FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte receives a draft of the newly proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in a turnover ceremony at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan Palace on July 17, 2017. Joining the President are (from left) Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Murad Ebrahim, Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Chair Ghazali Jaafar, and MILF Peace Implementing Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
The ceremonial signing of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) is set to be held today, August 6 at Malacañang Palace — almost two weeks after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the landmark law.
The BOL seeks to end decades of conflict in Mindanao through the establishment of a new Bangsamoro political entity that will be more more self-governing than the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement that the signing of the law cannot be “underplayed” as it is a “momentous step towards building the foundation of a lasting peace in Mindanao.”
Malacañang also thanked those who pushed for the law’s approval.
“We therefore would like to express our gratitude to all those who worked hard to enable the passage of this landmark law,” Roque said. “We look forward to working with our countrymen in Mindanao in bringing the much-needed development to the island.
Meanwhile, Presidential Peace Adviser Jess Dureza said, “The challenge is now for the country to work hard to achieve the Bangsamoro Organic Law’s vision to bring peace and development and rectify past injustices to be able to work together in the days ahead.”
Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim confirmed earlier that their group has officially accepted the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
Members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, MILF and other leaders from Mindanao are expected to attend the ceremonial signing. — Rosalie Coz
MANILA, Philippines – State weather agency PAGASA is monitoring a low-pressure area (LPA) near the southern island of Mindanao.
As of 4:00 a.m. Thursday (February 6), the weather system was located at 705 k.m. east of Davao City.
The trough of the LPA is currently bringing cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms in areas of Visayas, CARAGA, Northern Mindanao and the entire Davao Region.
Meanwhile, the Northeast Monsoon (Amihan) is seen affecting Luzon particularly Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, Bicol Region, Aurora, and Quezon where cloudy skies with light rains can be observed.
Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers will prevail over Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon due to Amihan.
Similar conditions will also be experienced in other areas of Mindanao due to localized thunderstorms.
MANILA, Philippines – State weather bureau PAGASA is monitoring a Low Pressure Area (LPA) in the eastern part of Mindanao.
Based on PAGASA’s 4:00 AM update Monday (January 13), the LPA was spotted at 735 km East Southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
Meanwhile, parts of Northern Luzon are currently experiencing the effects of the tail end of a cold front which brings cloudy skies with scattered rains and thunderstorms in areas in Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region,and Aurora.
Possible flash floods or landslides due to scattered light to moderate to at times heavy rains
Also, cloudy skies with scattered rains and thunderstorms will prevail over Caraga and Eastern Visayas as a result of the impact of the trough of the LPA.
This condition may cause possible flash floods or landslides due to scattered light to moderate to at times heavy rains.
Meanwhile, volcanic activity is currently affecting the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, and Laguna.
Hence, cloudy skies with isolated rains and thunderstorms may possibly reduced visibility and cause mudflow during ash fall and light to moderate rains.
Residents in the affected areas are advised to take extra caution and heed warnings from authorities.
In Ilocos Region, partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains caused by the northeast monsoon will prevail.
This may cause intermittent strong winds especially in coastal and mountainous areas.
Meanwhile, Metro Manila and the rest of the country will also experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers due to localized thunderstorms.
Residents are urged to monitor for possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms especially in areas susceptible to these hazards.
MANILA, Philippines – Another at-large suspect in the 2009 Ampatuan massacre has been finally caught after eluding arrest for over a decade, authorities said Friday.
Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PRO-BARMM) identified the suspect as 47-year old Gambayan Kasim, also known as Lori Alip.
The PRO-BARMM added that Kasim, an alleged member of a private armed group, was arrested after he was served a warrant of arrest on Thursday, January 9 at Barangay Timbangan in Shariff Aguak town in Maguindanao.
Authorities recovered a hand grenade from Kasim’s possession.
During the operation, Kasim’s alleged cohort, identified as Edsrail Guiomla alias Nas Guiomla, fired shots at the operatives.
Police retaliated and injured Guiomla. He was rushed to a hospital but was declared dead upon arrival.
Recovered form Guiomla was a caliber .45 gun and 13 sachets of suspected shabu (crystal meth).
Police said Kasim and the collected pieces of evidence were turned over to proper authorities for documentation and disposition.
Last January 6, police also nabbed Faisal Dimaukom alias Kagi Faizal, who is one of the suspects in the massacre.
Dimaukom was arrested during an operation in Datu Saudi Ampatuan.
Kasim and Dimaukom are among the 80 out of nearly 200 suspects in the massacre who were at large when the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (QC RTC) Branch 221 released last month its verdict on the gruesome killing.
On December 19, QC RTC Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes handed down a guilty verdict to some members of the political Ampatuan clan, including former Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor Zaldy Ampatuan, Anwar Ampatuan Sr., Anwar Ampatuan Jr. and Anwar Sajid Ampatuan, for their involvement in the murder of 57 people, including members of the media.
Originally, there were 58 victims in the massacre but the 58th person, photographer Reynaldo Momay of the local paper Midland Review, was declared missing after his body was not found in the scene.
The Ampatuan massacre is considered as the worst election-related violence and attack on press freedom in the Philippines.
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