‘Tara Na’ to pilot June 21 over TV5-Cebu

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #CebuBloggingCommunity

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — An events and travel show is set to air every Sunday from 7:30 to 8:30 am over at TV5 Cebu beginning June 21.

In a recent presscon, it was announced that “Tara Na!” is to provide viewers up-to-date info on recent events and travel destinations as well as the many places and happenings to look forward to in the Visayas region.

Tara Na will be hosted by Cordova Vice Mayor Mary Therese “Teche” Sitoy Cho, Gino Galicia, and TV5 Artista Academy graduate Benjoe Leoncio. Artista Academy is a talent search staged by TV5 Manila.

The production crew looks at 13 episodes for the first season. According to director/producer Cris Damo, the filming material is of premium quality already. “Ikapasigarbo gyud ni nato ang quality sa production. Thanks to technology.”

(“We certainly can take pride of this show production-wise”).

When asked if she’s ready on forms of media picking on the show as, sort of, ‘prosthetics’ to several controversies hounding Cordova, Sitoy-Cho said that she is ready for such. “We will not be talking about politics. I won’t be answering issues through this program. But I can’t veer away from negative comments that may arise once the show goes on air.”

“What we hope is that the public may know the real Cordova. We start with Gilutongan, our marine sanctuary. It offers the real story of our people, fishing as livelihood.”

Cordova, in recent years, figured on banner stories in various media platforms because of cybersex. But in another incident, Cordova has been a victim too of environmental crime when oil spill caused by a collision of a passenger ship and a cargo ship devastated significant patches of mangrove forests.

The title of the show, by the way, embraces all Visayans – Warays and Ilonggos. The medium is a variety of English, Taglish (Tagalog-English) and Bisglish (Binisaya-English) to make it all-embracing.###

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Philippines internal conflict costs P20B annually; P7B up for Bangsamoro

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #CebuBloggingCommunity

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — Economic costs of the Mindanao conflict have already reached P640 billion from 1970 to 2001, or an estimated P20 billion per year.

This information was relayed via press conference on the salient points of the Bangsamoro Basic Law here recently with the presence of peace panel chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer.

The P640-B economic loss is in terms of damages to business and properties, potential investments and businesses in the region had there been better security (no war).

Studies by Edgardo Barandiaran (2002), Salvatore and Judd Mary Schiavo-Campo (2005) and the United Nations Development Program (2005) pointed out that the all-out war policy in 2000 alone cost us 1.3 billion. From 1970-1996 war with the Moro National Liberation Front, government spent 73 billion in combat expenses.

The studies are entitled “Economic costs of the Mindanao conflict” for World Bank-Manila; “The Mindanao conflict in the Philippines: Roots, Costs and Potential Peace Dividend,” and “Social development papers (conflict prevention and reconstruction) Paper No. 24 for Washington-World Bank; and “Philippine Human Development Report” for Manila-Human Development Network, respectively.

As for social welfare, a DSWD 2012 Yearend Report noted of nearly 120,000 people killed between 1970-1996. In a pie chart, the human casualties were distributed as follows: 20 percent civilians, 50 percent MNLF, and 30 percent Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Social welfare disruption includes internally displaced persons placed at 982,000 in the 2000 all-out-war while 600,000 in 2008; cycle of violence and injustice; disruption of development efforts (multigenerational setbacks), destruction of the environment, and poor sense of wellbeing and security.

When asked if there is also a breakdown on how much the state, or the taxpayers will be losing again, should the BBL fail to push through, Coronel said there is no such detailed info similar to published collaterals, but that the country has to think about the value of peace. “Think of development and education opportunities not only in Central Mindanao but of its neighboring regions. Right now we can’t have specific valuation for the benefits. But if we just think peace, who could ever go wrong with that?”

However, Facebook-er Henz HP does not believe in the process. “We are being made to believe there is no substate (independent Islamic state). But provisions point to the creation of a substate. What government would be so keen in dealing with terrorists using taxpayers money?”

When Coronel was asked if P7 billion for Bangsamoro will all be from the government coffers, she clarified that P17 million is allocated for the rehabilitation in five years; P10 million of which will be downloaded on the first year as Official Development Assistance, while the rest will be World Bank-funded development programs.

The media briefing was held at the AFP Central Command in Camp Lapulapu, Barangay Lahug.###

Peace panel chief: Bangsamoro ‘constitutional’

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #CebuBloggingCommunity

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES (May 28, 2015) — Peace process chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer reiterates today here at the AFP Central Command in Lahug that the creation of the Bangsamoro Basic Law has no legal impediments.

Why is the Bangsamoro constitutional? Ferrer, through a presentation, pointed out that the creation of the Bangsamoro is provided for in the Philippine Constitution. She cited Article 10, Section 15 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution stating that “there shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras consisting of provinces, cities, municipalities, and geographical areas sharing common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures, and other relevant characteristics within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.”

The creation of the Bangsamoro will follow a legislative process with the enactment of an organic act and its ratification in the core territory, this was the second point.

The third reason why Bangsamoro does not leap beyond legal parameters is that it follows the Constitution’s provision on legislative powers of an autonomous region while upholding national sovereignty of the Philippines.

“There is no substate. In fact, mahirap i-define kung ano talaga ang substate,” Ferrer stressed. “What Bangsamoro is is similar to the creation of ARMM only that we are granting to Moros their right to self-determination but still they are under one Philippines.

“Hindi naman buong Mindanao ‘to. The framework is actually for Central Mindanao. We recognize also the division among Moro groups, and that it takes two provinces to form an autonomous region. The salient points of the draft provide for a Bangsamoro government that is parliamentary and democratic. It will never be a separate state. It will remain under Philippine sovereignty.”

She cited Article 10 of Section 20 of the 1987 Constitution that “within its territorial jurisdiction and subject to provisions of this Constitution and national laws, the organic act of autonomous region shall provide for the legislative powers over: administrative organization; creation of sources of revenues; ancestral domain and natural resources; personal, family, and property relations; regional urban and rural planning development; economic, social, and tourism development; educational policies; preservation and development of the cultural heritage; and such other matters as may be authorizd by law for the promotion of the general welfare of the people of the region.”

Further, a ministerial form of government in the Bangsamoro is allowed under the Philippine Constitution. Based on Art. 10 of Sec. 15 “the organic act shall define the basic structure of government for the region consisting of executive department and legislative assembly, both of which shall be elective and representative of the constituent political units.”

“The Bangsamoro is a secular government, not an Islamic state,” Ferrer added. “We should give peace a chance. We should allow Bangsamoro to demonstrate its sincerity, more than a process of decommissioning of arms; allow them to prove they have respect for the basic rights of all.”###

Serenitea unveils ‘more moments’

caption: BLOGGERS sample tea goodness and new products for snacks in Serenitea’s second anniversary.

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES (May 28, 2015) — Serenitea Cebu marks its second anniversary by launching new drinks, merchandise, and snacks plus the annual “Jumbo Cup” Promo through a lovely tea party today here at Calyx Centre in IT Park.

Snacks include chicken chops, French fries, hash browns, peppered corn, potato rounds, shrimp balls, squid balls, and squid rolls. Merchandising items feature Hokkaido and Okinawa tea goodness injected in candies and chocolate bars with Matcha Marble, white chocolate with taro, Hokkaido milk chocolate, milk chocolate with Assam flavors or black tea.

All of these will be available to the market on June 8, this year.

The Jumbo Cup Promo will have been first served by May 29. Customers who order their favorite Serenitea drink in a large cup will get a special treat because their drinks will be converted to a jumbo cup, says marketing officer Tara Merced.

Says Innoland Retail consultant Bruce Cortes Bollozos that the rebranding of Serenitea on its second year in the market means “immaculate white and apple green” interiors. Frames hung on the walls take a transition in content – from just the tea-related quotes to inspirational quotes.

Some of these interesting quotes are on travel, on being creative, on life’s challenges to take a stand, decide, and take the risk.

For Serenitea’s second birthday, Innoland staff hosted a tea party so guests can sample great snack items and drinks highlighting Cebu’s very own mango. The drinks take on a twist such as Mango slush with matcha tea, Mango overload with ice cream, aside from the bestselling mango tango.###

Nautilus, dugong highly endangered in Tanon Strait

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #CebuBloggingCommunity

CEBU, PHILIPPINES (May 27, 2015) — Overfishing, pollution and climate change, lack of enforcement and accountability in the management of Tanon Strait put the chambered nautilus as most critically endangered along with 14 species of cetaceans in danger of extinction.

Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo, DENR-7 regional director, in delivering his State of Tanon Strait Address today here in Badian, southwestern coastal town of Cebu Province, mentioned that only a few nautilus species have survived to date as this unusual resident of Tanon Strait is highly prized for its shell. Its population is believed to have been overfished since the 70s.

With the assistance of non-government organization Oceana (Protecting the World’s Oceans), it was learned that decline in population of important marine species is traced to illegal commercial fishing, destructive fishing, juvenile fish catch, lack of enforcement and accountability, pollution and climate change.

Montejo said that sea mammals, accounting to 14 species of 27 found in the country, like spinner dolphins, dwarf sperm whales, dugongs, whale sharks, among others, suffer from indiscriminate fishing as well as lack of a reliable enforcement of existing laws that govern sustainable economy along with development.

On the occasion of the 17th anniversary today of Presidential Proclamation 1234 creating the Tanon Strait Protected Seascape (TSPS), Montejo and Oceana led the inauguration of a TSPS office in Barangay Malhiao, Badian. This was witnessed by over 60 stakeholders from various government agencies, local leaders, community partners, fisherfolk, print media, and bloggers.

The office placed at the “center of Tanon Strait” serves to link the gap in data gathering, and facilitate solutions to “save Tanon from illegal commercial fishing, destructive fishing and pollution.”

“Tanon is a migration corridor to sea mammals. It has 18,830 hectares of coral reefs and an estimated area of patches of mangroves, 26 species, reaching around 5,000 hectares. But all of these are threatened by industrial waste, being a natural catchment,” Montejo further explained.

Thus, the need for strong leadership, effective enforcement of Fisheries Code, special protections within the seascape and accountability when transiting a protected seascape. As cited by Oceana in its journal, Tanon Strait “needs strong leadership at all levels in the conservation efforts.”

“The Protected Area Management Board has a clear mandate to responsibly manage fisheries, including establishing a comprehensive plan for protection.”

“Effective enforcement of the Fisheries Code will require increased monitoring of fishing activity at sea and in port, increased resources for interception, and strengthening the judicial process.”

“Urgently needed is a management plan which includes regulations specific to the unique needs of the seascape.”

“Although commercial fishing is banned in Tanon Strait, commercial vessels transit through the Strait regularly. When commercial fishing vessels come to port in Tanon Strait, they must be held accountable for the origin and legality of their catches.”

Moreover, environmental lawyer Gloria Estenzo Ramos said that tools, with improved technology, could help monitor these commercial vessels. “I know of drones, image-capturing satellites, web systems that can help monitor activities at sea. If we have this technology on Tanon seascape, and continue to build on this effort, then it would be a lot easier to facilitate stewardship, address critical concerns in protecting our coral reefs, our fisherfolk, our future.”

TSPS is the largest marine protected area in the Philippines, and the third largest park, nearly as extensive as the two largest terrestrial natural parks in the Northern Sierra Madre and Samar Island which protect the Philippine eagle and other wonders. Tanon Strait is their marine counterpart, with an area of 5,182 km squared, more than three times the area of the Tubbataha National Park.

Oceana went on to report that the Strait is extremely narrow (27 kilometers), 160 km long and 500 meters deep. At its widest, the Strait is only 27 km., and narrowest near the south at a mere five km.

The deep waters which attract dolphins, whales, sharks and manta rays extend down from the surface a distance roughly half a kilometer. Oceana pointed out that in Cebu City, this is equivalent to a jeepney ride between the Basilica del Santo Nino and Fort San Pedro. In Dumaguete, this is equivalent to a walk between the Dumaguete Cathedral and Silliman University. Tanon Strait has a coastline of 450 kms.

Tanon Strait is that body of water between Cebu and Negros Island.###

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce project finalist in Italy world congress

caption: Editha Bonghanoy found P600 among trash at the Umapad dumpsite in Mandaue City. The amount enabled her to start a food business.

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #CebuBloggingCommunity

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — Women in Need, Now Entrepreneurs and Rolemodels or WINNERS made it as a finalist to the 9th World Chambers Congress in Torino, Italy picked from 79 applications of 39 countries.

In an electronic correspondence, Alexandra Jercaianu, project officer of International Chambers of Commerce – World Chambers Federation in Paris, France congratulated the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry as WINNERS has been “selected as a finalist in the Best Non-Conventional Project category.”

A record number of 79 applications from 39 countries were received for the 2015 World Chambers Competition and that the full list of finalists in the said category are: Stavanger Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Norway), Chamber of Commerce of Zaragoza (Spain), Calgary Chamber of Commerce (Canada), and Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Philippines).

According to WINNERS project chairperson Ms. Carmel de Pio-Salvador, the chamber will be joining other finalists in front of WCF’s panel of international judges for a live presentation at the 9th World Chambers Congress from June 10 to 12, 2015 whereby a Q&A session will tackle the innovative nature of the project, the impact of the project on the chamber and or the business community; measurable outcomes (financial, business and job creation, participation rates, membership recruitment, people involvement); the relevance of the program in the target category, as well as potential for the project to be successfully adopted by other chambers of commerce throughout the world.

The “Search for WINNERS” was launched on July 26, 2011 at the Benedicto College Campus in Mandaue City. Now on its fifth season, the project is MCCI’s quest for model women micro-entrepreneurs from Mandaue City who are supporting their families and are struggling to rise from abject poverty through their business ventures. Their stories of perseverance and creativity, integrity and strength of character are to inspire other women to be empowered, says de Pio-Salvador.

Community development leaders validate the competence of these micro-entrepreneurs to represent barangays of Mandaue City. The finalists go through Basic Entrepreneurial Skills Training, Basic Banking, Formulation or Structuring of Business Plans, Personality Development, as well as Sponsors Tour wherein they gather more insights and perspectives in other traders’ business ventures.

“It is our goal to make the program a national advocacy. Women entrepreneurs today make up more than 50 percent of the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises, thus they should be given a place in national development,” de Pio-Salvador shared.

Editha Bonghanoy, for example, is scavenger turned entrepreneur.

Bonghanoy, a vendor from Barangay Umapad, lives near the city’s dumpsite. She used to survive on segregating trash that can be sold at junkshops, a way of life she, sort of, inherited from her mother. One day, while performing the backbreaking task of scavenging, she pulled out of the dump an envelop containing P600 (six hundred pesos) or roughly 14 US dollars (based on US$1 = P43 exchange), as of this writing.

Bonghanoy decided to leave scavenging behind by investing the money in a startup business. She started frying chicken parts like neck and feet which became a hit in the neighborhood. The crispy chicken business provided for her family decent meals, an opportunity to send her grandchildren to school, thereby nurturing hope that the blessing breaks the cycle of poverty in her family.###

Check a halo-halo, rice bowl @ Kublai Khan

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #CebuBloggingCommunity

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — Do you remove lettuce from your burger? Or has the habit of picking out of your sandwich the cheese wedge?

Would you rather have red mung beans over boiled corn grains on your halo-halo (refreshment using ice shavings, milk, and a cocktail of colorful ingredients), a dessert item that is so much a part of the Filipino food culture. Or are you fond of setting aside julienned carrots of a veggie-based dish?

Kublai Khan Restaurant on the Ayala Center Cebu Terraces has developed a system to make it convenient for clients to enjoy their rice bowls and halo-halo. So diners won’t end up tossing the bean sprouts out of the bowl. Through the “Check a Bowl” and “Check a Halo” services, clients are given a list of ingredients divided into four sections – meat and sauces, condiments, vegetables, and base which is either rice or rice noodles (bihon or canton). Customers choose the items according to preference. That way they can enjoy their meals more, preventing further wastage of food, and paying only for what’s necessary.

This blogger, for example, is not so much into Schezuan but can tolerate native chili for hot and spicy Warrior Bowl. Doesn’t really pay attention to gizzard but adores liver (chicken and pork). And as tofu is a very healthy stuff, it is on top of the “ticking job.”

For the halo-halo, tahore or red mung beans is a favorite along with the natural sweetness of nata de coco, the pretty colors of kaong, the softness of coco strings.

According to Juditha Batino, store manager, they make sure that ice is shaved only the very moment the order comes in to maintain safety in food handling. “There’s no pre-shaving. We want ice to be pure as it should be, so preparation comes only after real-time orders are taken.”

She takes pride in “specially formulated milk that doesn’t need further granulated sugar.” Ingredients such as green gulaman, monggo, sweetened banana and sweet potato, jackfruit and leche flan, among others, are said to be homemade.

Rice bowl costs P140 while halo-halo is pegged at P79 but one can add P20 to get all 12 ingredients or the “7-5” formula (base and toppings).

Expect congee at its Cybergate outlet on midtown Cebu next month featuring chicken congee, seafood congee, and black congee or with squid ink.

Of the four outlets in Cebu, the one in Ayala Terraces is the biggest with 128 seats. Kublai Khan is also at the Parkmall, Robinsons Galleria at Fuente Rotunda, and at SM Foodcourt. One is in Bacolod. Two more outlets will be opened soon here.###

SM Hypermarket – Lapu launches retail spaces

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #CebuBloggingCommunity

LAPU-LAPU CITY, CEBU, PHILIPPINES (April 24, 2015) — A community center is what SM Hypermarket in Pueblo Verde, Basak is all about. Says Steven Tan, senior vice president of SM Supermalls, the community here deserves a store in a “community format.”

“SM Hypermarket makes it convenient for Mactan Export Zone workers, Mactan residents, and travelers flying in or out of the Mactan Cebu International Airport by opening at 6 a.m.,” Tan said.

Product offering includes groceries, household items, appliances, clothes, toys, and furniture.

Today, service of around 30 retail stores on the second level is launched. These are a mix of mobile phone stores, cable TV services, lottery outlet, kids’ play pen, salons, among others.

Restaurants and food stalls are located on the first level of the said facility.

Restaurants occupying the first level include Cebu Lechon Belly, Dunkin Donuts, Ice Castle. Soon to open is Jonie’s Sizzlers & Roast.

Watsons is on the first level too.

Shops on the second level include Hollywood Spectacles, Oro China, Mr. Quickie, Avery Integrated Hub lotto outlet, Wow Travel & More, Aerophone, Audionet, Cellpod, RC Goldline, CQE, Apollo Cellshop, CD-R King, Quantum, Cherry, Oppo, JV Shop N Shop, Potato Corner, Digibabe, VIP, Franzy Salon, among many.

These stores are open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

According to Sherry Tuvilla, regional operations manager-Visayas of SM Supermalls, with Jocelyn Veloso, vice president for operations – Visayas, services are expected to add excitement to customers’ shopping experience as SM Hypermarket Lapu-Lapu also incorporates bills payment, foreign exchange, and Western Union money transfer services to answer monthly, weekly, and routine transactions.

The duo explained that SM Hypermarket along Kadaugan Avenue, Pueblo Verde, MEZ II is the “first SM Hypermarket with a provision of over 30 retail spaces, accommodating dining facilities, clothing, services, cyberzone, and other dry goods.”

Guest performer was Kapuso talent Tom Rodriguez.

To recall this one-stop hypershop opened officially last February 26, this year, marking SM’s 43rd hypermarket- the third in the densely-populated Mandaue-Lapu business zones. Wattpad celebrity Nadine Lustre came to entertain shoppers.

Check and “Like” SM Hypermarket Lapu-Lapu on Facebook, or call 520.9425.###

‘Technotour Amazing Adventure Challenge’ to explore southern, midwest Cebu

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #CebuBloggingCommunity

CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — Cebu’s best can be experienced through technology and a set of mental and physical challenges.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Cebu Provincial Capitol, Cebu Parklane International Hotel, and local government units initiate “Technotour Amazing Adventure Challenge” (an experiential tourism through technology) from June 16 to 18, 2015 covering southern and midwest Cebu.

In a press conference today, April 20, it was learned from organizers that this is a three-day, two-night adventure challenge that will promote and showcase Cebu’s tourism, food, people, culture and heritage through technology and adventure.

The event is open to teams composed of four participants, must be 18 years old and above. Teams must have a four-wheel vehicle sturdy enough to navigate and bring them from the city, to the south, midwest of Cebu, and back to the city, for three days. The challenge will start and end here in Cebu City.

Each team must have either one smartphone or tablet wherein they will use to download the app to get all instructions while they are on the road. They must be able to answer questions while they are on the road. They must be able to answer questions from the app to pinpoint the control points which will correspond to a historical site. The team must also be required to perform a task pertaining to a respective culture or product of a municipality. The first team who will be able to complete all control points, tasks and get to the finish line will be declared as the winner.

Registration fee per team is P20,000 (twenty thousand pesos) which includes two-room accommodation for two nights (twin-sharing), meals, race jersey and other freebies.

It was further learned that prizes may come in the form of gadgets, and other items, amounting to P30,000 for top spot depending on sponsors’ discretion.

This is just one of the activities in line with Cebu Business Month (Glocalized Cebu) 2015.

Participating component cities and towns are Talisay, Minglanilla, Naga, San Fernando, Carcar, Sibonga, Argao, Dalaguete, Alcoy, Boljoon, Oslob, Santander, Samboan, Ginatilan, Malabuyoc, Alegria, Badian, Moalboal, Alcantara, Ronda, Dumanjug, Barili, Aloguinsan, Pinamungajan, Toledo and Balamban.

For more info, email info@cebuchamber.org or mymelgar@cebuchamber.org or jeff.saromines@gmail.com. Check cebuchamber.org or cebubusinessmonth.net/. Call the Chamber at 6332.232-1421 to 24 local 107-108.###

Tribe bae: No to BBL

by Maria Eleanor E. Valeros, #netizenmedia

caption: Bae Makabulig (Ritalinda Lipiahan), a former supervisor of SM Malls in Manila, is now right hand of Datu Lolong, national chairman of Higaonon Tribal Communities Federation. The couple is seen here on their way to Sitio Tamusan, Brgy. Capehan, Libona town, Bukidnon for a tribal assembly. The children are residents of Tamusan.

MISAMIS ORIENTAL, NORTHERN MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES — “We say no to the Bangsamoro Basic Law. We can’t trust some Muslims; they have this culture of reprisal or vendetta (rido) that it’s best to trust only when they are dead,” so states Bae Makabulig (Ritalinda Lipiahan), wife of Datu Lolong (Dencio S. Lipiahan, Sr.) prior to our ritual in line with our membership to the Higaonon tribe on April 2 (Maundy Thursday) as migrants (bilaw or non-lumad bloodline).

A “bae” is a title given to a wife of a datu, the chieftain here of a Higaonon tribe. These two are trusted community leaders.

“I say that we can’t trust all Muslims because when they are angry, lisod kaayo na sila. Pag masuko, rido gyud na. Higaonons value peace. In fact, we are the most peace-loving people of all tribes here. We had only engaged in war when we really were left with no choice. But currently we have worked so hard on promoting economic sustainability as we battle continuously for the preservation of tribal reservation areas,” Bae Makabulig underscored.

Higaonons value promotion of social justice system: recognizing the rights of individuals, protecting and preserving their culture, traditions and institutions.

When Datu Lolong, national chairman of the Talugan Ta Tagoloan-Higaonon Tribal Communities Federation, was asked on reported armed movements recruiting Higaonons, he said that warfare and uprisings are decided by the Council of Datus. As for now, they bank on the various peace treaties forged by their elders such as the Treaties of Dawa (the right to alliance or association), as well as Durian (the right to self-determination under a national government).

“Our laws and peace treaties complement the provisions of Philippine Constitutions – 1935 and 1987 – that we are to unite tribes and to engage in peace processes, no matter how long and painstaking,” the datu added.

“One’s works speak well of one’s motives. How can the Bangsamoro attest to campaigning for peace but preparing, at the same time, for war? The act gives us the hint on how to course our judgment for the welfare of indigenous people here. We will decide what to do with these revolutionary groups when time comes,” the datu accentuated.

For now, they are not bothered by the recruitment activities as consultations between government troops and Higaonons reportedly harassed by revolutionary groups are ongoing. The last talk was held at Camp Evangelista last March 26 and 27 in Patag, Cagayan de Oro City.

Somehow, a culture of deceit is evident in the use of aliases by negotiators from the MILF camp. Mohagher Iqbal, for one, refuses to disclose his real identity, saying it is “normal for them to be carrying various names and monikers.”

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. led the questioning on Iqbal’s person, but failed to squeeze out substantial information.###