Thursday, July 31, 2008

ARMM expansion

N Cotabato execs fly to Manila vs ARMM expansion

07/30/2008 | 06:33 PM

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines - Local officials of North Cotabato are plying for Manila Wednesday night to drumbeat their opposition against the plan to include some of the province's towns and villages in the expanded Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The local officials will be led by North Cotabato Governor Jesus Sacdalan and Vice Governor Emmanuel Piñol.

With them are ten members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and 18 town mayors.

Piñol said they will ask the Supreme Court to issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) for the scheduled signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in August 5 in Malaysia.

The vice governor said the inclusion of North Cotabato in the proposed plebiscite was only decided by so-called “peace negotiators" without proper consultation with the people and the leadership of the province.

Piñol cited that the people and provincial officials were not even given an idea or listing of the areas of the province which will be included in the expanded ARMM and in the plebiscite after the signing of MOA.

Based on the unofficial document obtained by Piñol, the towns of Pikit and Kabacan and 98 other villages will be included in the expansion of ARMM under the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE).

The 98 villages will be carved from the towns of Pigcawayan, Midsayap, Alamada, Aleosan, Banisilan, Carmen, Matalam, Mlang, Tulunan and President Roxas.

North Cotabato’s 18 mayors on Tuesday signed a manifesto of support opposing for the proposed plebiscite on ARMM expansion.

Mindanao solon cautions govt vs signing homeland deal with MILF

07/30/2008 | 11:17 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A North Cotabato lawmaker on Wednesday expressed fear that the signing of a homeland deal between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will inspire other separatist groups in Mindanao to ask for the same deal to expand their territories.

Speaking at the weekly Sitio Fernandina Media forum in Greenhills, San Juan, Rep. Bernando Piñol Jr said many other groups in Mindanao will follow suit and the Philippine government will likely be forced to give in to such demands.

Maraming susunod dyan na grupo kapag ganyan ang style. (Many other rebel groups will follow if that’s the style of the government)," Piñol said.

He added that he personally perceives that peace and order is not the issue in Mindanao but poverty.

“The problem in Mindanao is still poverty and not peace and order," he said, noting that hammering out deals to accommodate the demands of rebel groups is not a long term solution but putting food on the table of poor families in Mindanao.

NoCot vice gov to MILF: Supreme Court is the best venue for debate

07/30/2008 | 11:52 PM

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines - North Cotabato Vice Governor Emmanuel Piñol has accepted the challenged of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for a debate regarding the peace issue in Mindanao.

But Piñol said the debate must be done at the Supreme Court and not a nationally televised public debate as the MILF demanded.

Khaled Musa, deputy chairperson of the MILF committee on information, issued the challenge in an article posted in the MILF website. He said Piñol, Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat, and Makati City Rep. Teodoro Locsin Jr are emerging as the leading anti-Moro politicians in the country.

The vice governor said the Supreme Court is the right venue for a debate in order to come up with solutions for the long quest of peace in Mindanao.

“I urge the MILF to prepare their best lawyers and let us talk peace issue in Mindanao at the Supreme Court,” Piñol said in his weekly radio program over dxND Radio for Peace.

Piñol also challenged the MILF to prove their allegations that he is anti-Moro politician.

Anti-Moro?? It goes to show how the MILF uses religion for their own greedy plans..If the MILF are sincere in their goal of peace, they should at least offer full disarmament.. In that way I can say that Peace can be attained. Peace cannot be attained while individuals with no respect for other people, no respect for other people's religion, for other people's belief, and people with guns that are so selfish that they think that they don't need to work because they can just asked for the things they wanted at gun point, and while selfish greedy people are using religion as a form of argument in their pusuit of greed.

I can only say that their is no basis for the ARMM expansion. The plebiscite done last 2001 was proof enough that even some muslims don't want to be under the ARMM. If the argument of ancestral domain is being pushed I think they (MILF) are not in the position to use it, the pagan tribes are the people that should and are more deserving in this aspect. It was they (moro - using the terms used) that drove the pagans away, if the pagan tribes don't convert to their religion then they are wiped out..History only repeated itself when it was the christians from Luzon and Visayas that came here in Mindanao after world war 2..

Just want to say NO TO THE ARMM EXPANSION..

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