DOCUMENT: Revised draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law

SUBMITTED. President Rodrigo Duterte receives a copy of the revised draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law

President Rodrigo Duterte commits to push for the legislation that will complete the peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.


MANILA, Philippines – The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte the revised draft of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that seeks to create a new Bangsamoro region in Mindanao.

The creation of a new region that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will complete the 2014 peace agreement between the government and Muslim rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Duterte committed to push for the legislation that failed to pass in the previous Aquino administration.

Click here to download a copy of the proposed bill drafted by the BTC.

Click link to download Comparison of 2017 Proposed Bangsamoro Basic La w with 2014 House and Senate Versions  and  Comparison of 2017 Proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law with 2014 BBL.

Laudato Si’ Pledge Launched to Mobilize 1 Million Catholics on Climate Change

Launch coincides with 2nd Anniversary of Papal encyclical

Global – In celebration of the 2nd anniversary of Pope Francis’ historic encyclical Laudato Si’ (June 18, 2015), the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) is launching a Laudato Si’ Pledge campaign to keep the Pontiff’s message alive and encourage mass Catholic action to address the climate crisis.

The Laudato Si’ Pledge (see text below) is a way for Catholics to commit to the transition to renewable energy in their homes and communities, and to push elected leaders to take strong action on climate change. It will target four different audiences: individuals, families, parishes and organizations. The goal is to get 1 million Catholics engaged to address the climate crisis through this new initiative.

The Laudato Si Pledge was launched with the support of Cardinals, Bishops, and other high-level leaders (see quotes below) to encourage interest by the wider Church.

A major kickoff event took place in Manila on June 17th (pictures below), with the support of high-level Church leaders as Cardinal Tagle and Archbishop Socrates Villegas (president of the Bishops Conference of the Philippines). The location is significant given how vulnerable the island nation is to the impacts of climate change, as well as how active Filipino Catholics have been in raising the ecological issue.

The pledge will be distributed online in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, with other languages to follow soon. Signatories of the pledge will receive invitations to turn Laudato Si’ into action through GCCM initiatives taking place throughout the year, such as the ecumenical Season of Creation (September 1-October 4) and Earth Day.

The Catholic Church with a collective carbon footprint of 1.2 billion faithful (17% of the world’s population) and the institutional Church (220,000 parishes, 150,000 schools) has a significant role to play in addressing the climate crisis.

Laudato Si Pledge text: Answering Pope Francis’ urgent call in Laudato Si’, I pledge to: 1) Pray for and with creation 2) Live more simply 3) Advocate to protect our common home.

Laudato Si Pledge website:

Pictures of #LiveLaudatoSi and People’s Climate March: LINK

Pictures of kickoff event in Manila (to be uploaded on June 17 at 3am US Eastern Time)LINK

About the Global Catholic Climate Movement: The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) is an international network of Catholic individuals and organizations responding to the Pope’s Laudato Si’ call for climate justice. Founded in January 2015, GCCM has grown extremely quickly by bringing together 400+ member organizations and thousands of Catholics to take action through innovative campaigns to bring Laudato Si’ to life. In 2015, GCCM led a massive campaign gathering over 900,000 petition signatures calling for the 1.5C target which were delivered to the French president Francois Hollande and UN climate chief Christiana Figueres in interfaith events in Paris during the COP21.

State of the Environment Jam

We are pleased to invite you to a night of music, art, drinks and solidarity for the environment.

What: State of the Environment Jam: Don’t Seen Zone the Green Zone
When: July 21 (Friday), 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Where: Sagul Malingap Foodpark (#43 Malingap St., Teacher’s Village East, QC)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is set to deliver the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24 at the House of Representatives. As green advocates, we are keen to expect the president to express support for the Green Bills (National Land Use Act, Alternative Minerals Management Bill, Forest Resources Bill) and include recent pressing issues regarding the environment (e.g. extrajudicial killings of environmental and land rights defenders, accountability of mining companies, etc.) in his SONA.

Our network has long been pushing for the said Green Bills.

We hope to see you in this event as a sign of your solidarity in pushing for environmental justice!


National Land Use Act (NLUA)

The Philippines’ total land area amounts to 300,000 sq. km. As of 2013, the country has an estimated population of 97 million according to the world population statistics. This is versus the fact that 20 years ago the Philippine census has recorded that the population was only above 60 million. As massive as it sounds, land area remains finite while the population is continuously growing.

With inappropriate use of land and irresponsible exercise of property rights, scarcity of land resources is further aggravated.

The National Land Use Act (NLUA) aims to address this issue through the promotion of the “protection of areas for rehabilitation, conservation and preservation of land and resources in the country to maintain ecological balance” and a more informed formulation of land use plans and execution of strategies for a safer and more sustainable communities.

Source: Marin, G. R. (2014, June). The NLUA Benefits All [PDF]. Campaign for Land Use Policy (CLUP) Now! Network.

Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB)

The Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB) seeks to scrap the Republic Act 7942 or the Mining Act of 1995. This is because the nature of the RA 7942 primarily facilitates the entry of multinational mining corporations to communities and ecosystems for the exploration and extraction of minerals in exchange for revenues from these giant corporations.

This change in the Philippines’ mining laws were brought about by the push for structural adjustment programs (SAPs) during the 80s towards the 90s by International Financial Institutions such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

The AMMB “champions conservation of nonrenewable mineral resources for the benefit of both present and future generations of Filipinos by adopting a sustainable, rational, needs-based minerals management geared towards effective utilization of mineral resources for an ecologically-sound national and modernization of agriculture.”

Source: The Alternative Minerals Management Bill. (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2017, from

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200 environmental and land rights activists killed in 2016

Worst year ever for environmental and land rights activists: at least 200 killed in 2016 as crisis spreads across globe

13th July 2017

Killings of those protesting land grabs in one-third more countries than 2015.
Nearly four people were murdered every week in 2016 whilst protecting their land, forests and rivers from mining, logging and agricultural companies, a new report from Global Witness reveals today.

At least 200 people were killed in 2016, more than twice the number of journalists (79). The trend is both growing (up from 185 in 2015) and spreading, with murders reported in 24 countries compared to 16 in 2015. The report documents a threefold increase in India, for example, as police brutality and state suppression of activist worsens. Latin America remains the worst affected region, home to 60% of murders.

Download the full report: Defenders of the Earth (PDF, 4.67 MB)

Severe limits on available information mean the global total is likely far higher. Murder is the sharp end of a range of tactics used to silence defenders, including death threats, arrests, sexual assault, abductions and aggressive legal attacks.

“They threaten you so you will shut up. I can’t shut up. I can’t stay silent faced with all that is happening to my people. We are fighting for our lands, for our water, for our lives,” Jakeline Romero told Global Witness.

Jakeline is a Colombian indigenous leader who has faced years of threats and intimidation for speaking out against the devastating impacts of El Cerrejón, Latin America’s largest open-pit mine.

Owned by London-listed companies Glencore, BHP Billiton and Anglo-American, the project has been blamed for water shortages and mass displacement.  The local operator has denied causing water shortages and condemned threats suffered by activists.   Continue reading

National Forum on Peace – “Reclaiming Peace, Demystifying Terrorism”

Greetings of Peace!

Kalipunan (or Kalipunan ng mga Kilusang Masa) is a gathering of social movements that came together in the face of rising authoritarianism in the country.  It consists of the labour movements SENTRO and Partido Manggagawa (PM), the World March of Women (WMW), PILIPINA, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), PAKISAMA, USAD-Ateneo, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP) and the biggest urban poor movements Kilos Maralita (KM) and Urban Poor Alliance (UP ALL).

Following the extra-judicial killings, burial of the former dictator Marcos, and promotion of death policies by the Duterte administration, was the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao, using the Maute attacks in Marawi last May 23 as the pretext.

Our members and leaders in Mindanao have been responding to abuses of Martial Law. We have been mobilizing and calling for humanitarian interventions, a stop to the bombings and to violence against women (given the President’s rape remark), to lift Martial Law, and for an inclusive peace process. However, we feel that further reflection is called for to shift our actions to a more decisive level.

We understand that it is our duty as social movements to deepen our constituents’ understanding of the conflict, and create greater awareness where we are present, in the face of deliberate misinformation and the sowing of fear by interest groups. The situation demands of us who can mobilize and are grassroots-based, to educate and push for a counter-narrative to the government’s justification of Martial Law and intensification of armed operations in Mindanao and the country at-large.

Towards this, we invite you to join our grassroots leaders in a forum on “Reclaiming Peace, Demystifying Terror.”

This will be July 22, 2017 (Saturday), 2:00 PM at Faber Hall (Rizal Library), Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan, Quezon City.

Confirmed resource speakers for this forum are:

  1. Archbishop Tony Ledesma (Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro)
  2. Aleem Mahmod Mala Adilao (Ulama League of the Philippines)
  3. Raissa Jajurie (ARMM)
  4. Timuay Alim Bandara (Loyukan) tbc

(Sgd.)                                               (Sgd.)

Jean Enriquez (WMW)                     Jaybee Garganera (ATM)
Co-convener, Kalipunan                      Co-Convenor, Kalipunan

“Turn from Evil and Do Good, Seek Peace and Pursue It” (Ps. 34:14)

CBCP Statement on Marawi, Terrorism and Dialogue

To All People of Good Will:

Greetings of peace in the Almighty and Most Merciful God.

We, the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines, wish to enjoin your assistance and collaboration. We all cry from our hearts: War in Marawi, never again! War in Marawi, no more! We therefore call for the return to normalcy and peace in Marawi and its environs as soon as possible. We wonder whether the continued state of Martial Law, much more its extension, will bring this about.

We believe that the war in Marawi is not religious. We have heard and read truly stunning stories of how Muslims have protected and helped Christians to escape from almost certain death. Even now Christians are assisting thousands of Muslims who have fled from Marawi for safety. These are indisputable signs that there is no religious war.

Condemnation of Terrorism and Violent Extremism

For this reason as Catholic religious leaders we condemn in the strongest terms possible, as did Islamic religious scholars in Mindanao, the violent extremist Maute group in Marawi. Its leaders and members have pledged allegiance to ISIS. They have contradicted the fundamental tenets of Islam by abducting and hostaging, maiming and killing the innocent.

Dialogue for Peace, the Common Word

Join us then, beloved people of good will, in conducting intra-faith dialogue among our respective co-religionists so that our various faiths may not be exploited and abused for the sake of terrorism or violent extremism. Let parents, schools, churches and mosques ensure that none may be lured by the recruitment efforts of terrorists. Let us teach the young and the old that our faiths are meant for peace. No religion teaches the killing of innocent people, simply because they belong to another religion.

Join us and let us continue the inter-religious dialogue called for by hundreds of Islamic leaders throughout the world. In 2007 they called for peace between Muslims and Christians when they wrote their famous open letter on “the Common Word” to Christian religious leaders. How true their words were! The Muslim leaders wrote:

The basis for peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God and love of neighbor.

This is the commandment of God in Deuteronomy 6:4-5.

Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength.

Our Lord Jesus, who is also revered as prophet in the Qur’an, cited this scriptural text and elaborated on it in Mark 12:28-31.

One of the scribes … asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

He further commanded us: “Love one another as I love you” (John 15:12).

Praxis of Love and Gratitude

Loving our neighbor needs action. Let us together invest our resources to helping the thousands of people who have fled from the horrors of Marawi. Let us pray for the safety of trapped civilians and of those abducted and hostaged by the terrorists. Let us be vigilant and alert, helping our security forces thwart the threats of terrorism in other areas of Mindanao. Let us help the government rebuild the city of Marawi so that its citizens may return and restore their broken lives.

With profound gratitude we acknowledge the priceless generosity of kind donors from different faiths, both local and foreign, who promptly responded to meet the needs of the people of Marawi who have fled to safer areas. We appeal for more help especially for those home-based displaced people who are not yet adequately served.

Maryam, the mother of Jesus, is praised and honored in the Qur’an and by many Christians. Catholics believe that 100 years ago she appeared to three children in the village of Fatima, which is the very name of the daughter of the prophet Muhammad. To the prayers of Maryam, we commend our efforts for peace and harmony between peoples of different faiths.

“Let us respect each other, be fair, just and kind to one another and live in sincere peace, harmony and mutual good will” (see the Common Word letter).

May the God of peace be with you!

On behalf of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines,

+ Socrates B. Villegas, D.D.
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
July 10, 2017

“Mabuti ang gawi’t masama’y layuan. Pagsikapang kamtin ang kapayapaan.” (Awit 34:14)

Pahayag ng CBCP sa Usapin sa Marawi, Terorismo at Diyalogo

Sa Lahat Ng Mga Taong May Mabuting Kalooban:

Pagbati ng kapayapaan mula sa Makapangyarihan at Lubhang Maawaing Diyos.

Kami na mga Katolikong Obispo ng Pilipinas, ay nakikiusap sa inyong pagdamay at pakikipagtulungan. Lahat tayo ay sumisigaw mula sa nilalaman ng ating puso: Ang Digmaan sa Marawi ay huwag na muling maulit pa! Ang Digmaan sa Marawi ay matapos na! Nananawagan kami sa pagpapanumbalik ng maayos na pamumuhay at kalagayan, maging ng kapayapaan sa Marawi, gayundin ng kapaligiran nito sa lalong madaling panahon. Isang palaisipan sa amin kung ang pagpapatuloy ng Batas Militar o Martial Law, lalo na ang pagpapahaba pa nito ay magreresulta sa hangaring ito.

Naniniwala kami na ang digmaan sa Marawi ay hindi usapin ng relihiyon. Napakinggan namin at nabasa ang mga nakakamanghang kuwento kung paanong ang mga Muslim ay nagawang protektahan at tulungan ang mga Kristiyano na makatakas mula sa nakaambang kamatayan. Hanggang sa ngayon ang mga Kristiyano ay umaalalay sa libu-libong mga Muslim na umalis mula sa Marawi para sa kanilang kaligtasan. Ito ay mga hindi mapag-aalinlanganang tanda na walang digmaan sa usapin ng relihiyon.

Pagkundena sa Terorismo at Matinding Karahasan

(Condemnation of Terrorism and Violent Extremism)

Sa kadahilanang ito bilang mga Katolikong namumuno, mahigpit at ganap naming tinututulan gaya ng ginagawa ng mga dalubhasang nagtuturo ng Islam sa Mindanao, ang paghahasik ng matinding karahasan ng grupo ng Maute sa Marawi. Ang mga pinuno at kasapi nito ay sumapi na rin sa mga ISIS. Nilabag na nila at hindi pinahalagahan ang mga pangunahing katuruan at pinapahalagahan ng Islam sa pamamagitan ng pagdukot at pagbihag, pananakit at pagpatay sa mga inosenteng sibilyan.

Diyalogo sa Kapayapaan, ang Nagkakaisang Salita

(Dialogue for Peace, the Common Word)

Makiisa po kayo sa amin, mga minamahal na may mabuting kalooban, sa pagtataguyod ng mga diyalogo sa diwa ng pananampalataya (intra-faith dialogue) mula sa ating mga iginagalang na mga kasamahan sa ibang pananampalataya upang ang ating mga pananampalataya ay hindi mapagsamantalahan at maabuso sa pangalan ng terorismo at matinding karahasan. Siguruhin ng mga magulang, paaralan, simbahan at mosques na hindi maakit ang sinuman ng mga terorista. Turuan natin ang mga kabataan at ang mga nakatatanda na ang ating mga pananampalataya ay para sa kapayapaan. Walang relihiyon na nagtuturo ng pagkitil ng buhay ng mga taong walang kamalayan o dahil lamang sa sila ay nabibilang sa ibang relihiyon.

Makiisa po kayo sa amin at sama-sama po nating ipagpatuloy ang pakikipag-diyalogo sa iba’t-ibang relihiyon (inter-religious dialogue) na ipinananawagan ng mga daan-daang namumuno ng Islam sa buong mundo. Noong 2007, nanawagan sila para sa kapayapaan sa pagitan ng mga Muslim at mga Kristiyano ng kanilang isulat ang kilalang bukas na liham na “the Common Word” para sa mga namumunog Kristiyano. Napakatotoo ng kanilang mga salitang binitiwan! Isinulat ng mga lider na Muslim ang ganito:

Ang basehan ng kapayapaan at pag-uunawaan ay ganap ng umiiral. Ito ay bahagi na ng pundasyon at prinsipyo ng dalawang pananampalataya: pagmamahal sa Iisang Diyos at pagmamahal sa kapwa.

Ito ang kautusan ng Diyos sa Deuteronomio 6:4-5.

“Dinggin ninyo mga Israelita: Si Yahweh lamang ang Diyos. Ibigin ninyo siya ng buong puso, kaluluwa at lakas.”

Ang ating Panginoong Hesus, na iginagalang din na propeta sa Qur’an, ang bumanggit ng tekstong ito at nagbigay paliwanag dito sa Ebanghelyo ni San Markos 12:28-31.

“Narinig ng isa sa mga eskribang naroon ang kanilang pagtatalo. Natanto niyang mahusay ang pagkasagot ni Hesus sa mga Saduseo, kaya lumapit siya’t nagtanong, “Alin pong utos ang pinakamahalaga?” Sumagot si Hesus, “Ito ang pinakamahalagang utos, ‘Pakinggan mo, Israel! Ang Panginoon na ating Diyos – siya lamang ang Panginoon. Ibigin mo ang Panginoon mong Diyos nang buong puso, nang buong kaluluwa, nang buong pag-iisip, at ng buong lakas.’ Ito naman ang pangalawa, ‘ Ibigin mo ang iyong kapwa gaya ng iyong sarili.’ Wala nang ibang utos na hihigit pa sa mga ito.”

Kanyang pang ipinag-utos sa atin “Magmahalan kayo, katulad ng pagmamahal Ko sa inyo” (Juan 15:12)

Pagkilos ng may Pag-ibig at Pagpapasalamat

(Praxis of Love and Gratitude)

Ang mahalin ang ating kapwa ay nangangailangan ng pagkilos. Sama-sama tayong magbahagi mula sa ating mapagkukunang yaman upang ating matulungan ang libu-libong mga taong lumikas mula sa panganib sa Marawi. Ipanalangin natin ang kaligtasan ng mga nananatiling mamamayan, yaong mga nakadama ng dahas at dinalang-bihag ng mga terorista. Maging mapagmasid tayo at alerto, sa pagtulong sa mga namamahala ng ating kaligtasan na hadlangan ang mga banta ng terorismo sa iba’t ibang lugar sa Mindanao. Makipagtulungan tayo sa pamahalaan na maibangon muli ang Lungsod ng Marawi upang muling makabalik ang mga mamamayan nito at maisaayos ang nasira nilang buhay.

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