Scrolling news:

Afghanistan: Taliban attack on check posts kill 17 Afghan forces

Palestine: 3 more Gazans die of wounds, death toll rises to 65

Muslim countries summit on Palestine reject US decision on Jerusalem

Weekly Report: Israeli Human Rights violations in Occupied Palestinian Territory (10–16 May)

Palestine: Over 1,000 children injured in Gaza since March 30

UK: Moon sighting for Ramadan

Palestine: Gaza death toll from Israeli fire rises to 62, incl 8 month old baby, over 3100 injured

Palestine: 58 Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli troops in Gaza, no condemnation by UK

41 Palestinians killed by Israeli gunfire in Gaza as US & Israel celebrate US Embassy opening in Jerusalem

Indonesia: church bombings leave 13 dead, 43 injured

Palestine: Palestinian family survives second Israeli settler arson attack

South Africa: Murder of Shi’a Muslim in mosque condemned by all Muslims

Palestine: Gazans return en masse to Israel border, one killed, hundreds injured

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights violations in Occupied Palestinian Territory (3 – 9 May)

Germany: Berlin court insists on headscarf ban

Germany sees 1,075 Islamophobic crimes in 2017

Jammu and Kashmir: 6 civilians killed by Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir

France: French proposal lead by former President and PM want changes in verses of Qur’an

Jammu and Kashmir: Indian forces kill 3 suspected militants in Kashmir, mows down a protester

Palestine: Israeli excessive force in Gaza exacerbates suffering of children: UNICEF

Philippines peace process may center on federalism plan

20th May 2016
Philippines peace process may center on federalism plan

By Hader Glang


ZAMBOANGA CITY, (AA): A stalled bill on the Philippines’ Muslim south may be overridden by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s plans to grant regions autonomy through federalism, his pick for House Speaker said Thursday.

Pantaleon Alvarez, the incoming representative for Davao del Norte province, told news broadcaster ANC that Duterte’s plan to amend the country’s constitution to allow expanded states right would also apply to the Bangsamoro region.

Referring to the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) pushed by the outgoing government, he said, “the BBL will be absorbed by the federal form of government, because the concept of the proposed law is the same with the federal form of government.”

Duterte, a devout Catholic set to become the Philippines’ first leader from southern Mindanao island, has backed the peace process with the country’s one-time largest Muslim rebel group the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

In March 2014, the MILF signed a peace deal with the government that brought to a close 17 years of negotiations and ended a decades-old armed conflict in the country’s south.

However, the BBL — which would have sealed the deal but critics claimed was unconstitutional — was stalled earlier this year as Congress adjourned for campaigning for the May 9 election.

On Thursday, Alvarez said the outgoing administration of Benigno S. Aquino III had made the MILF “the unrealistic promise” of passing the BBL under the current charter, and insisted that the Supreme Court would have blocked it.

“How can you implement the provisions of the BBL without amending the constitution? You cannot do it because there are provisions in the BBL that [run] contrary to the provisions of the constitution,” he said.

Alvarez told ANC that whereas provinces currently remit their incomes to the national government which controls its distribution, states under a federal system would only remit 25 percent for national defense and foreign affairs.

“It is the central government that determines the happiness and misery of the regions,” he underlined, warning of the irregularities and corrupt handlings witnessed under the domination of the central government.

The BBL would have created a new region to replace the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and bring much needed wealth to a region that is rich in resources but among the country’s most underdeveloped.

In late February, Duterte — who has served 22 years as the mayor of Davao City, located in Mindanao but not its majority Muslim region — visited the main MILF stronghold in Camp Darapanan in Maguindanao province.

During the visit, he discussed the failure to pass the BBL with the MILF’s vice chair for political affairs, Ghadzali Jaafar, and his proposal for a federal system under which territories would be created for the country’s indigenous peoples.

Duterte has said his ties with local Muslims have been cemented through the marriage of his eldest son, Davao vice mayor Paolo, to a local Muslim girl.

“I have grandchildren who are either Muslim or Christian. Would I want to see a situation in the future where even my own grandchildren would be dragged into this conflict?” the Mindanao Times reported him as saying in Jan. 2015.

In an editorial published on its website Thursday, the MILF stressed the need to “come up with an agreement akin to” the BBL under the new administration set to take office June 30.

It underlined that the MILF and government sides are past negotiations and in the “implementation stage, mainly the passage of the BBL in Congress, which is a government responsibility”.

Therefore, when the new administration under President-elect Rodrigo Duterte assumes office… the engagement, following established protocols, will start where the Aquino administration left off, which we repeat, to work for the early passage of BBL in Congress,” it said.

[Photo:President-elect Rodrigo Duterte seen during election campaign rally Manila, Philippines on May 07, 2016. Photographer: George Calvelo/AA]

Leave a Comment

What is 11 + 6 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets