Bangsamoro parliament condemns spate of violence in MSU-Marawi, Maguindanao town

COTABATO CITY—The Bangsamoro parliament has expressed condemnation over recent acts of violence in Marawi City and Datu Piang town, Maguindanao, resulting in the loss of innocent lives.

The parliament’s sentiment was contained in two resolutions passed on Wednesday (Sept. 22) urging the Bangsamoro government, through the Office of the Chief Minister, relevant ministries, and constituent local governments to develop a concrete action plan to promote and protect the rights of the victims.

On Sept. 14, unidentified men shot and killed two students inside the Mindanao State University (MSU) campus in Marawi, sowing fear among thousands of other students and faculty.

Hamza Rauf, 25, a physical education student, and Omar Zinal, 23, an engineering student, were walking back to their boarding house when shot early in the evening.

The parliament members urged the ministries of education, local government, public order and safety, and the Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission to provide “appropriate” support to MSU and other local institutions in bringing justice to the victims’ families.

On Sept. 18, four days after the attack in MSU-Marawi, an improvised bomb was blasted in a covered court in Datu Piang town, Maguindanao targeting some members of the LGBTQ+ community who were playing volleyball, injuring eight persons, one of whom later died.

The following day, another member of the LGBTQ+ community was murdered in her home by an unidentified assailant.

Member of Parliament (MP) Susana Anayatin, one of the authors of the approved resolution, said these alleged hate crimes must be stopped, emphasizing that people, regardless of sexual preference, “must be given protection and must feel protected by the community and the government.”

“The Bangsamoro government must pursue an investigation, establishing whether the victims were targeted based on their sexual orientation or gender identity,” read one resolution.

This ensures that LGBTQ+ people are protected from illegal acts and prevent discrimination, harassment, and inhumane and unfair treatment.

“No one has the license to unfairly treat any person on account of race, ethnicity, religion, beliefs or sexual preference. The freedom to choose particularly on sexual preference is internationally recognized, and their rights ought to be respected,” the resolution further read.

The resolution condemning the killing of MSU students were introduced by MPs Rasol Mitmug Jr., Laisa Alamia, Suharto Ambolodto, Baintan Adil-Ampatuan, Don Loong, Rasul Ismael, Amir Mawallil, and Punduma Sani.

The resolution condemning the acts of violence against members of the LGBTQ+ community was sponsored by MPs Anayatin, Maisara Latiph, Bainon Karon, Muslima Asmawil, and Narciso Ekey.

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