Author: Al Amira Alonto

Salam Salma: Children’s Comic Book for Bangsamoro Day

COTABATO CITY – In partnership with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Teach Peace Build Peace Movement (TPBPM), the Office of MP Rasol Y. Mitmug, Jr. is proud to present its children’s comic book entitled, “Salam Salma: Ang Kwento ng Nakaraan at Hinaharap” in commemoration of the Jabidah Massacre (March 18) and March as Bangsamoro History Month. This is the seventh publication released by MP Mitmug.

Salam Salma focuses on Salma and her experiences of prejudice, ignorance, and fear. It is an introductory read on the concept of transitional justice and reconciliation. What is TJR? The United Nations defines transitional justice as ‘the full range of processes and mechanisms associated with a society’s attempt to come to terms with a legacy of large-scale past abuses, in order to ensure accountability, serve justice and achieve reconciliation’. Simply put, TJR is the process by which the systemic and/or widespread violations of human rights are addressed and corrected.

The comic book includes a simple game which readers can print out to fold and play with others. The team behind the comic book have also worked on a Teacher’s Guide to help educators process the lessons of Bangsamoro historical injustices for younger students.

MP Mitmug hopes this will be a valuable resource for students and teachers in understanding the Bangsamoro struggle for self-determination, and the importance of learning our history to combat historical revisionism.

While the digital copies are available for anyone to download, the Office of MP Mitmug hopes to distribute physical copies of Salam Salma Comic Book and the Salam Salma: Teacher’s Guide to select schools by Aprill/May.

Download link:

Salam Salma: Ang Kwento ng Nakaraan at Hinaharap | PDF

The Salam Salma: Teacher’s Guide is available upon request via e-mail.

MP Mitmug Distributes BOL, BTA Parliamentary Rules & Priority Codes Books to Libraries

The Office of Deputy Minority Floor Leader MP Rasol Mitmug, Jr. distributed copies of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (RA 11054), the BTA Parliamentary Rules (Resolution No. 6), the Bangsamoro Administrative Code (BAA No. 13), the Bangsamoro Civil Service Code (BAA No. 17), the Bangsamoro Education Code (BAA No. 18), and the 2019-2021 Accomplishment Report of his Office to various agencies and libraries, primary of which was the Bangsamoro Library & Archives.

“If we make all these materials (laws) easily available to the people, and help them understand their rights and the Bangsamoro government’s accountabilities to them, that will be a greater legacy we leave than the recognition of our work – to empower the Bangsamoro people,” said MP Mitmug.

Aside from the BLA, copies were also donated to the libraries of law schools across the country, partner organizations, as well as select LGUs within the Bangsamoro:

  1. Westminster Foundation for Democracy
  2. Institute for Autonomy and Governance
  3. College of Law, San Beda University (Manila)
  4. School of Law, Ateneo de Manila University (Makati City)
  5. Access Bangsamoro, Ateneo School of Government, Ateneo de Manila University (Quezon City)
  6. College of Law, University of the Philippines Diliman (Quezon City)
  7. School of Law, Saint Louis University (Baguio City)
  8. School of Law and Governance, University of San Carlos (Cebu)
  9. College of Law, Xavier University (Ateneo de Cagayan, Cagayan de Oro City)
  10. Main Library, Mindanao State University-Marawi
  11. College of Law, Mindanao State University-Marawi
  12. Lanao Public Library (Marawi City)
  13. King Faisal Center for Islamic, Arabic, and Asian Studies, Mindanao State University-Marawi
  14. Ranaw Youth Parliament (Marawi City)
  15. College of Law, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology
  16. College of Law, Notre Dame University (Cotabato City)
  17. College of Law, Mindanao State University-General Santos
  18. College of Law, Ateneo de Davao University (Davao City)
  19. College of Law, Ateneo de Zamboanga University (Zamboanga City)
  20. and other offices and agencies within the Bangsamoro

For others who are interested in obtaining the e-copies, these may be downloaded via MP Mitmug’s References page: https://rasmitmug.com/main/resources/references/

Read more:

Ebook launch: BOL and BAC

Ebook launch: Parliamentary Rules

Ebook launch: Bangsamoro Civil Service Code

Ebook launch: Bangsamoro Education Code

Years in Review: MP Mitmug’s service to the Bangsamoro

MP Mitmug Holds FGD on the BLGC Youth and SK provisions with Lanao Youth leaders

MARAWI CITY – In line with the Bangsamoro Parliament Program, the District Office of Deputy Minority Floor Leader Atty. Rasol Y. Mitmug, Jr. conducted a focus group discussion on BTA Bill No. 58, otherwise known as the Bangsamoro Local Governance Code last March 1, 2022, (Rajab 28, 1443 AH) at Infinitea, Awar St. Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

While the first consultation dealt in general with the entire BLGC, this focus group discussion focused on the youth and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) provisions of the bill.

Bin Jamel S. Dilawangun, a member of the Ranaw Youth Council, questioned the inclusion of educational attainment as qualifications for the local candidates, “What will happen to the youth who choose to go to madrasah, instead of going to (formal) school? Hindi po sila pweding ma-elect as SK Chairman or member kahit na sila ay qualified because of the qualification na dapat po ay at least Elementary or Senior High School graduate? Ang sa akin lang po is that, dapat po ay ayusin natin ang mga terminologies po na gagamitin natin para po hindi sila ma-discriminate given the fact na ang pinaglalaban natin ay Bangsamoro as a whole.”

This was in reference to Section 39 of the draft BLGC which states: “(a). – An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines; a registered voter in the barangay, municipality, city, or province or, in the case of a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Sangguniang Panlungsod, or Sanggunian Bayan, the district where he intends to be elected; a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election; and at least in the college level for provincial, city, and municipal officials, at least in the junior high school level for barangay officials and the Sangguniang Kabataan chairman, and at least in the elementary level for Sangguniang Kabataan members.”

In its presentation on the salient provisions of the Code, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority’s Committee on Local Government explains, “This is rather a radical attempt that may be subject to constitutional challenges. However, since Sec. 2, Article X of the Constitution allows the Congress to enact a LGC which shall provide for, among others, the qualification, etc. of local officials, then we deemed it an opportunity, in the advent of the OLBARMM, mandating the Bangsamoro Government to create its own BLGC, to include a qualification on the educational attainment of elective local officials.”

The resource persons actively participated and contributed their ideas, suggestions and recommendations to the said code during the discussion, anchored on the relevant general laws and the actual experiences of the youth sector. MP Ras Mitmug delivered his welcome address via recorded message and likewise thanked the participants for their time and dedication.

Other youth representatives in the FGD included: Jamal R. Pandapatan (President of Youth ACTS), Amenoding B. Tomindug (member of the Ranaw Youth Parliament), Namera C. Ambor (Youth Development Officer, Bangsamoro Youth Commission), Hanifah Abdulwahab (youth advocate and registered social worker), Hayyan Dumaraya (Youth focal person of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party), Ahmilah G. Angad (member of the Ranao Youth Tanggol Kalikasan), Arafat M. H.Hamid (President of Saguisag A Ranaw ), and Yassin Hadji Basher (Barangay Kagawad of Bacolod II, Lumba-Bayabao).

BARMM lawmakers push to establish Transitional Justice Reconciliation mechanisms

COTABATO CITY – To address legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people, historical injustices, human rights violations, and marginalization through land dispossession, some members of the Bangsamoro Parliament pushed for the establishment of Transitional Justice and Reconciliation (TJR) mechanisms.

The principal author of the four legislative measures, Minority Leader Atty. Laisa Alamia said that one of the actions the regional government must do is to empower the Bangsamoro people as active participants in the collective pursuit of transitional justice.

 “This is crucial if we are to restore and reinforce relationships anchored by faith and confidence among our region’s diverse communities, which will then enhance social cohesion during the process of political transition,” Atty. Alamia said.

She emphasized that the institutionalization of the TJR mechanisms is fundamental to the peacebuilding process.

Among the proposed legislative measures on TJR includes strengthening the regional TJR program, providing benefits for the Bangsamoro veteran Mujahideen and Mujahidat, creating the regional TJR Commission, establishing Bangsamoro Health Care Subsidy Program, and providing for the documentation of human rights violations during the armed conflict in Mindanao.

On strengthening the regional TJR program and creating the TJR Commission

The proposed Parliament Bill 140 aims to establish a Regional Transitional Justice Program to address the legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people.

It also aims to provide venues for the victims of conflict to be heard and mechanisms for investigating serious violations of international human rights law and allowing inquiries into specific events of the armed conflict.

The bill also proposed creating a Regional TJR Commission on the Bangsamoro, which will serve as the primary organ of the Bangsamoro government in designing, formulating, and implementing transitional justice and reconciliation programs and mechanisms.

In crafting the mechanisms, the Regional Commission shall be guided by a framework dealing with the past that respects, protects, and fulfills the right to truth, justice, and reparation of the victims and ensures non-recurrence of any violation.

On establishing the Bangsamoro Health Care Subsidy Program

The Bangsamoro Organic Law places health services within the powers and jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro government, ensuring and supporting the promotion of health and safety in the region.

The proposed Bangsamoro Health Care Subsidy Program aims to establish a health and social protection program to enable the conflict-affected population of the Bangsamoro to live decent lives by assisting them in accessing quality and affordable health care.

Key components of the program are a health card system that will provide cardholders with subsidized health care services, an efficient network of institutional health care providers, a system of contracting private health care facilities, multi-sectoral and progressive effort to improve public health facilities, and sustainable funding through earmarked revenues or shares in revenues.

Beneficiaries of the program will be former combatants, their dependents, human rights violation victims, and individuals displaced in the region due to armed conflict or clan feud.

On providing documentation of human rights violations

“Establishing a system for comprehensive human rights violations documentation across the region is integral to the truth-seeking process in the Bangsamoro,” MP Alamia said.

Under the proposed Parliament Bill 142, the Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission is tasked with establishing the facts about incidents and allegations of human rights violations, creating a database of human rights violations, including a registry and sectoral mapping of identified victims.

In the process of documenting and investigating past human rights violations, the proposed bill will focus on the following “emblematic cases in the past”:

Jabidah Massacre; the burning of Jolo in 1974, Malisbong Massacre; campaign of Ilaga in Mindanao in 1970-1972; Manili Massacre; Massacres in Lamitan City, Tuburan, and Bagumbayan in Sultan Kudarat; Maguindanao Massacre; killings by the SCAA employed by David Consunji Inc; Tingin-Tingin Massacre; Pata Massacre; fight erupted in Upi and Cotabato in 1970-1971; after the Ilaga launched its campaign of terror against the Moro and Indigenous civilian population; MNLF clashed with the AFP before 1977; clashes between government and MILF between 1996 and 2000; and fight between military and rebel forces in February 2003 and August 2008.

As stated in the proposed bill, it is the Bangsamoro government’s responsibility to ensure that the recognition of past human rights violations and the victims are included in the development of the Bangsamoro Historical Memory.

On providing benefits for Bangsamoro veteran Mujahideen and Mujahidat

With the aim of establishing, developing, and promoting a perfect pension system that will cater to the needs of Mujahideen and Mujahidat of the Bangsamoro, the proposed Parliament Bill 143 was also introduced in the plenary.

Mujahideen and mujahidat, as defined on the bill, are the male and female combatants who, in the service of the Moro revolutionary fronts, took part in the protracted wars for self-determination between the Bangsamoro people and the Philippine government.

This bill seeks to provide benefits for the mujahideen and mujahidat who have not been found guilty of a gross human rights violation while in the service, as certified by the BHRC or CHR.

Non-pension benefits include education, burial, and hospitalization, while pension benefits include old age, death, and disability.

These measures, according to Atty. Alamia, will help address generational concerns like poverty and hunger, entrenched in the region’s history of violence and conflict.

Other authors of the legislative measures are Majority Leader Atty. Lanang Ali Jr., Atty. Rasol Mitmug, Atty. Suharto Ambolodto, Rasul Ismael, Amilbahar Mawallil, Engr. Baintan Ampatuan, and Engr. Don Loong. (Publication and Media Relations Division)

*Originally published by the BTA-Publication and Media Relations Division (https://parliament.bangsamoro.gov.ph/latest-news/barmm-lawmakers-push-to-establish-transitional-justice-reconciliation-mechanisms/)

BARMM solon pushes for creation of regional ecozone authority

COTABATO CITY – A bill has been filed with the regional parliament seeking to propel economic development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) through the creation of a regional ecozone agency.

On Friday, Member of Parliament (MP) Amir Mawallil, a former journalist-turned-BARMM legislator, said he filed Parliament Bill 129, otherwise known as the Bangsamoro Economic Zone Act of 2021, to create the Bangsamoro Economic Zone Authority (BEZA).

“The creation of the BEZA will generate jobs, especially in the rural areas, increase their productivity and their individual and family income, and ultimately to improve the level and quality of their living condition,” Mawallil said of the proposal he submitted before the Bangsamoro Transition Authority plenary on Thursday afternoon.

In particular, he said the bill intends to promote the flow of investors into the region, which would then generate employment opportunities for the Bangsamoro people and ensure that products unique to the region gain considerable access to the domestic and global markets.

“Upcoming economic zones that will be established in the region shall be developed into decentralized, self-reliant, and sustainable agro-industrial and commercial investment centers, which shall be operated and treated as a separate customs territory,” he said.

Once formed, the Bangsamoro economic zones, which will be developed in different key areas across the region, will assist the regional government to entice international markets, as well as local and foreign investors, to take notice of the resources and investment desirability of the BARMM.

The local economic zones are also expected to facilitate the marketing and export of goods and services produced by several industries.

Mawallil said the emerging global and regional opportunities for Halal and Islamic finance, as well as the strong support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration to peace and development, promises well for the region’s socio-economic development, through the creation of the BEZA.

The lawmaker from Sulu said he is confident and optimistic that the passage of the BEZA Act will capitalize on the rich natural resources that BARMM has, in addition to several comparative advantages that can be utilized to improve the current state of the region, its government, and its people.

The bill is supported and co-sponsored by MPs Laisa Alamia, Baintan Ampatuan, Suharto Ambolodto, Don Mustapha Loong, Rasol Mitmug Jr., Abraham Burahan, and Sittie Shahara Mastura. (PNA)

*Originally published on Philippine News Agency (https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1155305)