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Reading the 11-point summaries of the GPH-MILF Peace Talks in Kuala Lumpur

When I used to cover Davao City, I have become more familiar with the GPH-MILF peace negotiations. Even if it is only the committees on the cessation of hostilities who meet, they issue a joint statement to some how shed light on the coverage of meeting.

I expected this from the talks in KL but the reports said there was none.This is not a good sign, if we look at it that way.  I think having no joint statement is more sincere an act, than forcing one when there is none.Is it right to have one just to play with symbolism?

Many people expected a lot from the talks. After that “historic” meeting in Japan between President Benigno Aquino III and the MILF’ chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, the stakes are high on “expediting the peace process”.

As a journalist who covered this from afar, my reading is, are we supposed to mistake “expediting the process” with taking short cuts? Unless we expected the negotiators to be rubbing on a bottle for a genie to make wishes easily his command. Read More…

NEVER FORGET!

Logo for the commemoration of the 1st anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre

In line with the commemoration of the 1st anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre in Maguindanao, we are sharing this logo/patch.

You may use this instead of your present Facebook profile pix on Nov. 23 as a sign of your solidarity with the families of the victims, the journalists and media workers, and the rest of the world.

It was so far the biggest blow to journalists and journalism in the Philippines. Let this be a symbol of our collective cry for justice and for more protection for journalists, where ever they may be.

Teodoro’s take on peace: be practical

Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro wants to approach peace with a “strong dose of practicality, pragmatism and political realism” as he questioned the approach of solving the root causes of conflict” because “has any society been able to solve the root causes of conflict?”

He told the 8th Mindanao Island Conference of the Provincial Board Members League of the Philippines on Wednesday night that the first lesson he learned in approaching the problem of peace and order is to do it with “the backing of some values and some idealism and with strong dose of practicality, pragmatism, and political realism”. Read More…

Mindanao becoming dumpsite of RP’s “bad cops”

It was a routine surf for news from places where I used to live. The order is always from the latest city, then backwards. So it was from Davao, then Quezon City-Antipolo, Iloilo, and then Cagayan de Oro.

But I was stuck in cyber Iloilo, particularly at Sun Star Iloilo’s website.

The headline reads like this as of 9:55p.m. of September 17: Police prepare transfer of ‘bad’ cops to Mindanao.

Bad cops to Mindanao? Our Mindanao is the country’s dump site? Read More…

The never ending story of war —right in our backyard

Waking up to a broadcaster howling against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front one morning, I was tempted to turn the radio off.

 

The grain of his voice has pestered me in my space in that corner of the house.

 

“Maayo ng girahon sila kay gusto man diay nila og Independence!” Gusto pa gyod nila iapil ang tibuok Bukidnon aron mohimo sila og regional government!” (It’s good to go to war with them since they wanted independence. They also like to cover the whole Bukidnon in a bid to form a regional government!).

 

I was really forced to get on my feet even if I only had three hours of sleep yet and dialed the radio station. Read More…

IBP laments slow pace of cases in Bukidnon courts

Justice delayed is justice denied and in Bukidnon, whose courts are swamped with cases, resetting a trial today would likely mean waiting for 2010, an official of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines has warned.
Anastacio Rosos, IBP Bukidnon chapter president, said the problem has hampered the speedy dispensation of justice in the province’s four regional trial courts.

He said the lack of judges caused each of the four courts to have a load of at least 1,000 cases, affecting specially the hearing of criminal cases. Read full report here.

He said one indicator is that the courts’ schedules had been filled up, that cases

to be reset for hearing could be scheduled in 2010.

Rosos said IBP found the whole year of 2009 is filled with court hearings. He said they have started plotting out schedules for 2010.

Nur didn’t make it to Jeddah meeting: report

According to this report by MindaNews’ Carolyn O. Arguillas, detained Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chair Nur Misuari, was not able to leave for Jeddah to attend the Tripartite Meeting of the MNLF, the government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Organization of Islamic Conference.

“Misuari was supposed to have left with his delegation and the Philippine delegation headed by Undersecretary Nabil Tan at 12:20 a.m. November 9 on board Emirates Flight EK 335, but was not allowed to leave for failing to submit a “sovereign guarantee” from Saudi Arabia that he would return to the Philippines immediately after the November 10 to 12 meeting in Jeddah,” the report said. Read the rest of the report on MindaNews.com.

The meeting, according to the report, would push through despite Misuari’s absence. The meetings, postponed several times since last year, was scheduled to review (and correct?) the implementation of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between the MNLF and the government.