President Emerlinda Roman, Members of the Board of Regents, Chancellor Gilda Rivero, officials of the University and of UP Mindanao, members of the Faculty, my wife Ruth, the Centennial Class of 2008, parents and relatives of the graduates, my fellow Mindanaoans - maayong buntag sa inyong tanan.
The last time I was here on these grounds was in 1995 – thirteen years ago - to visit the future site of UP Mindanao. At that time, this was all farmland. I remember this place as the nursery of various agricultural agencies of the government. Today, these are hallowed academic grounds. I now see this place as the nursery of the future leaders of Mindanao.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today on a matter of personal and collective privilege close to the hearts of both the representatives coming from Mindanao and of the women legislators of this Chamber.
Today marks the opening salvo of the RP-US "Balanced Piston" Balikatan exercises in Mindanao. At least 600 American troops have arrived in Midsayap and Tacurong towns in Cotabato and Marawi City in Lanao del Sur. The US embassy said the Balikatan will run up to March 3 and will focus on the training of Filipino troops to provide relief and assistance together, in the event of natural disasters and other crises that endanger public health and safety. They claim that the US soldiers are set to conduct a series of humanitarian missions comprising of free medical, dental and veterinary care or medical and civic action programs, otherwise known as MEDCAPS.
QUEZON CITY (MindaNews/30 January) -- Assalamo Alaikom.
I rise on a question of personal and collective privilege. Back home, Mr. Speaker, my constituents are asking whatever happens to the on-going peace negotiation between the GRP and the MILF. This question is being asked and begs to be answered because the massing of troops by both the AFP and the MILF Mujahideen, particularly Commander Bravo of Lanao del Norte, is taking place the past several days. The ordinary Maranao is getting apprehensive because this military maneuver points to a preparation for war and is creating unnecessary tension among my people who are tired of war.
QUEZON CITY (MindaNews/19 November) -- Assalamu alaikum Warahmatullahi taala wabarakatuhu…
Just a few hours ago, I presented myself for investigation at the CIDG, at Camp Crame. Responding to the questions, I cannot help but re-live the events of that day, especially the few minutes before the explosion. I clearly recall being in this session hall, nagbibiruan at nag-aayaan ng mga kaibigang Congressman para mag hapunan sa labas.
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/13 November) -- Now that the latest icon of the country’s searing penury and misery is laid to rest, we are once again reminded of the aphorism “because the children can’t wait.”
Indeed, children victims of neglect could not wait. They have the right to decent homes, to education and to protection. And yet, because of the continuing inequity, social inequality, and oppression of our people, children bear the brunt.