Maguindanaons focus on children, women’s right on IHRD celebration PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 15 December 2013 16:43

Grade school pupils stamping palm prints on a graffiti wall, and separate dialogues on the protection of rights of women and children and overseas workers capped Maguindanao provincial government’s observance of the International Human Rights Day (IHRD).

The Maguindanao provincial government observed the IHRD on Dec. 10, but proceeded with a series of dialogues in Buluan town on welfare of overseas workers, and violence against women and children, from Thursday until Friday morning.

Teachers, employees of the provincial government and leaders of Maguindanao’s women sector joined the dialogues and participated extensively in the discussions that focused on Republic Acts 9262 and 10364, also known as the Violence Against Women and Children Act, and the Anti-Trafficking In Persons Act, respectively.

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, chair of the provincial peace and order council, said his office will provide lawyers to help prosecute human traffickers caught recruiting job seekers in any of the 36 towns in the province.

Sittie Jehanne Mutin, chairperson of the Regional Commission on Bangsamoro Women in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, who was main speaker in the dialogues, said public awareness on women and children’s rights will hasten the protection of human rights in the province and other areas in ARMM.

Mutin lectured on the criminal implications of abuses against women and children, and how victims and parents of abused children can avail of government interventions

The IHRD activities in the province were organized by the office of Mangudadatu and his staff, among them Lea Sagan, coordinator for all projects in Maguindanao of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.

Sagan said they are grateful to the ARMM’s tourism and social welfare departments, and the Provincial Planning and Development Office, for helping them put up the IHRD activities in the province.

A human rights lawyer, Bobby Katambak, who is an incumbent member of the Maguindanao provincial board, said Mangudadatu has been trying to address human rights issues besetting the local communities, and the poverty and underdevelopment in far-flung areas, through education, health and livelihood interventions.

Mangudadatu’s office now has more than 4,000 scholars studying in different schools, and has actively been providing peasant communities with seedlings of rubber trees and African oil palms via a “plant now, pay-never” agricultural assistance package meant to improve the productivity of ethnic Maguindanaon and Christian farmers.

“With our people having stable income, educated children, and having well-informed constituents everywhere, protecting human rights in this part of the country would be easy,” Katambak said.

ARMM officials also commemorated on December 10 the IHRD with dialogues on human rights issues at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex in Cotabato City.

ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman led employees of different line agencies and support offices in the autonomous region in their IHRD activities.

Hataman was the first ever ARMM governor to establish a Regional Commission on Human Rights, whose primary function, as a regional government entity, is to implement programs meant to protect the rights of the autonomous region’s Moro and indigenous non-Moro sectors, and the area’s Christian folks.