Hon. Amina Rasul - President's MessagePresident of the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID), Trustee of The Magbassa Kita Foundation, Inc (MKFI), which focuses on adult literacy. She is a member of the Board of Regents of the Mindanao State University (MSU). She is a member of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) General Advisory Council, a Trustee of the National Movement for Free Elections, Trustee of the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation and a member of the Friends of Peace headed by Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, among others. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Southeast Asian network of CSOs against violent extremism

Filipina Icons

10 March 2017 / 0 Shares / by

On March 8, enlightened Filipinas celebrated International Women’s Day with seminars, lectures and workshops to empower themselves. I wonder what they thought about President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s (PRRD) admiration of Agriculture Undersecretary Berna Romulo-Puyat’s legs… President Digong said: “Berna, nadis-distract ako, you close your legs. National TV ’no. Nakikinig pa ba ang papa mo?” causing Berna to blush. I guess our President is a legs’ man: last year, he had also commented on Vice-President Leni Robredo’s legs.

Peace and federalism

6 February 2017 / 0 Shares / by

Last Tuesday, the Friends of Peace (FoP) — led by Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Mindanao — met with House of Representatives Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III. Both meetings were sought by the Cardinal and the FoP to discuss concerns on securing the gains of the peace process with the Moro liberation fronts (both MNLF and the MILF) as President Rodrigo R. Duterte moves to transform the present unitary system of governance to federalism. President Duterte has said that amending the Constitution to usher in federalism is the solution to ensure genuine autonomy and peace for the South.

Federalism and failed autonomy

27 January 2017 / 0 Shares / by

Autonomy for the Muslim ethnic peoples of Mindanao was the political solution to end the war for independence waged by the Moro National Liberation Front led by Prof. Nurullaji “Nur” Misuari. First granted under the 1976 Tripoli Agreement, laws were subsequently passed to enact the agreement on “genuine” autonomy in Tripoli. However, these laws have resulted in the weakening of the powers granted. Unhappiness with the grant of autonomy led to the rise of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (founded by the late Ustadz Salamat Hashim and now led by Chair Ebrahim Murad). This necessitated government to undergo a separate peace process with the MILF from the Ramos to the present administrations.

Autonomy, Federalism or Independence?

23 December 2016 / 0 Shares / by

There are three main options espoused by Muslim leaders and intellectuals in response to the Bangsamoro people’s quest for self-determination: autonomy, federalism, and independence.

The Moros of Mindanao had fought for generations to preserve their sovereign sultanates from the time of the Spanish colonization to the grant of an independent Republic of the Philippines by the American colonial powers. The Moro wars for independence simmered under the new Republic, with Hadji Butu, prime minister of the Sulu Sultanate, agreeing to be the first Muslim Senator of the Republic.

Order of the Rising Sun

16 December 2016 / 0 Shares / by

On Nov. 3, the Government of Japan announced the conferment of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun on Senator Franklin Drilon and Cesar Enrique Aguinaldo Virata, former Prime Minister of the Republic of the Philippines. This year, two out of the nine awardees are Filipinos, in recognition of their contributions to promoting friendly relations and developing economic cooperation between Japan and the Philippines. An honor indeed for our country.

Ups and downs

25 November 2016 / 0 Shares / by

After the burning of Jolo, Sulu (Feb. 7, 1974) during the early years of Martial Law, my family lost everything we had back home. Only the cement staircase of our house remained to remind us of our idyllic life. A stairway to nowhere — a painful reminder that sometimes you are up, sometimes you are down. Today, even that is gone. Only a picture in my mind remains.

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