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BIFF to support Bangsamoro Organic Law if results are favorable – BIFF spokesperson

by admin   |   Posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2018


A member of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — Abu Misri Mama, the spokesperson for the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), announced that the group will support the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) if the results turn out to be favorable.

Lately, the BIFF has been noticeably silent and less active in Mindanao.

The group said they are watching closely how the proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law will turn out once it is ratified through a plebiscite next year.

The BIFF stressed that they are willing to open the doors to peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front under the BOL.

President Rodrigo Duterte said recently that if the ‘yes’ vote wins in the plebiscite, he plans to speak with MILF founding chairman Nur Misuari.

Abu Misra Mama assured the BIFF’s support for the BOL as a means to end the conflict in Mindanao.

“Ang aming stand mag-observe muna kami dahil tingnan muna natin kung ang Bangsamoro Organic Act o Law ay yung maka-solve sa problema sa Mindanao ay sama tayo,” he said.

The group also assured that while the peace process is ongoing, they will not launch any attacks.

However, if their expectations are not met, they will continue the fight and will not align themselves with the BOL.

“Wala po kaming gagawing pag-aatake at wala pong anu-ano na makasisira sa anong bagay na pakinabangan natin pero kung aatakehin kami ‘yon lalaban po kami,” said the BIFF spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines welcomed the group’s statement of support.

Joint Task Force Central Commander Major General Cirilito Sobejana said that this development is favorable to the armed forces because it means one less opposition in the government’s pursuit of peace.

“It is a positive development dahil bawas na sa gobyerno kapag sila’y sumusuporta na sa Bangsamoro Organic Law,” Sobejana said. — Dante Amento

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AFP, PNP strengthen forces for BOL plebiscite

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) beefed up its troops on the second day of plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

The second round of plebiscite on Wednesday (February 6) will cover the province of Lanao del Norte except Iligan City and in 67 barangays in North Cotabato.

Westmincom Commander Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega directed all ground commanders to remain on guard to maintain peace and order on the duration of the referendum.

Meanwhile, AFP Spokesperson Gerry Besana said the military is making sure to avoid a repeat of the violence that happened on the first day of plebiscite on January 21.

“Napag-usapan doon ang deployment ng tropa (and) how we can address ang katulad ng situation kung saka-sakali man para ang nangyari noong January 21 (maiwasan at) mas maganda (ito) ngayong February 6,” Besana said.

The Police Regional Office in Region 10 (PRO-10) deployed a total of 2,000 cops to augment the military.

Meanwhile, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) urged the residents of the concerned municipalities to go and vote despite the blasts in three towns on Monday (February 4) as they were intended to scare the people.

Authorities assured to protect the security of the voting public in areas where the plebiscite is taking place.

The Comelec is expecting some 300,000 voters in Lanao del Norte who will decide if they want the six municipalities in the province to join the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

These are the municipalities of Baloi, Pantar, Tagoloan, Munai, Tangkal, and Nunungan. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Dante Amento)

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Tough challenges await MILF in BOL leadership — Analysts

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform

The passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) is being counted upon to resolve the decades-long armed conflict in Mindanao region.

Under the BOL, a more powerful Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Cotabato City has spoken with a resounding “yes” vote in Tuesday’s plebiscite for the ratification of BOL.

This automatically includes Cotabato City in the formation of BARMM which will be headed by an 80-member Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) until the year 2022 when the first election for the leadership of a parliament will be held.

The BTA members are to be appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

It is expected that majority of the members will come from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Nevertheless, according to Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform, the MILF still has bigger challenges ahead of them, particularly during the transition period.

“BTA pa lang, coalition government na yan eh. You need to talk with a lot of people, some of them are political enemies and they have to risk consensus. There’s a problem ng statesmanship. It’s not anymore na partisan ka lang simple. Meron kang gustong mangyari, ito yung shift sa thinking, you have to think as if ikaw na ngayon ang lider ng buong rehiyon,” explained Casiple.

For peace and conflict analyst, Francisco Lara Jr. the existence of private armed groups in Mindanao poses another challenge for the BTA.

“The power of clans, the power of armed groups to dictate developments at the local level in critical communities, remain. And that will be the biggest challenge as well for the Bangsamoro Transition Authority,” Lara said.

When the second plebiscite in other parts of Mindanao concludes on February 6, it will be confirmed which areas will form the new territories under BARMM. — Nel Maribojoc

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Majority of Filipino Muslims support Bangsamoro Organic Law- SWS survey

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Filipino Muslims watching the city canvass for
Bangsamoro Organic Law plebiscite on January 21, in Cotabato City

MANILA, Philippines — An estimated number of seven for every 10 Muslims in the Philippines support the approval of the voters for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

This is based on the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

The report was taken through face to face interviews with 1,440 respondents nationwide.

Large majority of respondents or 79 percent support the approval of voters in the BOL plebiscite.

This comprised of 67 percent who want the BOL to be ratified.

And a little over a tenth or 12 percent somewhat want it approved.

Fourteen (14) percent are undecided and the remaining seven percent definitely do not want it.

Malacañang said the initial unofficial tally of the votes from the first plebscite is a close validation of the survey results and is confident that the BOL will be ratified.

Residents in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Isabela City, Basilan and Cotabato City were first to cast their votes for the BOL.

“Pag napasa yun, ibig sabihin, matutuwa yung mga sakop ng region except dun sa mga against like Cotabato or Sulu pero wala naman silang magagawa, that’s the law. Everybody has to tow the line,” said Presidential Spokesperson & Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Sec. Salvador Panelo.

The palace also hopes that with the BOL ratification, the pursuit for peace and development in the Bangsamoro Region will commence.

Meanwhile, the BOL plebiscite will take place in parts of Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato on February 6. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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