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By Lauro L. Baja Jr.
Has anyone imagined that if Agbimuddin Kiram succeeded in Sabah, Bangsamoro would have an additional territory of 30,000 square miles, the Sultan of Sulu (or the Philippines) would reap about $95 billion in annual revenue, and the Philippine government would get substantial taxes? After all, legally, Malaysia does not have de jure sovereignty over Sabah.
The work of the Transition Commission for the Bangsamoro region got under way the other day; it is no exaggeration to say that the undertaking is burdened with the high expectations of millions of Filipinos. By the terms of the 2012 Framework Agreement, signed with much fanfare and even more emotion in Malacañang last October, [...]
A news story reported that on Feb. 27, 2013, one of the four annexes, particularly the Annex on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities, to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, has been agreed upon. I perhaps erroneously assumed that when the framework agreement was signed in celebratory ceremonies in Malacañang, the annexes had already been completed although their publication had been withheld. Apparently, that is not the case.
By Rina Jimenez-David
Baileng Mantawil heads a nongovernment organization called Bangsamoro Women Action for Development Initiatives or Bwadi. She is also, she says, a “child of war.”
By Tasneem C. AbdulRauf
Everyone has his/her own pursuit—a dream job, an ambition since childhood, things to accomplish or to own. Some discover their interest or goal late in life. In my case, I did not exactly plan to be a peace advocate. I went through a life journey and political socialization that led me to the pursuit of peace.
The Malaysian authorities looked very kindly on the loyal followers of the Sultanate of Sulu who had set foot in what they claimed to be part of their domain. But why the sudden and unexpected migration? The question begs some answers and some of the explanations given are replete with speculations.
By Cielito F. Habito
I LIKE to describe Muslim Mindanao as a gem in the rough. I’ve already written on the region’s key assets as a prime investment area: superior agro-climatic conditions, abundant primary resources, large tracts of idle lands, and wage rates lower than elsewhere in the country. And with the Muslim majority population in Southeast Asia, the region possesses a natural edge in meeting demands for goods and services in the wider Asean market.
By Rina Jimenez-David
The youngest appointee to the Supreme Court in over 80 years, Marvic Leonen brings to the tribunal not just youth but also experience—forged from his stint in the academe and in landmark cases in behalf of indigenous communities (he is himself a native Cordilleran), human rights victims and the environment.
Peace in the conflict areas of Mindanao is within sight, but the road leading to it is fraught with so many pitfalls laid by those who cannot live in peace. While the agreement proclaiming the commitment of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government to create a Bangsamoro land has been signed in the most auspicious arena and with the most audacious display of the willingness of both parties to work for stable peace, the road ahead remains extremely challenging. The consolation is that the negotiators have done away with their frivolous demands and, with their feet on the ground, have arrived at attainable and reasonable objectives.
IN HIS Oct. 17 column titled “More sticky issues in Bangsamoro talks,” Neal Cruz says: “Among the most difficult is the question of the possession of guns. The government wants the national law on the possession of firearms to also apply to the Bangsamoro. This is very difficult because it is said that Muslims would rather give up their wives but not their guns.”
By Amando Doronila
The start of the informal talks in February 2011 between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on peace in Mindanao immediately ran into a deadlock.
The Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) welcomes the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).