Category: BTA

Jabidah Massacre: Time for transitional justice

Today, we commemorate the 52nd anniversary of the Jabidah Massacre. We may not know all their names, but they deserve to be honored and remembered.

Over the past decades, we rallied fervently to have the injustices committed against our people be acknowledged, we fought hard to achieve a greater autonomy, to be given a chance at peace, and to aspire for our inherent self-determination—for this Bangsamoro Government.

As one of the many transgressions committed against the Bangsamoro, the Jabidah Massacre remains to be one of the large-scale human rights abuses that afflicted our people which subsequently led the Bangsamoro cause.

As members of the interim parliament, as one Bangsamoro, it is imperative that we take every step to ensure that NEVER AGAIN we have to see its likes again and bring these stories into the forefront of public consciousness. One of the measures that we have taken is the passage of a resolution on Jabidah Massacre last February 19, 2020, entitled, Resolution Requiring All Ministries and Offices Including Schools to Initiate and Develop Comprehensive Policies, Programs and Activities in Commemoration of the Anniversary of Jabidah Massacre as a Transitional Justice Mechanism.

It is only befitting to let the children of today be fully aware of the things that happened leading to the establishment of the Bangsamoro government. They will not understand and fully grasp the story behind the Bangsamoro Struggle unless we tell them the story ourselves. In this age of spin and misinformation, we must rise above the lies and propaganda to make sure our history will not be erased or twisted, and our people be misled. The grievances of our people are beyond the political dichotomy that divides this country.
We do not succumb to history revisionism, today and in the future.

They say, “those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Dealing with transitional justice is dealing with a legacy of a dark past. Painful as it is to remember, but it needs redress to heal.

We should act on implementing the transitional justice mechanisms, the first basic right under RA 11504.

Section 1, Article 9 of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, provides that the Bangsamoro Parliament shall enact a transitional justice mechanism to address the legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people and the indigenous peoples, such as historical injustices, human rights violations, and marginalization.

As a framework for sustainable peace and conflict transformation, transitional justice is anchored on four mechanisms that primarily addresses the needs of victims: citizens’ right to know, right to justice, right to reparation and right to be given assurance that atrocities in the past will not recur anymore (guarantee of nonrecurrence).

Contrary to what others might think, the process of nation building does not abandon the horrors of the past, instead it recognizes its own place in the Bangsamoro narrative. This is not only a mere commitment of the Bangsamoro Government but a mandate as well, to achieve a justice framework actively addressing the legitimate grievances of the people.

We recognize the changes that need to be done, we work on to develop systems and policies to uplift and improve the state of our bangsa, and transitional justice framework is one step in creating conditions for a durable and lasting peace in the Bangsamoro. We have risen above the brutal and pointless violence already. Now we work to rehabilitate and rebuild our nation. Easy said than done, but we can never move forward if we do not take the first step.

And whilst doing so, we must remember. Never forget. Never again.

*This article was originally published in MP Mitmug’s Official Facebook Page on March 18, 2020.

Returning the favor, Bangsamoro parliament backs autonomy for Cordillera

COTABATO CITY— The people who understand best the struggle for self-governance are those who went through it themselves.

In this spirit, the interim Bangsamoro parliament passed a resolution expressing full support for the passage of measures now pending before Congress seeking to establish, yet again, an autonomous region in the Cordillera (ARC).

The current cause for Cordillera autonomy is contained in House Bill No. 5687 filed by All seven Cordillera representatives and Senate Bill No. 1232 filed by Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri.

The 1987 Constitution provides for the creation of autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras.

In the resolution,  Bangsamoro parliament members said they believe that “the Cordillera’s pursuit of autonomy also deserves the same amount of attention and support as that of the Bangsamoro.”

The resolution was introduced by parliaments members Baintan Adil-Ampatuan, Jose Lorena, Laisa Alamia, Rasol Mitmug Jr., Suharto Ambolodto, Don Mustapha Loong, Amir Mawallil, Rasul Ismael, and Lanang Ali Jr.

During the plenary deliberation on the measure, Mohagher Iqbal, who is also the Bangsamoro’s education minister, expressed the  desire to co-author the resolution.

Iqbal used to head the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s panel in the long and arduous negotiations with the government to gain greater self-governance powers.

When the Bangsamoro Organic Law was still pending in Congress, the Regional Development Council of the Cordillera Administrative Region issued a resolution expressing support for the passage of the Moro autonomy law.

“It is now our turn to support the bid of the people of the Cordilleras for their autonomous region,” Ampatuan said.

The Cordilleras included the provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao and Kalinga, and the City of Baguio.

Two plebiscites were held in the past but votes against full Cordillera autonomy overwhelmed votes in favor of it.

In the first, on January 30, 1990, Ifugao was the lone province to vote for self-rule. In the second, on March 7, 1998, only Apayao province chose autonomy.

Lawyer assumes post as new BTA member

COTABATO CITY –– An experienced executive of the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has assumed the post as member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the interim government of the Bangsamoro region.

President Duterte appointed Maranao lawyer Rasol Mitmug Jr., last Sept. 6. Mitmug took his oath before the President on Sept. 17.

Late last week, Mitmug entered his appearance before the BTA as its newest member, bringing to only two seats the vacancy in the 80-member interim body that will hold office until mid-2022, when the duly elected members assume office.

Before his appointment as BTA member, Mitmug, a native of Lumba Bayabao, Lanao del Sur, held many posts in the ARMM.

He served as ARMM’s last secretary of education before it was deemed dissolved with the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law last January.

Mitmug was also speaker of the 7th Regional Legislative Assembly; deputy executive secretary of the regional governor; chief of staff to former ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman; acting secretary of the region’s social welfare and development department; and officer-in-charge of the regional Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Before his ARMM stint, Mitmug was a consultant for ARMM in the office of Senator Teofisto Guingona III.

He was deputy executive director of the nongovernment Mindanao Human Rights Action Center before joining the government.

Mitmug thanked Duterte for the opportunity to serve the Bangsamoro region.

The BTA meets every Wednesday to Friday of the third and fourth weeks of the month.

*Originally published on Philippine Daily Inquirer (

Pangulong Duterte nagtalaga ng bagong opisyal sa PNOC at BTA

Nagtalaga si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ng bagong board member ng Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC).

Si Michael Ted Macapagal ay hinirang ng pangulo para maging bagong miyembro ng PNOC board of directors.

Si Macapagal ay dating board member ng Clark Development Corporation bago ang appointment sa kaniya sa PNOC.

Samantala, itinalaga din ng pangulo si Atty. Rasol Mitmug Jr. sa Bangsamoro Transition Authority.

Si Mitmug ay dati namang opisyal ng Department of Education sa noo’y Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Duterte names ex-ARMM official, youth activist as Bangsamoro gov’t members

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed two more members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), bringing its composition to 78 members out of the 80 required by the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

Rasol Mitmug Jr, former chief of staff of former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor Mujiv Hataman, was appointed on September 6, according to appointment papers obtained by Rappler. 

This was confirmed by the Malacañang Records Office on Friday, September 13.

Mitmug had also been Department of Education–ARMM secretary.

Diamila “Jam” Disimban Ramos was also appointed BTA member. Ramos is a Maranao youth activist. Her appointment papers were signed on August 13, according to the Malacañang Records Office.

With her appointment, the female BTA members now number 13 out of 78.

Ramos and Mitmug are appointees of the national government. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the former rebel group that championed the BOL, had already named all their appointees but has to appoint one more to replace lawyer Abdul Dataya who passed away in July.

Malacañang is yet to release the appointment paper of Dataya’s replacement. –

*Originally published on Rappler (