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.

BARMM solons push for creation, upgrading of health facilities

COTABATO CITY – To provide the people of Tawi-Tawi greater access to health services, a group of lawmakers in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) filed a bill establishing a health facility in the island town of Sitangkai.

Another regional legislator also filed a separate bill upgrading the Balindong Municipal Hospital (BMH) in Lanao del Sur to address the rising demand for health services.

Two bills were filed before the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) parliament on Wednesday.

The Parliament Bill (P.B.) 128, creating a general hospital in Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi, was introduced on first reading.

Currently, only the Alawadin T. Bandon Sr. Municipal Hospital is operating in Sitangkai.

On the other hand, P.B. 102, which seeks to upgrade the existing BMH in Lanao del Sur from its present 10-bed capacity to a 50-bed capacity district hospital, was presented on second reading and referred to committees on health and finance, budget, and management.

Members of Parliament (MPs) Amilbahar Mawallil, Laisa Alamia, Baintan Ampatuan, Don Mustapha Loong, Rasol Mitmug Jr., Suharto Ambolodto, Abraham Burahan, and Sittie Shahara Mastura authored the bill creating a new health facility in Tawi-Tawi.

MP Saffrullah Dipatuan, meanwhile, filed P.B. 102. Sitangkai is one of Tawi-Tawi’s most populated island towns.

It is located in the southernmost part of the Philippines, close to Malaysia and Indonesia.

“Providing medical services should be a priority for the Bangsamoro region—especially in Sitangkai,” Mawallil said in a statement.

Mawallil said as the Covid-19 virus continues to rise across the BARMM, most hospitals had reached their capacity limit.

The BMH has been obligated to render services that exceed its approved bed capacity.

“This is based on the Ministry of Health (MOH)-BARMM hospital statistics report in 2019,” Dipatuan said in a statement.

He said if the existing BMH is upgraded more patients would be catered. To date, more than 12 bills are in the plenary all seeking the improvement and establishment of hospitals within the region.

Aside from passing legislation, the BARMM government provides health assistance to frontline health workers and patients.

The MOH-BARMM had extended various interventions to hospitals that include ambulances, appropriation of cash aids, and distribution of medical supplies such as oxygen tanks, among others, in recent months. (PNA)

*Originally published on Philippine News Agency (https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1154274)

Creation of Bangsamoro Nutrition Council pushed

COTABATO CITY – A group of lawmakers in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has pushed for the creation of the Bangsamoro Nutrition Council (BNC) to address the high prevalence of malnutrition in the region.

Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) – BARMM Member of Parliament (MP) Amilbahar Mawallil, the principal author of the proposal, has filed Parliament Bill 130, which seeks to create the BNC.

Under the proposed measure, it will be attached to the Ministry of Health – BARMM and serve as the primary agency for nutrition concerns during natural and man-made calamities.

“It is vital therefore to institutionalize mechanisms, such as preventive health care and proper nutrition, to address these problems,” Mawallil said in a statement Wednesday.

Citing the findings of the 8th National Nutrition Survey, Mawallil said the region has the second-highest undernutrition prevalence for stunting at 39 percent; the second-highest chronic energy deficiency rate at 13.2 percent; the third-highest prevalence of anemia among the elderly at 26.6 percent; and the fifth-highest prevalence of adult current smokers at 28 percent.

Co-authors of the regional bill are MPs Laisa Alamia, Rasol Mitmug Jr., Suharto Ambolodto, Baintan Ampatuan, Don Mustapha Loong, Abraham Burahan, and Sittie Shahara Mastura.

“Food security is vital in realizing and sustaining a healthy nutritional wellbeing,” the authors of the bill said in an explanatory note.

Through the proposed nutrition council, the BARMM government will establish a mechanism for facilitating collaboration among agencies, sectors, and stakeholders.

The BARMM has developed its Regional Action Plan for 2020-2022 as a strategic and comprehensive plan to respond to the Bangsamoro region’s nutritional problems.

There are still gaps that must be addressed if the region intended to meet not just national but global nutrition standards.

“Our ongoing experience with the coronavirus disease is a stark reminder that as the pandemic rages on, it will only exacerbate existing inequalities in the country and the Bangsamoro region,” the authors said in the note.

The bill proposes that the council consist of 14 members representing various ministries and sectors, including non-Moro indigenous people, women, the youth, and settler communities.

Its powers and functions include promoting food security and formulating regional food and health policies in the region.

The BARMM covers the cities of Cotabato, Lamitan and Marawi; the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi; and the 63 villages in six towns of North Cotabato province. (PNA)

*Originally published on Philippine News Agency (https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1154256)

Bangsamoro Parliament condemns killing of 2 MSU students, other violence committed against LGBTQ+ members

COTABATO CITY — The Bangsamoro Parliament has denounced the killings of two students at Mindanao State University (MSU)-Marawi and acts of violence against members of the LGBTQ+ community in Datu Piang, Maguindanao.

Through the approved resolutions, members of the Bangsamoro Parliament urged the Bangsamoro Government through the Office of Chief Minister, relevant ministries, and constituent local government units to develop a concrete action plan to promote and protect the rights of the victims.

On the night of September 14, unidentified men shot and killed two students inside the MSU Marawi campus.

Police have identified the victims as Hamza Rauf, 25, a physical education student, and Omar Zinal, 23, an engineering student.

Members of the Parliament urged the ministries of Education, Local Government, Public Order and Safety, and Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission to provide “appropriate” support to MSU and other local institutions in bringing justice to victims’ families.

Offices that were mentioned to assist the investigation of the murder case, according to the MPs, must act to secure the safety and rights of the Bangsamoro people, citing unresolved incidents of violence and murder that happened within the campus have left students and academic staff in fear.

Meanwhile, on a separate motion, the BTA also condemned the violence, discrimination, and murder committed against some members of the LGBTQ+ community in Datu Piang, Maguindanao, on September 18 and 19.

An improvised explosive device exploded as the victims were playing volleyball in the town plaza of Datu Piang, injuring eight (8) individuals. The incident has left one person dead and seven people wounded.

A day later, another member of the LGBTQ+ was murdered in her own home by an unidentified assailant.

MP Susana Anayatin, one of the authors of the approved resolution, stated that these alleged hate crimes must be stopped.

She emphasized 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 prioritize establishing whether the victims were targeted based on their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said in the resolution, adding that this would help protect the LGBT people from illegal acts and prevent discrimination, harassment, inhumane, and unfair treatment.

Bangsamoro Parliament said that “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 mentioned a Hadith that it is forbidden for Muslims to kill their fellow non-Muslims.

Resolutions 517 and 524 condemning the killings of two students were introduced by MPs Atty. Rasol Mitmug Jr., Atty. Laisa Alamia, Atty. Suharto Ambolodto, Engr. Baintan Adil-Ampatuan, Engr. Don Loong, Rasul Ismael, Amir Mawallil, and Punduma Sani.

While the resolution on condemning the acts of violence against members of LGBTQ++ were sponsored by Dr. Susana Anayatin, Atty. Maisara Latiph, Bainon Karon, Muslima Asmawil, and Narciso Ekey. (Publication and Media Relations Division)

*Originally published by the BTA-Publication and Media Relations Division (https://parliament.bangsamoro.gov.ph/latest-news/bangsamoro-parliament-condemns-killing-of-2-msu-students-other-violence-committed-against-lgbtq-members/)

BARMM legislators file bill creating Bangsamoro Nutrition Council

COTABATO CITY — To help the government address the “hunger and malnutrition” in the Bangsamoro region, several members of the Parliament filed a bill that will establish the Bangsamoro Nutrition Council.

“Food security is vital in realizing and sustaining a healthy nutritional wellbeing,” authors of the bill said in an explanatory note.

MP Amilbahar Mawallil principally authored the bill with MPs Atty. Laisa Alamia, Engr. Baintan Ampatuan, Engr. Don Mustapha Loong, Atty. Rasol Mitmug Jr., Atty. Suharto Ambolodto, Abraham Burahan, and Sittie Shahara Mastura as co-authors.

Through the Nutrition Council, the Bangsamoro Government will establish a mechanism for facilitating collaboration and cooperation among multiple agencies, sectors, and stakeholders in the fight against hunger and malnutrition in the region.

Under the proposed measure, the Council, which will be attached to the Ministry of Health, will serve as the primary agency for all nutrition concerns during natural and man-made calamities.

The BARMM has developed its Regional Action Plan for 2020-2022 as a strategic and comprehensive plan to respond to the Bangsamoro region’s nutritional problems.

Authors said that despite the institutionalization from the national to the local level, there are still gaps that must be addressed if BARMM intends to meet not just national but global nutrition standards.

“Our ongoing experience with the coronavirus disease is a stark reminder that as the pandemic rages on, it will only exacerbate existing inequalities in the country and the Bangsamoro region,” authors added.

The Council will be composed of 14 members representing various ministries and sectors, including non-Moro indigenous people, women, youth, and settler communities.

Its powers and functions include promoting food security and formulating regional food and health policies in the region.

The conduct of research to develop strategies ensuring the consistency of local government units (LGUs) plans to the Bangsamoro Plans of Action for Nutrition (BPAN) was also among the duties of the Board.

Once the Council becomes operational, the governing Board, assigned nutrition officers, secretariat, and committees shall perform with the support from the MOH and key stakeholders, such as the academic institutions and province representatives. (Publication and Media Relations Division)

*Originally published by the BTA-Publication and Media Relations Division (https://parliament.bangsamoro.gov.ph/latest-news/barmm-legislators-file-bill-creating-bangsamoro-nutrition-council/)