Atty Michael Mastura and President Duterte

TURNING OVER. Atty. Michael O. Mastura, President and TWG Chairman of the All Moro Convention (AMC), finally turns over the draft of the proposed Bangsamoro State Constitution to President Rodrigo Duterte, during the Eid’l Fitr celebration last Saturday at SMX Convention, Davao City. (MinDA)


DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte received a draft of the proposed Bangsamoro State Constitution (BSC) from the President of the All Moro Convention (AMC), Atty. Datu Michael O. Mastura, during the Eid’l Fitr celebration last Saturday held at SMX Convention, Davao City.

The BSC is anchored on all the agreements signed between the Philippine Government and the two Moro Fronts. BSC was crafted by the Technical Working Group of the AMC chaired by its principal author and president, Atty. Datu Michael O. Mastura -1971 Constitutional Convention delegate, former Congressman, Senior Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Member to the GPH-MILF Peace Negotiating Panel in all of its 17 years of peace negotiations, responsible for the codification of Muslim Personal Laws in the country, author/sponsor of the law of Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines among other pertinent laws of the Land benefitting Muslims, and a descendant of Sultan Muhammad Depertuan Qudratullah aka Sultan Kudarat; Ambassador Akmad Sacam- AMC’s 1st President-Pro Tempore, former Philippine ambassador to Iraq, Bahrain, Sultanate State of Oman, and now newly confirmed by the Joint Commission on Appointments of the Philippine Congress as Ambassador to Jordan with concurrent jurisdiction of Palestine, member of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) from 2013-2016, and a lawyer; Datu Robert M. Alonto- a scholar, writer, political scientist, former Head of the Moro National Liberation Front- Northern Mindanao Revolutionary Command(MNLF-NMRC)Political/Propaganda Committee, member of the MILF Central Committee, MILF peace panel member in all the 17 years GPH-MILF peace negotiations, and former BTC Vice-Chairman (2013-2016); Judge Mylene Amerol-Macumbal- AMC’s 2nd President Pro-Tempore, first Moro Lady Philippine Bar topnotcher of 2007, former associate lawyer of the Angara Abello Concepcion Regala and Cruz (ACCRA) Law Office, former court attorney of the Court of Appeals-Mindanao Station, professional lecturer at the College of Law of Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, currently the presiding judge of the 6th Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Tubod-Baroy-Magsaysay of Lanao del Norte of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA); Maharlika Alonto- CPA, Philippine’s foremost authority on Islamic banking and finance, graduate at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, and the University of the Philippines; Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo- currently the UN Senior Advisor on Political Transitions, former Executive Secretary in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), consultant and resource person for the Philippine government as well as NGOs and INGOs; Atty. Hanan Romanda-Kahalan- CPA, practicing corporate lawyer, daughter of Aleem Abdulrahman Romanda, who was with the pioneering leaders of the Moro Malay Muslim Movement in Cairo, Egypt and member of the MNLF Central Committee; Amilpasa T. Bandaying - member of the Original MNLF 90, member of the MNLF Central Committee, former Regional Assemblyman of the Autonomous Government of Region (RAG) IX, former Speaker Pro Tempore of RAG IX, member of the Commission on the Regional Consultative Commission (RCC) and former director for Region IX of the Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA) now National Commission on the Muslim Filipinos (NCMF); Atty. Ishak Mastura - now on his 3rd stint as the Chairman and Managing Head of the Regional Board of Investment of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (RBOI-ARMM), former Executive Secretary and longest serving Regional Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry of the ARMM (2002-2008), a graduate of Ateneo de Manila for both his degree in Management and his Juris Doctor; Datu Ismail Mastura, a former Vice-Governor of Maguindanao and academician; Atty. Mary Ann Arnado - a law practitioner and a consultant to local as well as international peace advocate groups, and staunch advocate of federalism and the rights of the Indigenous People (IP); Atty. Abdul Ghaffur Madki Howard Alonto II- AMC’s Floor Leader, prosecutor of the Department of Justice in the City of Iligan, professional lecturer for the College of Law of Mindanao State University in Marawi City and MSU- Iligan Institute of Technology, a fellow of the Mindanao Bridging Leaders Program of the Asian Institute of Management, and a Commerce graduate of De La Salle University; Atty. Nazir Ynawat – AMC’s Floor Leader, a former assemblyman of the 2nd District of Sulu to the ARMM- Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA), professor of Constitutional Law, practicing lawyer and descendant of Hadji Kamlon; Edgar Bullecer – CEO and Managing Trustee of Paglas Group International, expert on banana plantations, expert on bringing in foreign investments, and CPA; Salioban Blah, one of the longest serving state auditor of the Commission on Audit (1978-2013); Bai Norhata Alonto – AMC’s Head of the Secretariat, scholar, motivational speaker, advocate of the Bangsamoro Cause as well as federalism along with Women’s Rights, Regional Governor of the National Council of Women in the Philippines (NCWP), former President Assistant on Muslim Affairs and former Commissioner of the Presidential Commission on Urban Poor; Dr. Amor Pendaliday, ARMM-CHED Commissioner; and Ruhollah Al-Husseini J. Alonto, AMC’s Technical Supervisor, historian and a writer.

In his opening message, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Datu Hj. Abul Khayr D. Alonto emphasized that the crafting of BSC took a long stride before it can be handed over to the President.

Prior to the submission of the draft, the AMC core group members convened last June 02, 2018 to sign the draft of Bangsamoro State Constitution.

“It took a year to formulate, discuss, research, study and bring some consensus among a broad coalition of Moro professionals and experts from different ethnic groups, including Christian residents in the Bangsamoro,” Alonto said.

The BSC is a consolidation of inputs of other sectors in the Bangsamoro that will advance their quest to resolve the deeply-rooted historical injustices. It is not, in any way, contradictory to the Mindanao Peace Process. In fact, it is an all-inclusive convergence of platform in bringing all the Revolutionary Fronts and the Bangsamoro to the national discourse on Federalism and a bold move to once and for all, with the first Moro President, Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte spearheading, to put a closure to the Mindanao War with the immediate systemic shift to the federal parliamentary form of government.

MinDA, by virtue of RA 9996, is mandated to provide strategic direction for Mindanao that is parallel with the national government’s initiatives on peace and development for the island.

Under the leadership of Alonto, its first Muslim Chair, MinDA takes federalism as the main policy advocacy of the agency under President Duterte’s Administration. In Secretary Alonto’s words: “Federalism is the very soul of the Duterte Administration”.

“The time for federalism has come to our country. We have to move away from the style of unitary form of government, which has been in existence and set-up by the Spaniards. For a time, it was good because we were still developing as a nation back then, but it did not mind the struggles of the Moros and (the) Christians” Duterte said before his Muslim brothers and sisters, few of the members of his Cabinet, the Diplomatic Community, Leaders from both the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippine Congress, Leaders from the military establishment as referred to by Secretary Alonto in his welcome address as, “the patriotic officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines headed by the Chief of Staff, General Galvez and in the presence of Secretary of National Defense Lorenzana, the companion of President Duterte in the liberation of Marawi City.”, and other government, religious and civil society leaders, as he graced the end of Holy month of Ramadhan.

In order to operationalize the vision of the President, MinDA created the AMC, as an inclusive platform that will enable various sectors in the Bangsamoro to come up with proposed solutions and ensure its participation in the national discourse of federalism, while they exercise self-determination and meaningful autonomy.

Now that the draft has been submitted to the President for his consideration, and MinDA has scheduled series of simultaneous public consultations and roadshows in the coming months in various regions that will include the IP communities.

In time, a similar draft of the State Constitutions for the State of South Central Mindanao, the State of Northern Mindanao, the State of Western Mindanao, and the State of Palawan will (also) be submitted. Within those State Constitutions, the concerns and participation of the IP communities will be properly addressed with equity, fairness, and justice.

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(First day of Shawal 1439 H. corresponding to 15 June 2018)

This Blessed noble day of the EID, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), in the Spirit of “Unity in Diversity, stands with the Twenty Five (25) Provincial Governors Spearheaded by the Good Governor Jose Chavez Alvarez of Palawan and with the Mindanao Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives of the Philippine Congress chaired by the Good Congressman Maximo B. Rodriguez for their manifested support to President Rodrigo Roa Dutertes Platform of Government for the Philippinesimmediate systematic shift to the Federal Parliamentary Form of Government.

In the same vein, MinDA is in Solidarity with the Bangsamoro, in support of the ALL MORO CONVENTION and the ARMM LIGA NG MGA BARANGAY, in their call for the Philippine Congress to Empower President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to convene a CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION with the AUTHORITY to APPOINT the DELEGATES to the Said CONVENTION.

The Holy Quran says (S2:v185) that: the month of Ramadhan is that in which the Quran is revealedso whoever sights the new moon of the month, let him fastALLAH SWT intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship, and wants you to complete the period, and to GLORIFY ALLAH, for that which HE has guided you, and perhaps you will be Grateful. The Eid Celebration is part of the Glorification of ALLAH upon the completion of Ramadhan.

Our Eid Greeting is coupled with our prayer that ALLAH SWT preserve our beloved Brother President, Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in excellent health, strength and the best of wisdom, and the Filipino Nation and the Bangsamoro in solidarity, unity and prosperity.

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

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EDITABLETalkingHeads Long
My fellow workers in the government, ladies and gentlemen…

Thank you for inviting the Mindanao Development Authority to this momentous occasion for the Southern Philippines Development Authority.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate and commend former Congressman, ABDULGHANI “GERRY” A. SALAPUDDIN on his appointment as the news Administrator and CEO of SPDA.

But even before his role now with SPDA, he has played important part in the overall pursuit of socio-economic development in Mindanao, with service and dedication to securing a better quality of life for our Moro brothers and sisters.

You see, MinDA and SPDA mandates are closely related and are truly complementary. Both offices were created based on the same vision of the government which is to foster socioeconomic growth in Mindanao.

As the first Bangsamoro Chairman of the MinDA, I am more than determined to strengthen this partnership and to even bank on this relatedness between our agencies to ensure that we are able to effectively undertake big-ticket priority investments including the Trans Mindanao High Speed Railway project, and various catalytic enterprises under the Mindanao Development Corridor strategy.

These are projects that are envisioned to have inter-regional impact, and are certain to reach beyond the urban centers. We will ensure that development is spread out to developing areas through connectivity infrastructure, intensive investments facilitation, and by establishing policies and institutions conducive to growth.

However, big ticket projects such as these will not be possible without the cooperation of every implementing government agency and even that of the local governments. This is why what remains crucial in our vision and plans for Mindanao-wide development is a strong constituency that will rally behind our common aspirations.

Sadly, over the last decade, Mindanao has been receiving on the average 11.45% of the total budget of the country. This is less than Mindanao’s contribution to the economy, which stands at 15.29%. It is even lesser than its share to the country’s total land area of 25%. That is the irony of Mindanao.

We are the source of food and industrial raw materials and yet, we continue to suffer from the most basic of problems. This is why we need this constituency now more than ever, to make our voices louder and the message clearer: to give Mindanao our fair share of budget.

I trust that MinDA and SPDA under the leadership now of Brother GERRY SALAPUDDIN can be strong allies of the Mindanawons, of the Bangsamoro people of bringing forth our vision of progressive and peaceful Mindanao.

Imagine what more the island-region can achieve if we are able to lift the conflict areas up, if we are able to address once and for all the lingering challenges of poverty and peace in Mindanao. As I always say, war will no longer be an option for Mindanao. We will deliver peace through development, through increased economic activities, and through uplifted quality of lives.

Thank you and more power!
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AMC LogoYou may now download a copy of the draft/proposed Bangsamoro State Constitution, submitted to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte last June 16. 

*This forms part of the efforts to do other proposed series of consultations and workshops on federalism advocacy that MinDA is set to undertake, covering other sectors such as the Indigenous Peoples, business and local leaders.

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The Mindanao Development Authority and the World Bank are set to launch the Philippines Mindanao Jobs Report on Friday. The report lays down the strategies for Mindanao Regional Development with the end goal of generating more jobs in the island-region. 

This culminates the series of consultation and validation rounds conducted by World Bank and MinDA, in partnership with the  Philippine Business for Social Progress since 2015 among different sectors including government, business, labor, academe, civil society groups, and farmer associations.

The report outlines a number of recommendations which reform coalitions can consider to put Mindanao on a path of inclusive growth and address the jobs challenge.

“This tells a new Mindanao story through the lens of jobs generation, which makes it as a living document of the ways forward to unlock the Mindanao’s potentials through raising farm productivity, improving logistics and connectivity, and developing key ports and other gateways,” said MinDA Undersecretary Janet Lopoz.

Majority of the strategies identified in the report are also being carried out by MinDA through its flagship programs including the Mindanao Development Corridors, and the establishment of Mindanao Agri-Economic Ecozones and the Tawi-tawi Freeport Zone.

“We believe that the MJR findings could strongly boost our argument and proposition why Mindanao needs to be given a higher and equitable budget that it rightfully deserves,” added Lopoz.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno is slated to cap the launching with updates on national government’s programs for financing Mindanao’s growth and development. It will likewise include a signing of Memorandum of Understanding between MinDA and PBSP signifying its renewed and strengthened partnership for pursuing inclusive business in Mindanao.

According to Lopoz, the MJR was first conceptualized after MinDA forged a partnership with the PBSP for the Mindanao Inclusive Agribusiness Framework.

“As part of inclusive business strategy, we proposed a partnership with World Bank for the conduct of the MJR Study that will assess job-generation factors in the island-region and recommend strategic actions to create more and better jobs for Mindanawons,” Lopoz said.

MinDA, PBSP, Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO Networks (MinCODE), and the Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan Bank – Knowledge for Development Community (XU-KDC) served as the project team for the report.

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