promptly, transparently By ALI G. MACABALANG

C A photo of Senator Dick Gordon with MILF Vice Chair and chief peace panelist Ghazali Jaafar and BIAF Chief of Staff Abdulraof “Sammy Gambar” Macacua when the lawmaker visited Camp Darapanan years back. The Senate secretariat flashed the photo while Gordon was making his approval message.


OTABATO CITY – The Senate passed on third and final reading today, Monday, Sept. 6, the bill deferring the first parliamentary polls in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) from May 2022 to May 2025. Fifteen (15) senators voted for the passage of Senate Bill No. 2214, with three others voting against and another abstaining, according to the video record of the Senate session tonight. Senator Francis Tolentino, bill sponsor, said postponing the election will “give us a chance to continue working towards attaining peace in the region and fully realizing the promises of the CAB (Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro).”

BARMM officials in a pose with senators Zubiri, Tolentino and Dela Rosa. “Adding three more years to the transition period is nothing compared to the four decades of violent conflict and almost two decades of grueling negotiations between the Government of the Philippines and the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front),” Tolentino said, citing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to the transition. He also maintained that the measure does not trivialize the right to suffrage of the Bangsamoro people. “But they should be transparent about the disbursement of public funds and they should finish the Electoral Code this 2022 to ensure the orderly conduct of elections come 2025,” Tolentino said, assuring his peers. The bill states that upon the expiration of the terms of the incumbent members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the President shall appoint 80 new members of BTA who will serve up to June 30, 2025. In the House of Representatives, a committee report that consolidated five related proposals elections has been approved at the committee level. Maguindanao Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu and Basilan lone Rep. cum Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman earlier told the Philippine Muslim Today news that the harmonized bill would be submitted for plenary deliberation starting tomorrow, Tuesday. At tonight’s Senate hearing, Senator Dick Gordon, author of two bills substituted by Tolentino’s version, delivered the longest message explaining his approval vote. Gordon recalled how he was touched by the “down-to-earth appeal for support) from now deceased MILF panel Chief Ghazali Jaafar. He capped his message with a prayer for Jaafar, who died of lingering ailment on March 13, 2019 a few days after his appointment as member and speaker of the BTA parliament. AGM

OTABATO CITY – Proponent officials and peace advocates have praised the Senate’s majority vote for deferment of the first Bangsamoro parliament election from 2022 to

2025, urging the House of Representatives to follow suit in due time for the sake of ensuring success in the administration of the new autonomous region in Mindanao.

After the nominal voting on Monday, Sept. 6, night, Bill author Francis “Tol” Tolentino and main backer Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri took turns in urging the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) governance to enact its electoral code in 2022 and undertake fiscal disbursements with utmost transparency. Though the BARMM administration is committed to “moral governance,” critics and skeptics will become irrelevant if fiscal operation and vital decisionmaking in the region become above board, according to Tolentino and Zubiri. They believe that another round of calls for transition extension after the 2025 timeline would be awkward. BARMM and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) officials, led by Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim as chief minister and chairman, and the Mindanao Peoples’ Caucus (MPC) described as “initial triumph” the vote of the Senate to defer the 2022 regional election and extend the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) lifetime to 2025. Ebrahim said all Bangsamoro people, including BARMM’s close to five million constituents, “stand to benefit from the extension of the transition period.” “The extension for three more years gives us a better chance for healing, for rebuilding and for setting the future of the Bangsamoro,” said Ebrahim. “Like the gains of the peace process, this is not only a victory for the Bangsamoro but for the whole Philippines.” Senate Bill 2214 or “An Act Resetting the

rimbo deemed the Senate’s act “historic move.” “This bill will ensure that we set the course for the newly established Bangsamoro autonomous region towards an irreversible course of peace and development,” Sinarimbo said, lauding Tolentino and Zubiri’s efforts. Tolentino said an extended BARMM transition period will help ease in putting the promises of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in place for the Bangsamoro people. The CAB is the final peace deal between the government and the MILF signed in 2014 after 17 years of negotiations. It is legally translated by R.A. 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) BARMM. “Out of genuine desire to see the fullest expression of the peace agreement’s promises, [we] judiciously decided to postpone the (BARMM) elections next year,” Tolentino said after the Senate nominal voting. Last November, the regional Parliament passed a resolution urging Congress to extend the transition period “to give the BTA am-

BTA Speaker Pangalian Balindong in a visit to House Speaker Velasco, First Regular Elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Amending, for the Purpose, Section 13, Article XVI of Republic Act 11054 (BARMM charter)” gathered 15 affirmative votes, three dissenting and one abstention. The affirmative votes came from Senators Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Pia Cayetano, Ronald dela Rosa, Richard Gordon, Win Gatchalian, Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, Grace Poe, Bong Revilla, Cynthia Villar, Francis “Tol” Tolentino, Franklin Drilon and Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, alongside Senate President Vicente Sotto III. Senators Ralph Recto, Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao and Panfilo “Ping” Lacson voted against the bill, while Senator Imee Marcos abstained. SB 2214 proposes the next president to appoint the 80 members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the interim BARMM governing body, who were appointed by President Duterte for a term ending on June 30, 2022. BARMM spokesman and Local Government Minister Naguib Sina-

ple time to fulfill its mandate” as stunted by factors aggravated by the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. It corroborated a midterm review report by the MPC, which warned of BTA insufficient time to complete its tasks. Lawyer Mary Ann Arnado, MPC secretary general, joined revelling stakeholders in cheering the Senate decision. She urged the House of Representatives to follow the lead of the Senate. Her group and other supportive quarters echoed pleas for the President to certify as urgent the passage of the lower chamber’s version, noting that 23 session days are left for a decisive legislation. Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan and Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi had earlier separately aired opposition to moves to extend the Bangsamoro transition period, and asserted the need for BARMM voters to exercise their rights of suffrage in the 2022 polls. The House joint committees of Reps Juliet Marie De Leon-Ferrer of Negros Occidental, Ansaruddin Alonto-Adiong of Lanao OFFICIALS | A10


Vol. II, No. 13 | Sept 10-16, 2021 (Safar 3-9, 1443)

MPW, DPWH exert momentary remedies to lack of system on BARMM highways By ALI G. MACABALANG


OTABATO CITY – Media exposes on sad conditions of national highways in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) have prompted both the Department of Public Works and Highways Architect Eduard Guerra, MPW Minister, announced on Sept. 1 that his office had submitted a communiqué to the DPWH central office, and that he had instructed his district offices to stretch the use of their available funds for the maintenance of national roads within their respective jurisdictions. On Sept. 4, DPWH Undersecretary Eugenio Pipo Jr. and Assistant Secretary Ador Canlas (for regional operations) flew to Koronadal City and conferred with Regional 12 Director Basir Ibrahim and South Cotabato District Engineer Khalil Sultan, the Philippine Muslim Today (PMT) news learned on Sunday. The PMT got words from field DPWH personnel about the basic nature of the meeting, but they later backtracked due to purported standing order that only their central officials are authorized to talk about the lingering issue concerning the lack of national subsidies for maintenance and improvement of national highways and bridges in the autonomous region. Before the visit of Pipo and Canlas, it was learned that DPWHSultan Kudarat District Engineer Amer Pundag led his workers in filling up holes along the highway of Buluan, Maguindanao and patching of road holes in nearby Datu Paglas town would immediately follow, the PMT also learned. The PMT earlier gathered from Director Ibrahim that his office has no allocations for maintenance of roads and bridges outside Region 12. Interested parties can examine the fiscal records of DWH12, and “if they find even a single cent (allocated for BARMM areas), I will resign instantly,” Ibrahim once told the PMT news.

“As a Bangsamoro professional, I am also concerned about the problem,” Ibrahim said, noting that the issue is now in the hands of higher authorities. Since the formal creation of BARMM, the DPWH has stopped downloading funds to its field offices for maintenance of national highways in Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi because a mechanism would be crafted and institutionalized by the Inter-Governmental Relations Body (IGRB), it was learned. Lull on IGRB infra sector concern According to PMT news verifications, the IGRB has not yet convened a meeting on the infrastructure cluster sector. The IGRB, cochaired by Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal for BARMM and Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez for the national government, is mandated under the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) or R.A. 11054 to facilitate the devolution to the autonomous government the powers, functions and assets of national line agencies. The IGRB has so far facilitated the initial devolution of functions and assets of some line agencies, excluding the DPWH because BARMM created the MPW, which does not cater to national roads and bridges, the PMT learned. Pending the lull on IGRB deliberation of the infra sector cluster, Minister Guerra had repeatedly asked the DPWH central office to download maintenance funds but received no favorable reply, said Avila Abubakar, Maguindanao 1st district engineer. Thus, MPW has no funds for national road and bridge maintenance in 2020 and 2021.

(DPWH) and the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) to provide temporary remedies to cumbersome lack of specific funds to improve and maintain such main road arteries.

The Bangsamoro Press Corps (BPC) tackled in the first two episodes of its “Tapatan” forum every Saturday the ills of lack of maintenance funds for BARMM highways. The PMT news also exposed in print and online editions the sad state of highway sections in Sultan Kudarat (SK), Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur. It posted photos of tall grasses as high as two meters on Lanao Sur highways and crater-like holes along SK town. On instruction of Minister Guerra, DE Abubakar said his workers scraped off dilapidated asphalt layers along the SK highway, even as he posted photos showing the road

section in better condition nowadays. The PMT news tried but failed to get reports from the MPW district offices in Lanao del Sur on their remedial efforts in tall grasses-studded sections of areas in their respective jurisdictions. In the Sept. 4 episode of the “Tapatan with PBC” forum, House Deputy Speaker and former Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman called for collective efforts to persuade the IGRB into convening a meeting to craft a mechanism for regular maintenance and improvement services on BARMM national highways. “Dapat itanong sa IGRB hanggangg saan ang naabot nila sa usaping lack of maintenance funds,” Hataman said. AGM


House approval of Marawi Compensation... from page A1 Marawi Reconstruction Conflict Watch (MRCW), an independent multi-stakeholder dialogue group, commended the House leadership and members “for taking this long-needed and decisive step towards recognizing the victims of the war in Marawi who deserve just compensation.” The MRCW particularly cited Anak Mindanao Partylist Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan, Leyte 4th District Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez, Basilan Rep. Mujiv S. Hataman, Lanao del Norte 1st District Representatives Mohamad Khalid Q. Dimaporo and Ansarrudin Abdul Malik A. Adiong, and Lanao del Sur 2nd District Rep. Yasser Alonto Balindong for “consistently championing the plight of the people of Marawi.” It assured to “remain vigilant and steadfast in lobbying” the passage of the Senate counterpart espoused by Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Francis Tolentino, Ronald Dela Rosa, Christopher Lawrence Go, and Imee Marcos via Bill 1395 in 2019 and 2020, and mentioned Senator Risa Hontiveros for her intent to file a similar measure. House Bill 9925, known as the proposed Marawi Compensation Act, was approved unanimously on final reading last Monday, Sept. 6 by 197 lawmakers without dissenting or abstention vote. The bill seeks to provide compensation to qualified claimants for the loss or destruction of their residential and private properties as a result of the five-month battle between state forces and terrorist groups that ensued from the May 23, 2017 here. An estimated 95 percent of the infrastructure was damaged in the 24-village MMA and is “one of greatest challenges” facing the government’s rehabilitation efforts here, according to bill proponents. “The armed fighting not only created housing problems but livelihood issues of the residents, as well. It is, therefore, the duty of the State to address the loss and destruction of property of Marawi City residents,” Hataman said. Apart from indemnifying damaged properties, the bill also proposes to institutionalize the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) to attain its objectives set in the Marawi Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Program (MRPP). It proposes a compensation body under the TFBM to receive claims and resolve claims filed within 30 working days. Under HB 9925, lawful owners or possessors who have become internally displaced persons (IDPs) as a result of the destruction of their private property due to the siege may file a claim with the compensation subcommittee. The compensation shall be based on current market value of improvements and structure as determined by a state agency or financial institution knowledgeable on property appraisal, or an independent property appraiser. Though no specific amount of compensation is mentioned in the bill, the budgetary requirement will be sourced from the following year’s General Appropriations Act upon ratification into law, Hataman earlier told the Bangsamoro Press Corps’ weekly “Tapatan” Forum. President Duterte created the TFBM under Administrative Order No. 3 issued on June 28, 2017 to ensure convergent efforts among national agencies and the local government units in the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts. Rehabilitation funds and efforts are currently focused on building common-use infrastructure like roads, a park, health centers, and public market which Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, TFBM chair, assured for the nth time to be completed by the end of the year. Some 2,000 houses are being built but only for families who used to live in riverside and lakeside communities which are now “no build zones” and in state-owned lands that are now used for public infrastructure. The media has repeatedly asked TFBM officials and other authorities on who would track down IDPs still scattered in different parts of the country, but drew no categorical answer. AGM


Opinion Philippine Muslim Today Inc. Co. Reg. No. 2021030008913-02 DATU YUSOPH B. MAMA Chairman, Board of Directors MASIDING NOOR YAHYA President/CEO JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL Vice President for Internal Affairs ALI G. MACABALANG Vice President for External Affairs ROCAYA SUMNDAD OTICAL Treasurer MACOD D. RASCAL Secretary CASAN C. CANA Auditor AMANODING D. ESMAIL Chairman, Special Committee on Administration & Finance

PHILIPPINE MUSLIM TODAY MASIDING NOOR YAHYA Editor-In-Chief and Publisher JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL Managing Editor ALI G. MACABALANG News Editor Bureau Chief for Bangsamoro & Central Mindanao Regions FATIMA ORTIL-JANNARAL Bureau Chief for NCR-Plus ROCAYA SUMNDAD OTICAL Bureau Chief for Northern Mindanao & CARAGA Regions JOHNNY R. LEE Bureau Chief for Western Mindanao Region & BaSulTa

Keeping BARMM Safe Despite the Virus: The Collective Responsibility of the Bangsamoro People


s the Covid-19 cases spike throughout the country, thanks to the Delta variant, the nation faces a tougher public health battle against the scourge that has ravaged humanity worldwide for more than a year and a half. Hospitals overflow with the afflicted, many having to bear the long wait for a vacant hospital bed, a few fated to die while waiting for even a few minutes of medical attention. Nurses threatening to walk out over unpaid benefits they rightfully deserve for holding out for so long against the strain of saving patients' lives while endangering theirs. Cemeteries and crematoriums awaiting the influx of bodies that have to be immediately consigned to eternal rest. And just recently, a reported shortage of medical oxygen has put patients' chances of survival at even higher risk. All these while many have become complacent, even defiant, regarding health protocols and quarantines. As a fledgling region with comparatively



DISCLAIMER: Opinion of the writer expressed herein is not necessarily the opinion of Philippine Muslim Today nor of its management. BUSINESS OFFICE: NCR PLUS SATELLITE OFFICE: Cor. Mercury & Pluto Streets, Rabago Subd., Villa Verde, Iligan City, 9200 Phone: 0915 2184388 | 063 2290965 Email: Https://

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Front page of PHILIPPINE MUSLIM TODAY previous issue.

fewer hospitals and facilities to deal with possible further surges in cases, the BARMM and especially its people, cannot afford to be complacent. Its limited capabilities to handle a Covid surge, the smaller numbers of vaccinated, along with the stubborness of its people, many of whom have shown themselves to be unconcerned with the welfare of those vulnerable, may prove to be a recipe for an impending public health disaster. It then boils down to "an everyone for himself/herself" approach, each one would then hold the responsibility to protect himself/ herself and loved ones from contracting the plague. The region, small and struggling as it is, needs the cooperation of its people to weather this crisis. The regional government cannot succeed in curbing the damage if people still walk around without a care for what should also be their responsibility towards others: the responsibility of keeping everyone else safe, whether or not they believe that the virus is real. PMT

My risky rookie days in media


Vol. II, No. 13 | Sept 10-16, 2021 (Safar 3-9, 1443)


uring my stint with the Philippines Daily Inquirer from 1986 to 1994, I had experienced life-threatening incidents in the line of duty. Some of those experiences, during which I stood my ground and made the difference, include the following: Profuse arrogance Gen. Jesus Hermosa, head then of the Unified Command (formerly Central Mindanao Command), drew focal attention from Cotabato City-based media practitioners for his feisty public remarks against crimes and rebellion (by the MNLF and MILF) and in dealing with subordinates. Some junior officers (from lieutenant to major) had complained of the general’s arrogance & unprofessional acts like the way he let them do errand works, e.g. as “pulot boys” for his daily lawn tennis games at the PC Hill court. Muslim colonels then (like Manabilang, Angintaopan, and Kiram Diangka) said they were recalled from vital positions to serve like “flower vases” at the command headquarters. Philippine Star correspondent Blah Bagundang and I wrote about the complaints in running stories, which mostly did not include the general’s comments because he refused to give one. One morning, Gen. Hermosa summoned me and Blah to his office. We waited for almost an hour until he emerged from a room bringing his huge foreign-bred dog and arrogantly pointed finger and yelled at us: “Muslim kayo ano?” After his long tantrums with mostly unprintable remarks in Cebuano dialect, I responded: “General, dili ‘mi nimo subordinates. Ayaw mi apila sa imong pagkangiyawa…” The general clinched his fist and stood as if tending to touch me. I stepped backward to evade any punch. I saw him hesitating to advance further in the sight of three Maranao colonels, who I earlier asked to witness our confrontation. The colonels assured to protect us, even as one of them vowed to shoot the general if he would harm us. We left the general murmuring

further. The next day, Blah and I hitched on one of two military helicopPunchline ters tasked to ferry officials to supervise the special elections in Lanao del Sur pitting then OIC-Governor Saidamen Pangarungan and strongman Ali Dimaporo. ALI G. MACABALANG While in the air, we saw Gen. Hermosa signaling from the other chopper, our pilot, to land and eject me and Blah. (We did not know that it was the general who would lead the trip). But our pilot ignored the general, sped ahead towards Marawi City’s Camp AmaiPakpak and landed ahead to let us flee. (Our chopper was supposed to land only after the one carrying the general would have landed. But our pilot defied the protocol because we learned he was also disgusted by the general’s arrogance.) In our coverage of the special polls, Blah and I wrote three stories and partly exposed further the lofty ways of the general. Weeks later, we learned that Gen. Rodrigo Gutang, Hermosa’s immediate predecessor, flew to Cotabato City as an elected Congressman and scolded the successor. Later on, Hermosa was replaced in the unified command unceremoniously. Arrogant counterpart in Army Sometime in early 1990s, an Army colonel named Quentin Alcodia was assigned as head of one of the three brigades of the 6th Infantry Division. He was blunt in his public remarks, too, about security concerns, especially about the intermittent clashes between field forces of the MNLF and the MILF in Maguindanao. On three occasions, Col. Alcodia dared me publicly to write about his “effective approach” to end the MILF-MNLF spate of skirmishes. In our first two meetings in the presence of Blah and Charlie Señase (of Malaya daily then), MACABALANG | A11


Vol. II, No. 13 | Sept 10-16, 2021 (Safar 3-9, 1443)

On the Code of Ethics for Journalism

Presidential Clashes in 2022 – Part 6 “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. But when character is lost, everything is lost.” – Mayor Pedro Adaza, Jr. of Catarman, Camiguin, Mindanao”


s I was about to write part 6 of Presidential Clashes in 2022, I chanced to read the article of Michael Valenzuela shared to me by my very valued friend, Raul Corrales of Camiguin and Cebu City. The Valenzuela article was written in the month of August 2019, President Magsaysay’s birth month. I am quoting my late father who was a legendary mayor of our town for almost twenty years. And this was a time when vote-buying and goons did not form part of the electoral landscape. The quote has been one of my unfailing guides in making day to day decisions. When offered the Chairmanship of the COMELEC with a hint I should be friendly to the administration in an incoming election – I rejected the offer because of the quoted statements of my father. When offered a seat in the Supreme Court as Justice – I rejected the offer because it was an effort to buy my silence. When offered ONE HUNDRED MILLION US DOLLARS – to leave the country to pretend I was sick seeking medical care at the Walter Reed Hospital in Maryland, USA – I also rejected the offer because my integrity and character is priceless. I’m not trying to blow my own horn to be adored and idolized and, very frankly, I don’t give a damn on what anybody will say – as it will not unmake me in any way. I am what I am – irrespective of what people say. Character and integrity: These qualities are very important for a President. A President, without character and integrity, is good for nothing – he is not even fit to be a dog catcher. We have seen this with many of our Presidents. Even if you have vision, blue print, brilliance and courage –without char-

acter and integrity – you are nothing. Without character and integrity – you are likely to peddle, sell or forget vision, blue print, brilliance and courage. Character and integrity are basic components of leadership. Thus having these in mind, we should look at those who want to be President of our country. The wannabes: Other than those we have written about, we will examine those who are rumored to be ambitioning to be President. There are a number of them. For one, there is Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon. Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon: He was mayor of Olongapo City. He has a so-so record as Mayor and his record smells like any traditional politician – which means, he is no angel. But he manages to stand out from the rest of the crowd coming as he does from Ateneo de Manila University in his prelaw and the University of the Philippines College of Law for his law degree. This, obviously, is no joking matter. As Chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee, he appears very competent and aggressive. The kink in his armor is that there were occasions when he was on the right track but something went wrong on the way to the forum. With no follow-up, Dick seems to have developed amnesia. More telling though were his encounters with President Duterte. In the recent past, he was chastised by Duterte for pursuing an investigation in his committee which could have tainted Duterte’s friends of graft and corruption. Gordon met the Duterte rant with complete silence. As a lawyer and a UP Law grad at that, Dick should have known better – because, in

law, that is known as admission by silence. Again, the bully that is President Duterte called Dick Gordon a mataba (fat) for investigating the corrupt and scandalous 40 BILLION

Diliman Way

HOMOBONO A. ADAZA PESO deal involving Duterte’s friends which featured his Man Friday, Senator Bong Go, and Presidential Adviser, Michael Yang, among others, and likely to point to Duterte’s involvement. Again acting like a gentleman and a debater following rules, Gordon refused to go down to Duterte’s level and said that how he looks has nothing to do with the investigation but if it was a matter of looks, he certainly looks better than President Duterte. It’s a good thing Duterte went to San Beda not to the UP College of Law, otherwise the law professors who were called terrors in UP Law would have told him as they have told many others that he has a “face which a mother cannot afford to love”. It is a good thing Senator Gordon is civil and forgiving because if he were not - he would have reminded President Duterte that more than four years ago, a courageous actress named Agot Isidro called President Duterte a “psychopath” and he did not even issue a denial which, in law, is admission by silence. Listening to President Duterte when he is on a ranting mood, many could not help agreeing with Ms. Isidro, citing a famous Latin maxim – res ipsa loquitor (the thing speaks for itself), if you know what that means. This would have floored Duterte. If Senator Pacquiao could ADAZA | A11



his Batanes To Tawi-Tawi Column would like to share with all journalists in the Philippines especially from among the ranks of the Bangsamoro Press Corps (BPC) based in Cotabato City particularly at the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). What Is a Code of Ethics? A code of ethics is a guide of principles designed to help professionals conduct business honestly and with integrity. A code of ethics document may outline the mission and values of the business or organization, how professionals are supposed to approach problems, the ethical principles based on the organization's core values, and the standards to which the professional is held. A code of ethics, also referred to as an "ethical code," may encompass areas such as business ethics, a code of professional practice, and an employee code of conduct. Drafted by the Philippine Press Institute and the National Press Club, the Code of Ethics states that, “VII. I shall not in any manner ridicule, cast aspersions on, or degrade any person by reason of (sex), creed, religious belief, political conviction, cultural or ethnic origin. Professional journalism associations, individual news organizations, and journalists themselves often have their own "code of ethics"; however, most share these basic principles: truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness, and public accountability. BACKGROUND for the CODE OF ETHICS FOR MEDIA I. INTRODUCTION Just as the 1987 Philippine Constitution guarantees freedom of expression, it also recognizes the role of women in nation - building, and shall ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men. 1. Section 4 Article III Constitution, provides that, “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of

expression or of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.” Freedom of Expression is not absolute and the right can be subject to some regulations of the State in order that it may not be injurious to the equal right of others. 2. For the media to uphold women’s rights, Republic Act 9710 1. Sec.14 Article II of the 1987 Philippine Constitution 2. Philippine Constitutional Law, Principles and Cases Vol.1 by H.De Leon, 1999 Edition Providing for the Magna Carta of Women urges, “Self-regulatory bodies, groups, and associations for media, television, cable, film, and advertising shall also ensure compliance with the Act and these Rules and Regulations.” 3. Policies, programming, media production and codes of ethics should be reviewed along these provisions. Freedom of the press carries a big responsibility to keep the public informed with

accurate, objective and fair reporting. However, images of women in the media are far from being accurate and fair. It has been said that the Philippine press is one of the freest in the world... so free that the

Batanes to Tawi-Tawi

JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL images of women are fair game in the vast media industry – from glossy magazines for men, to sleazy tabloids bordering on pornography and masquerading as art, while the unbridled electronic media traffic unsuspecting women and children to pornographic sites and possibly into the arms of pedophiles. The core of ethics is – to do no harm. We need to ask ourselves - Do we do women harm in the language we use and the images we show?

Journalist’s Code of Ethics Philippine Press Institute 1. I shall scrupulously report and interpret the news, taking care not to suppress essential facts nor to distort the truth by omission or improper emphasis. I recognize the duty to air the other side and the duty to correct substantive errors promptly. 2. I shall not violate confidential information on material given me in the exercise of my calling. 3. I shall resort only to fair and honest methods in my effort to obtain news, photographs and/or documents, and shall properly identify myself as a representative of the press when obtaining any personal interview intended for publication. 4. I shall refrain from writing reports which will adversely affect a private reputation unless the public interests justifies it. At the same time, I shall write vigorously for public access to information, as provided for in the constitution. 5. I shall not let personal motives or interests influence me in the performance of my duties; nor shall I accept or offer any present, gift or other consideration of a nature which may cast doubt on my professional integrity. 6. I shall not commit any act of plagiarism. 7. I shall not in any manner ridicule, cast aspersions on or degrade any person by reason of sex, creed, religious belief, political conviction, cultural and ethnic origin. 8. I shall presume persons accused of crime of being innocent until proven otherwise. I shall exercise caution in publishing names of minors, and women involved in criminal cases so that they may not unjustly lose their standing in society. 9. I shall not take unfair advantage of a fellow journalist. 10. I shall accept only such tasks as are compatible with the integrity and dignity of my profession, invoking the “conscience clause” when duties imposed on me conflict with the voice of my conscience. 11. I shall comport myself in public or while performing my duties as journalist in such manner as to maintain the dignity of my profession. When in doubt, decency should be my watchword. Approved by the Philippines Press Institute, the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines, and the National Press Club in 1988. For your Comments/Suggestions please send an email to:


Be a Muslim Bangsamoro, brave and strong… from page A1


Vol. II, No. 13 | Sept 10-16, 2021 (Safar 3-9, 1443)

DAR to award Marawi’s Camp Keithley to landless farmers By ALI G. MACABALANG


he present BTA members who comprise the interim executive and legislative autonomous powers are not all perfect, nor are all competent. As we always say we know some of them who have no business to sit in the center of regional power. They are in no way capable of promoting the so-called ‘moral governance’ the region’s leadership has been advocating. Simply because, they are either illiterate of governance, bought their way there or with questionable personality with dubious activity. This is what we hope the national leadership and that of the Bangsamoro region can look seriously into. We know the BARMM may not be perfect. It has many flaws. And personally, I do believe it is a law that does not actually represent in toto our aspirations as a people. But right now, there is nothing better than BARMM. it is the only one that we have hoping to answer our aspirations and its success depends upon the Bangsamoro people. No amount of brilliance, hard work, and dedication of our leaders can change our plight if we, ourselves, do not like to change. Do not expect a better Bangsamoro government to come to us in the coming hundred years if we cannot make this present BARMM successful. But, if we want our BARMM to succeed, we must help the Bangsamoro authorities to run it. Let us help them employ incorruptible competence, integrity, and dedication in government service. This we can do by exposing the misfits and wrongdoings in the regional government. Let us inform BARMM higher echelons like CM Ahod Murad Ebrahim, Parliament speaker Pangalian Balindong and their ministers of these. Do not be afraid to assert your right because it is your future and of our posterity that is at stake. Be a Muslim Bangsamoro, strong and brave with all integrity and sincerity. Post Script: I am reviving my column entitled, ‘Looking back.’ As a column title, it is not mine own coinage. It belongs to a famous and prominent leader in the Malay World (Dunia Melayu). I was once upon a time browsing reading materials in a bookstore in Kuala Lumpur when an old paperback bound book caught my eyes. The book title is ‘Looking Back.’ I obtained a copy of its first edition in 1977 published by Pustaka Antara, Kuala Lumpur. I did not hesitate to buy it to read in my free time. It is one of my collection of few books and reading materials that I have had acquired from some places I had been around the globe. Putra’s ‘Looking Back’ is a compilation of the musings and memories written by Tungku Abdul Rahman Putra, the father of two Malaysia, in The Star newspaper, then a popular daily in Southeast Asia. The Tungku founded the Federation of Malaya and later Federal Malaysia, two forms of government and country that Malaysia has undergone in her struggle for independence from the United Kingdom. Anyway, one of these days, I will write an extensive introduction about the famous Malaysian leader. Today, 20 years later after buying it from that bookstore in KL, I still keep the book. It is from the Tungku (yarhamu) that I adopt the title of this column. May God be pleased with him.

OTABATO CITY – Here’s another good news for the people of war-torn Marawi City which higher authorities brought to fore almost simultaneously with the approval on Tips about efforts to subdivide parts of the 6,667-hectare Camp Keithley, a military reservation area in Marawi City, reached lately The Philippine Muslim Today (PMT) news. (The PMT carries a separate news story about the status of House Bill No. 9925 or the Marawi Compensation Bill.) Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary John Castriciones announced recently that his agency will do its “best” to distribute the governmentowned lands in Camp Keithley to farmers starting October. The land distribution pursues President Duterte’s Executive Order No. 75, which directs concerned government instrumentalities to identify lands owned by the government devoted or suitable for agricultural use for awarding to qualified beneficiaries, according to Castriciones. “This land is part of their ancestral domain. It should be returned to them,” he said at a recent coordination meeting with various stakeholders of the project. Sec. Castriciones was referring to Camp Keithley, a former American military base built during the start of the Philippine-American war. On Dec. 23, 1953, then President Elpidio Quirino, via Presidential Proclamation No. 453, converted the 6,667hectare area, now renamed Camp Amai

second reading by the House of Representatives of the long-awaited bill seeking to compensate residents affected in the 2017 fivemonth battle in the city.

ABOVE: An online generated photo of the DAR Secretary John R. Castriciones’ team visit on Camp Keithleycovered areas on May 31. BELOW: A file image of Undersecretary Emily Padilla, who made a related virtual briefing hosted on Sept. 2 by the Rotary Club on the subsequent awarding of CLOAs from such camp.

Pakpak, into a military reserved area, it was learned. DAR-Region 10 Director Zoraida Macadindang was quoted as announcing that they were already “done with identifying the landholdings for distribution, perimeter surveying, procurement activities and validation as well as documentation and approval of subdivision plans.” ”We are halfway in finishing all the necessary requirements before land distribution, but rest assured we will speed everything up so we can award the lands to the Bangsamoro

farmers by October,” she said. Last May 31, Castriciones, Macadindang and other DAR officials inspected portions of Camp Keithley in Marawi City and adjacent Saguiaran, Piagapo and Marantao towns in Lanao del Sur. On the same day, Castriciones and his team proceeded to Cagayan de Oro City where he alongside Bangsamoro Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform Minister Mohammad Yacob forged a commitment to distribute portions of the camp to resident farmers.

Only last month on May 31, 2021, Bro. John and Mindanao Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) Mohammad Yacob led the pledge of commitment held in Cagayan de Oro City to support the distribution of governmentowned lands in Camp Keithley Military Reservation. Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong, Jr., Mayors Ali Sumandar (Piagapo), Akira Alonto (Marantao), Hafiz Ampa Muti (Saguiaran), Majul Gandamra (Marawi City), and Sultan Ali Mindalano of the Marawi Sultanate League rallied the distribution commitment, according to a DAR website report. On Thursday, Sept. 2, night, DAR Undersecretary Emily Padilla told a virtual meeting hosted by the Rotary Club echoed the imminent distribution to identified farmers certificates of land ownership awards (CLOAs), each containing a maximum of three hectares. Padilla, a lawyer, did not disclose the size of Camp Keithley or Camp Amai Pakpak’s portion that has been covered under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), through which CLOAs are given out. But she said the CARP would cover land with a minimum size of 700 hectares.


JOB OPPORTUNITY !!! PHILIPPINE MUSLIM TODAY, fast growing newspaper in Southern Philippines, is in need of Field Reporters and Correspondents, Editors and Advertising Associates. Email Resume to:


Vol. II, No. 13 | Sept 10-16, 2021 (Safar 3-9, 1443)

Senate OKs bill renaming Marawi-Wao road as Mamintal Adiong Sr. Highway

BARMM, DAR gird to award 6,667-hectare Marawi camp to farmers By PMT News Team



OTABATO CITY – The Senate has approved unanimously on final reading the bill naming the 114-kilometer road between Marawi City and Wao, Lanao del Sur in honor Senate Bill 7355, known as proposed Act renaming the Maraw-MaguingBumbaran-Wao road as Governor Mamintal Adiong Sr. National Highway, drew 20 affirmative votes, with no dissenting and abstention votes, during the plenary session of the higher chamber on Monday, Sept. 6, night. The bill was authored by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri as counterpart to a measure reportedly approved earlier by the House of Representatives, according to Philippine Muslim Today (PMT) news sources. Lanao del Sur 1st District Rep. Ansaruddin “Hooky” Adiong, who authored the earlier adopted House bill, thanked the Senate leadership and members for their unanimous support. The Maranao lawmaker is the third son of the honoree. The two others are incumbent Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal “Bombit” Alonto-Adiong Jr. and Bangsamoro Parliament Member Zia-ur Rahman. The honoree-father, a former three-term Congressman, died of lingering ailment July 3, 2004 shortly after taking oath for his second-term gubernatorial victory. His death overtook his plan to open a road linking Bumbaran and Wao town to the mother province of Lanao del Sur and end their decades of isolation. People of the two towns had to cruise eight hours along Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte and three cities before reaching the Marawi City-based provincial government. “It has always been the dream of my father…to (link) Marawi City to Wao and Bumbaran and our adjacent provinces to unite us in one province, on one hand, and in one Mindanao, on the other. He desired it as “the dream road,” Rep. Adiong said in a post minutes after the Senate vote. The distance between Marawi City and Wao town is 113 kilometers. But since the creation of Lanao del Sur in 1957, the road was only up to Maguing town, which is 73.91 kilometers away from Wao.

of a late former Congressman and governor who initiated the opening and concreting of the vital road network.

Photos above are online-generated photos showing the topographic map of the Maraw-Wamburan Road, and Rep. Hooky Alonto-Adiong posing at one of three newly completed bridges along the same route. When elected governor in 2007, Bombit or Mamintal Jr. pursued his father’s plan to construct the 73-kilometer road straddling Maguing, Bumbaran and Wao towns. Concreting works along the stretch were completed in his third and final gubernatorial term in 2016. Bombit and his mother, Soraya Alonto-Adiong, ran and won as vice governor and governor, respectively in 2019, and had since pushed for the building of four concrete bridges along the Maguing-Bumbaran-Wao highway, sources said.

Three of the bridges were fully completed last July and the fourth biggest bridge was due for completion in October this year, according to the CDH Construction firm commissioned to build the four bridges. While the four bridges were under construction, makeshift detours were installed for Bumbaran and Wao people as well as travelers from as far as South Cotabato to pass through. (AGM)

Anti-Muslim Monk Released! Myanmar military announced on Monday that it had released Wirathu, a nationalist Buddhist monk notorious for his anti-Muslim tirades after all charges were dropped including sedition charges brought by Aung San Suu Kyi’s deposed government. It also added saying that the monk has received treatment at the military hospital without providing any details. Wirathu, who was once dubbed by Time magazine the “The Face of Buddhist Terror” for his role stirring up religious hatred in Myanmar, was jailed after turning himself in last November. In 2001, Wirathu started involved in the anti-Muslim 969 group and was first jailed in 2003 then released in 2010. The 53-year-old monk was the founder of a nationalist organization that was accused of inciting violence against Rohingya Muslims. His tirades led him to get banned by Myanmar’s highest Buddhist authority from preaching for one year in 2017. And Facebook deleted his account in 2018. However, Wirathu remained a regular at nationalist


rallies, in which he accused Aung San Suu Kyi of corruption and fumed against its failed attempts to rewrite the constitution drafted by the military. Wirathu was able to build upon widespread prejudice in Buddhist-majority Myanmar against the Rohingya Muslims, who are portrayed as migrants from Bangladesh, despite they had lived in Myanmar for generations. Last year, he was jailed after turning himself in over May 2019 charges of attempting to bring hatred/ contempt, and of exciting disaffection towards the thengovernment. Attacks by a Rohingya armed group on Myanmar police posts in 2017 triggered a brutal military crackdown that forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to flee into Bangladesh and is now the subject of a genocide case at the International Court of Justice. Myanmar Now, an independent media group, reported that the military had ‘pardoned’ him amid the campaign for his release by nationalist supporters. A supported added that it was also because he had had COVID-19 and was in unhealthy condition. Source: Islamic Information


OTABATO CITY – The Bangsamoro autonomous governance is in final coordination with higher authorities like the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to fulfill the Duterte administration’s commitment to identify and distribute all government-owned lands (GOLs) to the landless and occupant-farmers. The Bangsamoro’s Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) has finalized with DAR officials the identification and classification of GOLs in the autonomous region for distribution to farmers via certificate of land ownership awards (CLOAs) to occupants. One identified GOL is the 6,667-hectare area known formerly as Camp Kiethley, which presently straddles across the city of Marawi and parts of Saguiaran, Piagapo and Marantao towns in Lanao del Sur, which DAR Secretary John Castriciones and MAFAR Secretary Mohammad Yacob alongside their teams inspected last May 31. The joint thrust is Executive Order No. 75 s. 2019 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte, which directs government offices “to identify lands owned by the government devoted to or suitable for agriculture for distribution to qualified beneficiaries.” Camp Keithley is a former American military base built at the start of the Philippine-American war. On Dec. 23, 1953, then President Elpidio Quirino, under Presidential Proclamation No. 453, converted the area into what is now known as Camp Amai Pakpak reserved area, DAR reports said. The areas of the present Mindanao State University main campus, the provincial police headquarters, the provincial government complex and the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade camp in Marawi City and the National Power Corporation complex in Saguiaran towns were carved out of the original Camp Kiethley, it was learned. Bangsamoro Senior Minister Abdulraof Macacua, concurrent MENRE minister, and DAR Undersecretary for Rural Development and Mindanao Affairs Ranibai Dilangalen met here last Monday to develop a work and financial plan (WFP). The WFP requires a MENRE’s survey plan and the DAR’s collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) national office in acquiring deeds and identifying qualified beneficiaries, the Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO) said in a statement Wednesday. The regional ministries and the national agencies will prepare an “inventory of GOLs” such as Camp Kiethley based on the intent and spirit of President Duterte’s E.O. 75, the BIO said. The selection of beneficiaries will be made jointly by the MAFAR and DAR pursuant to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) law, which usually awards CLOAs at three hectares each, it was learned. Minister Macacua expressed hope that “families and communities that are already in the concerned areas will be a priority in receiving these lands.” “This (land awarding) will boost peace and order development in [Marawi City] and in Lanao del Sur,” he added. Usec. Dilangalen, a lawyer, said she eyed the victims of the 2017 Marawi Siege as beneficiaries of the program. MENRE Land Management Services Director Eshan Karl Mabang batted for efficient, timely, and smooth execution of the technical survey in close collaboration with the DENR-12. PMT



115 finish NCMF-sponsored Shariah seminar; CM Ebrahim cheers grads By ALI G. MACABALANG

Vol. II, No. 13 | Sept 10-16, 2021 (Safar 3-9, 1443)

Young Cotabateña Moro makes to National Academy of Sports as Taekwondo athlete By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL


OTABATO CITY – At least 115 participants have completed the 40-day episode here of Shari’ah training seminars sponsored in series by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) in support of the government’s stride to harness qualified professionals in the application of Islamic laws on specific socio-economic issues. The sessions were held virtually from July 12 to August 31 among 135 trainees, who constituted the 17th leg of serial Shari’ah seminars organized by the NCMF from one regional office to another in rotation, but only 115 made it to the graduation ceremony, Dr. Jun Alonto-Datu Ramos, Commission spokesperson, said. The graduation or acceptance ceremony was held face-to-face last September 6 at the Grand Pagana Hall here on earnest plea by the successful trainees through their batch leader Norodin Salam, Ph.D., with the assurance that the activity would comply with basic protocols required in the current health pandemic, Datu Ramos. The latest seminar was hosted by the NCMF field office in Regional 12 headed by Director Datu Mama Sinsuat, Jr., with the 115 graduates - 58 male and 57 female – were confirmed and accepted by Bureau of Muslim Cultural Affairs Director Laman Piang, CESO

The training was moderated online by the Region-12 Cultural Affairs Division Chief Norodin Santo, and attended as virtual lecturers by NCMF central officials, including Executive Director Tahir Lidasan, Jr. Director Piang, Shari’ah Training and Education Division Chief Tananoray Macalandong, and Cultural Institutional Division Chief Sawiya Punut, with the assistance of Director Sinsuat and his regional personnel, he said. NCMF Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan, represented by Executive Director Lidasan, and Bangsamoro Parliament Member Marjanie Mimbantas delivered inspirational messages to the graduates at their acceptance rites, he said. At the graduation rites, forma citations were

Above are supplied photos showing the 115 Shari’ah training graduates, and NCMF and BARMM officials present at the ceremony. Far above is Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim in his virtual address at the event on Sept. 6 in Cotabato City.) IV and Commissioner Ismael Mastura, according to Datu Ramos. He said Bangsamoro Interim Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim, in his virtual message as graduation rites guest of honor, cheered the graduates with a call for them to propagate the essence of applicable Islamic or Shari’al laws in their respective communities. Ebrahim commended the NCMF for institutionalizing the Shari’ah development in the country, even as he assured the Bangsamoro governance’s full support for such a stride, the agency spokesman added.

accorded to the top ten participants and special awards for the best and most participative/active participants, he added. He said Lawyer Hedjarah Mangompia-Said, CPA, delivered her valedictory address as batch topnotch. Batch President Salam also delivered a message of appreciation to NCMF thrusts, drawing a cordial response from the Commission’s Legal Affairs Division Chief, lawyer Gapor Quituar, Datu Ramos said.


Ex-Moro warriors in Basilan receive 5000 fruit-bearing tree seedlings from BARMM LAMITAN CITY, Basilan: Former combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) from this province received 5,000 fruit-bearing tree seedlings from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) last Wednesday, September 1. With 100 total beneficiaries, some are members of the Basilan Ulamah Supreme Council and farmers in the province. Of the 5000 seeds, 2,500 are dwarf coconut trees, 1,500 durian trees, and 1,000 rambutan trees. This is part of the Bangsamoro Government’s efforts in aiding the agricultural needs of MILF and MNLF farmers, as well as strengthening agricultural programs in the Bangsamoro region. The distribution was held with funding support from the Office of Member of Parliament Abdulmuhmin Mujahid. "Our MILF and MNLF combatants are our main beneficiaries in the distribution of these fruit-bearing trees since for several years of armed conflicts here in Mindanao they were not able to concentrate in planting. So this time there is now a peaceful environment in the Bangsamoro areas that’s why they are trying their best to go on planting again,” Mujahid said.

“This is the right time to distribute to these people so that they can plant, since we do not have problem anymore with the peace and order here in Basilan," he added. Meanwhile, Abulgani Tambu from the Basilan Ulamah Supreme Council, expressed his gratitude to the Bangsamoro Government and MAFAR for helping the farmers in Basilan. JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL


OTABATO CITY: A female Moro athlete in Taekwondo from this city has qualified to train as student/athlete in the National Academy of Sports (NAS) in Capas, Tarlac City. She is identified as Marjaleah Nadzma S. Sumail, 13 years old, a black belter in Taekwondo Jin, Grade 7. Marjaleah is a daughter of a police officer assigned with the Philippine National Police and her mother is a Cotabato City Hall employee. She is the only Cotabatena and a Moro engaged in Taekwondo sports who qualified the rigid screening of this kind of sports. Taekwondo, Tae Kwon Do or Taekwon-Do is a Korean martial art, characterized by punching and kicking techniques, with emphasis on head-height kicks, jumping spinning kicks, and fast kicking techniques. The literal translation for tae kwon do is "kicking," "punching," and "the art or way of." At a younger age in her kindergarten school, Marjaleah had started training at the Heart of the Champion Gym-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) under the sports training of Byron Betita and John Robert Cabanog until she earned her Black Belt. Marjaleah has been awarded with several medals that she won in a Taekwondo sports tournament in local, national and even international competitions representing Cotabato City, BARMM, and Region 12. The National Academy of Sports can be found in Capas, Tarlac. This sports academy was established based on the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte whose main purpose is to produce quality athletes that could compete in both national and international competitions. Capas is famous as a Concentration Camp in Tarlac City where Filipino and American soldiers were held captives by the Japanese soldiers and being held here during World War II. Those athletes who were lucky and qualified to be trained will study here at the Sports Academy for free and will have rigid training in Taekwondo. They are also entitled to free boarding and lodging and including their monthly stipend or allowance. The Sumail couple who are parents of Marjaleah Nadzma are very much thankful to her instructors at NAS after she was chosen as a qualified athlete to undergo rigid training at the said sports academy representing Cotabato City and the Bangsamoro Region. JIJ


Tourism | Culture

Vol. II, No. 13 | Sept 10-16, 2021 (Safar 3-9, 1443)

Education: The Key to Socio-Economic Transformation of the Badjaos (Part III)

Chili Lime Salmon



he United Nations acknowledged that providing quality education serves as a backbone in people to escape from poverty and attain continuous economic growth. Significant progress in the Philippines has been made towards increasing access to education at all levels with the implementation of ‘free education for all’. The Republic Act 10931, known as the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act was signed into law in August 2017 by President Rodrigo Duterte, providing underprivileged Filipino students the opportunity to pursue college degrees through free tuition and exemption of other fees in

State Universities and Colleges (SUCs). The sad truth, however, the indigenous peoples like our very own Sama-Dilaut or the Badjaos seem to be left out - their children could hardly finish even the primary education. This writer has laid out some measures and propositions on how to extricate the

Badjaos from the vicious cycles of poverty. In Part II of this topic, this writer mentioned education as the key to their socioeconomic transformation. It would not be easy as it entails restructuring the current educational system and the ‘logistics’ that goes with it. The gov-


With Maria Fhebie Ortil By JOHNNY R. LEE, Ph.D.

ernment, as providers, should be able to provide additional capital outlays, manpower, maintenance services

and other amenities just like any normal educational institution. But what the heck, the Badjaos, as indigenous

people, have all the rights and privileges as citizens of this country and should be given what they deserve. Recalling the statement of Atty. Lorenzo Reyes,

Chancellor of the MSUTCTO, during the Badjao Forum held in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, ‘it is high time for the government to address the plight of the Badjao to correct the neglect and historical injustices it has committed towards this ethnic group’. There are technicalities and mechanisms involved in order to facilitate this proposition. The BARMM government and its components like Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education, Ministry of Social Services and Development, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affair, the NGO’s/CSO’s, the LGU’s and other support agencies must come together to formulate mechanisms on how to come up with the best strategy and

address the long-time neglect and injustices that beset the Badjaos and their communities. (To be continued in the next issue…)


he Bangsamoro Halal Cuisine is now the Lucky 13 after we have reached this week the Volume 2, Number 13th Issue of the Philippine Muslim Today. So for this 13th Issue of the 2nd Volume, I would like to feature the Chili Lime Salmon. What is so unique with this Chili Lime Salmon? Chili Lime Salmon is actually a moist, tender and delicious foil-wrapped salmon marinated with chili-garlic sauce and lime juice. Adding honey and fresh lime juice pretty much complete the flavors for this oven-baked and foilwrapped salmon dish. INGREDIENTS 1 lb. (0.4 kg) salmon fillet 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 1/2 tablespoons Huy Fong, Rooster brand Chili Garlic Sauce 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice 1 1/2 tablespoons honey 1 pinch salt 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (207°C). In a small bowl, mix the garlic, Chili Garlic Sauce, lime juice, honey and salt together. 2. Stir to mix well. 3. Lay out two big sheets of aluminum foil. Make sure they are big enough to cover and wrap the salmon. 4. Place the salmon on top of the foil. Add the Chili-Lime mixture to the salmon. 5. Spoon over to cover the entire salmon. Top with cilantro. Wrap up the foil sheets and make sure that there is no leakage. 6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the Salmon is just cooked through. 7. Serve immediately. MFO




Vol. II, No. 13 | Sept 10-16, 2021 (Safar 3-9, 1443)

2nd Mindanao Vegetable Derby underway in Maguindanao

BARMM sends relief goods for Lanao in granular lockdown

By Ali G. Macabalang


IDAPAWAN CITY – Farmers in Maguindanao are being organized and mentored on modern ways of vegetable growing to enhance productivity and increase income in their rouChief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim checks some of the relief goods he sent off from Cotabato City on Saturday for Lanao del Sur and Marawi City. (Supplied photo


OTABATO CITY – The Bangsamoro regional governance has dispatched relief goods for residents in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur towns subjected to 10-day granular lockdown to quell a spike in COVID-19 cases and sustain the autonomous region’s state of having the “lowest risk” in pandemic across the country. Bangsamoro interim Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim led regional officials in the sendoff rite here on Saturday of relief workers accompanying five trucks filled with basic foods and hygiene kits on request of Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal “Bombit” Alonto-Adiong Jr. Gov. Adiong started imposing on Saturday a 10-day granular lockdown recommended by the provincial Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) across Lanao del Sur and Marawi City, especially in areas with recent reports of new cases, it was learned. The initial relief mission brought 2,500 food packs, 1,000 bags of rice and several hygiene kits for Marawi City and the towns of Marantao and Wao, according to Jo Henry of the Rapid Emergency Assistance for Disaster Incidence (READi) unit of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG). The partial assistance came from the READi, the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) and Tulong Alay sa Bangsamorong Nangangailangan (TABANG) program of the chief minister’s office, Henry said. Chief Minister Ebrahim said the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) governance will “give more” as the need arises in areas subjected to 10-day granular lockdown. “Ito (relief mission) ay ginagawa natin sa BARMM kase nakikita natin ang paghihirap ng ating mga kababayan. Ito ay bahagi ng ating moral governance,” Ebrahim told reporters at the send -off ceremony. According to raw reports reaching the Philippine Muslim Today news, 56 new COVID -19 cases were reported in 12 barangays of Marawi City caused by referrals of Maranao patients to the city’s Amai Pakpak Medical Center from the Northern Mindanao region. News cases from Marantao and Wao were not known as of the press time. Last week, the BARMM’s Ministry of Health (MOH) said the autonomous region posted a “low risk” in the country, with its total cases of 9,706 cases or less than 1% of the Philippines’ total cases at 1.756 million cases. Dr. Bashary Latiph, MOH Minister, said in a report from the Bangsamoro Information Office that as of Aug. 16, only11 new cases were registered with active cases at 454 – five in Maguindanao, four in this city, and two on combined Lanao del Sur and Marawi City. The latest 26 new cases in Marawi City indicated a spike, prompting the IATF of Lanao del Sur to impose the 10-day granular lockdown, PMT sources said.


Dubbed as “2nd Mindanao Vegetable Derby,” the program is hosted in Pagalungan town after coordinated meetings by MinDA with Mayor Salik Mamasabulod in July and August, Dr. Adrian Tamayo, public affairs office chief, said. After the determination of the site, MinDA has commissioned experts to orient and mentor selected farmers from different towns in the province on modern technologies in vegetable growing and production starting August 23 until October 30, Tamayo said. The event will culminate on the second week of November at Barangay Layog in Pagalungan, Tamayo said, noting it as part of MinDA’s stride for enhanced agriculture in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. For his part, MinDA Chair Manny Piñol said they designed the program to help improve the quality of vegetables and productivity of farmers and the high-value crop area of Mindanao, particularly in BARMM. "In the coming weeks, we are expecting a series of mentoring between technicians of seed companies and vegetable farmers of Pagalungan on proper techniques in pest management, nutrient management, and other protocols in maintaining the growth of vegetables

tine farming under a program introduced by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), officials said.

An online-generated image of a multi-crop vegetable farm in Luzon, above; and a file photo of then Maguindanao Governor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu demonstrating to teenagers basic steps in modern vegetable growing, below.

and ensuring a bountiful harvest,” Sec. Piñol said. Series of trainings on proper vegetable growing, processing, value-adding, and marketing as well as collectivization of vegetable farmers into cooperatives are prescribed in the program, he added. He said four seed supplying companies Kaneko, Eastwest, Seedworks, and Condor – collaborated with MinDA and Pagalungan officials to mentor farmers on proper land preparation and transplanting of vegetable seedlings. Invited technicians from the seed firms would introduce their

respective technologies and innovations, and show the farmers the actual application in the field, Piñol said. He said a ‘field day” has also been set in the first week of November for participating farmers to showcase their own acquired abilities “before the actual vegetable festival or derby.” "Transforming the landscape into a productive farm requires collective actions from the industry players themselves. The Mindanao Vegetable Derby aims to address poverty, improve productivity, and initiate the economic recovery of Mindanao," he said. Last July, he said,

representatives from the four companies joined the MinDA staff in a short boat ride from the town proper of Pagalungan to a village near Liguasan Marsh to launch the “first Bangsamoro Vegetable Derby.” Tamayo said Mayor Mamasabulod volunteered to host the BARMM Vegetable Derby because his resident -farmers needed the correct farming technology to fully utilize the potentials of their rich soil. At the end of the derby, outstanding farmers will receive awards, while companies with high yielding seeds will also be given citations. Meanwhile, Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu lauded Sec. Piñol and Mayor Mamasabulod for the conduct of the event, saying vegetable farming has long been given impetus in advanced countries like Japan. Mangudadatu recalled that during his three-term gubernatorial reign, he had visited Japan and personally saw many Japanese households growing vegetables in limited lots and were earning big incomes. On many occasions, media people had seen then Gov. Mangudadatu conducting orientation on backyard vegetable gardening among his young and adult constituents. AGM

SPDA speeds up priority projects… From Page A11 These include the construction of SPDA Main Office in Catalunan Pequeno, this city, construction of the Authority’s Regional Office in Zamboanga City, the purchase of a new office unit for SPDA’s Manila Liaison Office (MLO), and the modern and state-of-the-art SPDA poultry farm in Davao del Sur. Also yesterday, the formal signing of the PhP24 million contract for the construction of civil works package for the modern poultry farm at Purok 6, Barangay Labon, Sulop, Davao del Sur, was held at SPDA’s main office in Davao City. This occasion was graced by SPDA Administrator & Chief Execu-

tive Officer Abdulghani ‘Gerry’ Ajul Salapuddin and Engr. Romeo C. Asuncion, Jr., General Manager of Royal Summit Infinity Development Corporation, the winning bidder. Witnessing the formal awarding of the said project are SPDA Deputy Administrator Munap H. Pacio; Operations Department Manager Cris B. Dagala; Finance & Administration Department Manager Merlinda G. Abante; Corporate Affairs Department Manager Virginia L. Uy; Corporate Board Secretary Thelma Silfide C. Alicaway; SPDA BARMM Satellite Office Head Norhan A. Salih; Chief Accountant Norhaysa H.E. Dipatuan; and other members of the Executive Committee.


Vol. II. No. 13 | August 16-22, 2021 (Muharram 7-13, 1443)


SPDA speeds up priority projects before election ban on public works


By Celestino B. Siglos, Ed.D.

AVAO CITY (7 September 2021) – The operations department of Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA) led by Cris B. Dagala, is fast-tracking the implementation of the Authority’s revenue generating priority projects this year as it redoubles efforts before the election ban takes effect beginning March 29 until May 12 next year (2022). During that period, the government is prohibited from releasing funds for public works constructions and the hiring and movement of government personnel. This prohibition is aimed at preventing government officials from using government resources and facilities to influence the voters in their choices for national and local elective positions. Paragraph of Section 261 of Batas Pambansa

No. 881 or Omnibus Election Code (OEC) prohibits the construction of public works, delivery of materials for public works and issuance of treasury warrants and similar devices forty-five (45) days before the date of election, except for projects or works exempted under Section 261 (v). In the executive committee (EXECOM) meeting held at the main office in this city yesterday, September 6, 2021, Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA) Administrator & Chief Executive Officer Abdulghani ‘Gerry’ Ajul Salapuddin, had expressed elation before committee members and satellite office managers in Mindanao over the various SPDA projects currently lined up for implementation before this year ends. BACK TO PAGE A10

MILITARY | from Page A1

Military sees end of BIFF dominance and a resident of Mudseng, Midsayap, North Cotabato. He said the personalities handed over one 7.62mm Sniper rifle, one 5.56mm Ultimax SubMachine Gun, one cal. 50 Barrett with one empty magazine, and one 7.62mm Sniper rifle to Lt. Col. Ferdinand dela Cruz, battalion commander of 6Mech Bn. The four were then formally presented to Brig. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of 1 Battalion Combat Team (BCT); Ampatuan Mayor Baileah Sangki; and Anwar Emblawa, the municipal admin-

istrator of Shariff Aguak at 1BCT Headquarters, Old Capitol, Satan, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao. According to Brig. Gen. Patrimonio, the surrendered personalities are currently undergoing custodial debriefing. “We already coordinated with AGILA HAVEN for their livelihood assistance,” Brig. Gen. Patrimonio added. Last month, a total of 59 BIFF-Karialan Faction have surrendered in Maguindanao area. Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of Joint Task Force Central said the military will assist in the processing of the benefits the former violent extremists will re-

ceive under the AGILA HAVEN Program of the Province of Maguindanao. Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, acting commander of WestMinCom, lauded the troops of the Joint Task Force Central for their persistent efforts to end terrorism and dismantle the terror groups in their area of operation. “Our substantial gains bespeak of our successful campaigns and interagency collaboration and cooperation. Let us sustain this so that our ultimate will soon be achieved,” he stated. JIJ

print the same words he earlier uttered. This time, I told him I will tape his remarks. Alcodia agreed and uttered the same words. The next day, Alcodia looked for me to complain why I printed the story, which landed prominently in PDI. I told him I just heeded his challenge. In a public gathering, Alcodia approached me

again, fuming mad. Gen. Gumersindo Yap, 6th ID chief then, batted in to scold the colonel after my replay of the tape containing the officer’s remarks. Alcodia was transferred elsewhere. (Comments and reactions may be sent to this columnist via alimac.bulletin@gmail.con or via Facebook messenger.)

MACABALANG | from Page A4

My risky rookie days in media Alcodia appeared joking in saying he “would train MILF and MNLF people to shoot sharply and provide them all ammunition so they can wipe out one another.” Thus, we ignored his statement. In the third chance meeting outside the ARMM executive building, Alcodia approached me (also with Blah and Charlie witnessing) and dared me to

ADAZA | from Page A5

Presidential Clashes in 2022 – Part 6 knock out President Duterte in a media exchange – why not a Gordon? This is a missed opportunity for Senator Gordon. But considering that Dick Gordon is an excellent Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross, Dick must have pitied Duterte that instead of a reminder – Dick probably had in mind that what President Duterte needs is a shock treatment, if you know what that means. Senator Grace Poe: If civility and attractiveness were the best qualifications for President – Senator Poe would be President, hands down. Fortunately, for the country and our people, they are not. Grace should be doing something else – she is even a square peg in a round whole in the Senate. With the way she talks and moves – she could be a good candidate for Secretary of the Department of Social Services and Development.

She ran for President once and she lost. For her own good, she should not run for President again If she does, long after she runs and gets defeated, as she surely will be, she might start talking like President Duterte and Senator Gordon might recommend a shock treatment for her, too – like what Dick is probably recommending for President Duterte. . Former Secretary Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro: As Secretary of National Defense – he certainly was no Ramon Magsaysay. He had nothing to crow about. He was a so-so Defense Secretary. He ran for President once and lost. But the man has sterling academic qualifications – top ten of his class in the University of the Philippines College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City and topped the bar examinations in the year he graduated.

Obviously, he has above average intelligence – to the point of being bright. But it takes more than that to be a good President.. Someone told me that the consuming desire of Gibo Teodoro is to read the Scriptures and be a monk. If this is true, I think he should pursue this passion for his own good, instead of running for President. Wide field: Within traditional context, you have a wide field to choose from. But if you are thinking of the interest of our people and the country, the field is really very narrow – more especially if you are interested in real change, in words and in action. The next chapters will have Former Senator Antonio ‘Sonny” Trillanes, Senator Christopher Go aka Bong Go, the X-Factors in the game and analysis and predictions. HAA

OFFICIALS | from Page A5

Officials praise Senate’s nod on BTA lifespan extension Sur, and Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu of Maguindanao passed House Bill 10121 as a substitute to five bills on Sept. 1. Rep. Mangudadatu and Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman of Basilan said the committee report would reach this week the plenary for deliberation. Mangudadatu, an author of one of the five bills, and Hataman shared public clamor for Duterte’s certification, saying such Presidential push would

certainly result in swift passage of the harmonized bill in the House plenary. A Philippine Muslim Today (PMT) news source said her relative-key official in the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLO) had already drafted a certification for possible signature by the President in due time. Meanwhile, PMT sources said BARMM officials led by Parliament Speaker Pangalian Balindong, a

veteran member of the House of Representatives for four terms, have shifted attention to the lower chamber to closely lobby for passage of a counterpart bill. Sources furnished the PMT some photos showing Balindong and House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco trading greetings at the lower chamber early this week. AGM

Vol. II. No. 13 | August 16-22, 2021 (Muharram 7-13, 1443)


WE ACCEPT PUBLICATION OF THE FOLLOWING: Extra-Judicial Settlements, Court Orders, Legal Notices, Obituaries, and other announcements. Contact: 063 2290965 or 09152184388.


That we, the HEIRS OF THE LATE ASLAINE MIKUNUG ABDULMAJEED namely: ALINOR SARIP BORA, surviving spouse, and minor children, namely: ALIANA ABDULMAJEED BORA, 14 years old, NORLYN ABDULMAJEED BORA, 12 years old, and ASNOR ABDULMAJEED BORA, 11 years old, all Filipinos and all residents of Mapoling Lumba Bayabao, Lanao del Sur, by these presents, freely and spontaneously, do hereby: DECLARE AND MAKE MANIFEST 1. - That we are the legal heirs of the late THE LATE ASLAINE MIKUNUG ABDULMAJEED, who died on October 3, 2019 in Marawi City, Marawi City, Lanao del Norte; 2 - That to the best of our knowledge and information the deceased, ASLAINE MIKUNUG ABDULMAJEED, died without a will and without any known debt; 3 - That THE LATE ASLAINE MIKUNUG ABDULMAJEED, left a Savings Account with Philippine National Bank, Quezon Branch under Savings Account No. 410710034189 with balance amounting to ONE HUNDRED TWELVE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED TWENTY-SEVEN AND THIRTEEN CENTAVOS (112,827.13); 4 - That as legal heirs of the ASLAINE MIKUNUG ABDULMAJEED, with full capacity to contract, we have agreed, as we hereby agree, to divide, settle and adjudicate among ourselves the above-described personal property in equal shares and pro-indiviso manner pursuant to Rule 74, Sec. 1 of the Rules of Court, without judicial proceedings as prescribed in the aforementioned Rules of Court; 5. That by virtue of these presents we, ALIANA ABDULMAJEED BORA, NORLYN ABDULMAJEED BORA, and ASNOR ABDULMAJEED BORA, are hereby represented by our father, ALINOR SARIP BORA, to perform all or any of the following acts and things, to wit; [1] To appear before the Philippine National Bank Iligan Branch and withdraw the amount in the aforementioned Savings Account; [2] To make, execute and sign any document related thereto. In Witness Whereof, the parties have-hereunto affixed their signatures at Iligan City this 18 th day of August 2021. (SGD) ALINOR SARIP BORA Surviving Spouse/Father In his own behalf and as the representative of his minor children; (SGD) ASNOR ABDULMAJEED BORA Minor Heir (SGD) ALIANA ABDULMAJEED BORA Minor Heir


Signed in the Presence of: 1. JOANY L. BANARES


Republic of the Philippines) City of Iligan) Sc x-------------------------------x BEFORE ME, at Iligan City, this 18th day of August 2021 personally appeared with their respective valid Identification cards the following, to wit: NAME




Non Prof. Driver’s License


all known to me and to me known to be the same persons who executed the foregoing instrument and they acknowledged to me that the same is their free and voluntary act and deed. The instrument refers to an extrajudicial settlement of an intestate estate with special power of attorney consisting of two (2) pages including this page on which this acknowledgement is written and signed by the parties and their instrumental witness at the left margin of the first page and in the body of the last page. Witness My Hand and Seal at the place and on date above-stated.


(SGD) ATTY. EMMANUEL C. SALIBAY NOTARY PUBLIC Iligan City and Lanao del Norte Notarial Commission No. 21-314 Until December 31, 2022 IBP Life Member No. 08289 PTR. No. 9831883, January 07, 2021 (Iligan City) MCLE Compliace No. VI-0000316, July 18, 2016 Attorney’s Roll No. 48931 TIN No. 166-615-120

ADDRESS: Consunji Street, Poblacion, Iligan City, PH 9200 | TEL: 63 302 5565

Doc. No. 263 Page No. 53 Book No. XVIII Series of 2021

Profile for Philippine Muslim Today

Philippine Muslim Today  

Vol. II, No. 13 | Sept 10-16, 2021 (Safar 3-9, 1443)

Philippine Muslim Today  

Vol. II, No. 13 | Sept 10-16, 2021 (Safar 3-9, 1443)


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