Skip to main content

Moro rebels, groups hit Ampatuan party-list

A PARTY-LIST group now seeking votes in the May elections is criticized by the Moro rebels and civil society groups as the Ampatuan clan’s “front” that seeks to benefit members of the family alone.

In a report by, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said the party-list Adhikain ng Dakilang Anak ng Maharlika (Adam) represented by Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Zamzamin Ampatuan is aimed at benefiting the Ampatuan family.

The Luwaran report based its story on the statement issued by a certain Ma. Cecilia L. Rodriguez and was emailed to the MILF. It was learned that Rodriguez writes for the Philippine Daily Inquirer and is involved in various non-government organizations.

"We, in the civil society organizations here in Mindanao, cannot stop wondering why a party-list organization, such as the one organized by the Ampatuans, can acquire accreditation where in fact it does not qualify as a marginalized sector and it was organized mainly for the benefit of the Ampatuan clan," the statement read.

"[Undersecretary] Zam and Andal Sr. had come a long way in deceiving our government with their schemes in providing alternative views of the Bangsamoro problem. Back in early 2000, their campaign was to fight the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). They used broadcast media to expose the corruptions in the ranks of the MILF and their clinging to Islamic extremism. It was a noble cause at first. Their fight was able to convince many Maguindanaons that it was the right thing to do to stop the MILF. It convinced the datus and big clans to form alliance with them and fight the MILF. But, the fight is for the benefit of the Ampatuan clan and the family of Andal Sr.," it added.

The statement added that in June 2009, Andal Sr. gave the blessing for Zamzamin Ampatuan to organize his party-list organization named Adam.

It also said that the first division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) handled the Adam's petition for accreditation. On August 17, 2009, Adam was filed with the Clerk of the Comelec, and in November 2009, Adam was accredited as a party-list organization approved by Commissioner Rene Sarmiento.

Sun.Star Davao tried to get the reaction of Zamzamin Ampatuan on the issue but his aide said it would be better if it be discussed extensively over coffee.

Maharlika is a Sanskrit word meaning "noble". Its equivalent term among Moros and Indios during the pre-Spanish times was "datu", a term or title that is still retained and practiced among the former and in recent centuries by the indigenous peoples in Mindanao.

In its older context, maharlikas or datus were the ruling elites, the powerful, and the wealthy. Today, they are still largely the ruling groups in most Moro provinces in Mindanao. Even in the Philippines today, many or most of those elected into the higher echelon of government are descendants of former maharlikas.

Roughly translated, Adhikain ng Dakilang Anak ng Maharlika is rendered into English as "Aspiration of the great son of the noble or datu". (BOT/With PR)


Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 26, 2010.


More Philippine Defense News

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

No reduction in AFP manpower size

THERE will be no reduction in the number of soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines when it implements the streamlining of commands by 2013, a senior officer told the Manila Standard in an exclusive interview.
“Under the Force Structure Review, there will be streamlining of units but this does not mean reduction in terms of the number of soldiers. In fact, the FSR calls for more recruits in the future,” the source, who requested anonymity, said.
At present, the military has a total of 125,000 soldiers, of which almost 85,000 are in the Army and the rest in the Navy-Marines and Air Force.
The FSR calls for an in-depth study of the AFP history in reference to pertinent laws of the land in conjunction with the challenges of internal and external defense.
The study also calls for the establishment of a strategic command that will focus on external defense where the main force would be the Air Force and Navy.
On instructions of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former military ch…

Philippine Armored Vehicles with ad-hoc wood slat armor

While searching for Philippine armored vehicles for the updates being done for both the blog and the Facebook page I chanced upon images of Philippine Army and Marine armor assets covered with thick wood planks as slat armor for protection from rocket propelled grenades. This caught the eyes of Popular Mechanics who published an article last June 8th just for this subject.

According to the article,
Wood armor on armored vehicles won't save them from ISIS rockets. Not sure, I'll leave that to the actual reports from the Philippine Military in using wood as an ad hoc protection for rpg's, but yes this is only during emergencies. The Philippine Army and Philippine Marines should employ or use the real add-on armors currently in the market for armored vehicle protection. Or they could just simply buy new thicker-armored vehicles to be used for front-line operations and have the old vehicles to be used in secondary missions or as support vehicles.

Nonetheless the fast-thinkin…