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.


A young man saw his primary school teacher on a wedding.
He went to greet him with all the respect and admiration.

He said to him:
“Do you remember me, Teacher?”

The teacher said:
“No, introduce yourself.”

The student said:
“I was your student in the 3rd Grade, I am the one who stole the watch of a child in the classroom. I will remind you but I am sure you remember the story.”

One of the boys in my class had a beautiful watch, so I decided to steal it.
He came to you crying that someone had stolen his watch.
You asked us to stand so as to search our pockets.
I realized that my action would be exposed in front of the Students and Teachers.
I will be called a thief, a liar and my character will be shattered forever.

You asked us to stand and face the wall and close our eyes completely.
You went searching from pocket to pocket, and when you reached my pocket you pulled the watch out of my pocket, and you continued until you searched the last student.

After you finished you asked us to open our eyes and to sit on our chairs.
I was afraid you will expose me in front of the students.

You showed the watch to the class, and gave it back to the boy, and you never mentioned the name of the one who stole the watch.
You never said a word to me, and you never mentioned the story to anyone.

Throughout my school life, none of the teachers nor the students talked about me stealing the watch.
I thought to myself you saved my dignity that day.

Do you remember me?
How can you not remember me, Teacher?
I was your student and I am sure you remember the story, that I stole the watch and you did not want to embarrass me. This story is unforgettable.

The teacher said:
“I can’t remember who stole the watch that day, because I searched the pockets of all of you while my eyes were also closed.”

Education needs wisdom !!!

We should be able to be such Teachers, such Parents, such Leaders and be able to be for people in such circumstances.

We should always calculate the consequences of our actions.

and ALLĀH S.W.T. knows best…

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 (