ARMM reaffirms support to BBL PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 24 October 2014 13:43

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) reaffirmed its support to the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), otherwise known as House Bill No. 4994, in a public hearing conducted today by the House Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL in this city.

Lawyer Laisa Alamia, ARMM executive secretary, said the BBL will help lay down the foundation for lasting peace and development in Mindanao.

“The BBL is the highest expression of the Bangsamoro people’s right to self-determination, and we in the ARMM trusts its provisions will be implementable, feasible, and is directed for the good of the people,” she said.

The public hearing drew participants from local government units, people’s organizations, the academe and other stakeholders. Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chair of the ad hoc committee, said the series of public hearings and consultations being undertaken separately by their committee and the Senate Committee on Local Government in different parts of Mindanao are meant to provide different stakeholders a venue to express their opinion and to be clarified on issues surrounding the proAFP: No let up in pursuit operations against Abu Sayyafs in Sulu

Teofilo P. Garcia Jr

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct. 23 (PNA) — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that there will be no let up in the pursuit operations against the Abu Sayyaf brigands who are still believed holding more than 10 hostages in the hinterlands of Sulu.

AFP information officer Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc said in an interview Thursday with the Philippines New Agency here that Joint Task Group Sulu commander Col. Alan Arrojado is personally supervising the pursuit operations.

“Col. Arrojado goes together with the troops in scouring the mountains because he is personally supervising the ongoing operations,” Cabunoc said.

Earlier, the troops have captured three camps of the Abu Sayyaf brigands in the municipality of Patikul, Sulu.

One of the three camps, which has 47 bunkers, was captured by the troops from the Army’s 32nd Infantry Battalion (IB) in Barangay Buhanginan, Patikul while the other two by the 35th IB in Barangay Kabuntakas in the same town.

Arrojado said one of the captured camps in Barangay Kabuntakas can accommodate 100 people while the other serves as a security outpost with a 10-person capacity.

Cabunoc said the troops are also exerting efforts to locate the exact whereabouts of the hostages as ordered by AFP Chief-of-Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang, Jr.

Cabunoc said they believed the hostages are being held captives by separate groups of Abu Sayyaf brigands.

Cabunoc said there is a possibility that some of the hostages are in Basilan province, mainland Zamboanga and Tawi-Tawi aside from Sulu.

“As of now there is no visual or eye contacts (about the hostages) and what we have are all pass-on information concerning the presence of hostages in a particular area,” Cabunoc added.

He disclosed that they have also tapped the assistance of the community leaders to locate the hostages.

He disclosed that the pursuit operations are being conducted in different areas of Sulu aside from the municipality of Patikul.

“We have operations in different places but I cannot disclosed the area due to operational security,” (PNA)posed BBL.

The BBL will give way to the establishment of a new autonomous political entity, the Bangsamoro government, to replace the ARMM.

Alamia underscored the importance of placing the right people to complement the new structure, saying the new system would only be as good as the people running it.

“We are anticipating a better system with competent and committed people to administer the new entity,” she said.

Alamia said they support the passage of the law and have been hard at work to ensure a smooth transition to the political entity that will follow ARMM.

She said the leaders who will come after them will benefit from the gains of the reforms that have been undertaken by the working government of ARMM.

Other members of the ad hoc committee present were Rep. Bai Sandra Sema of the 1st District of Maguindanao and Cotabato City, Rep. Tupay Loong of Sulu and Rep. Jim Hataman-Salliman of Basilan. — ARMM-Bureau of Public Information