Call for genuine reform at ARMM LGU Summit
President Noynoy Aquino III (PNOY) and Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) executives were met by representatives of the Free Cocoy Tulawie Movement, including Freedom from Debt Coalition, Partido ng Manggagawa, Kilusan ng Pambansang Demokrasya, Alliance of Progressive Labor, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines and the Mindanao Peoples Caucus, along the highway to Waterfront Insular hotel, while said personalities were on their way to the ARMM LGU Summit.
The rallyists are demanding for genuine reforms, and zeroed in on the following calls related to human rights closely linked with ARMM governance:
The conduct of a Congressional Inquiry on the situation of human rights in ARMM, especially in Sulu;
For PNOY to immediately revoke EO 546 that allows Local Chief Executives to arm civilians;
Declaration of an audit on the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of ARMM LGUs;
For the Ombudsman to investigate the Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) of ARMM executives;
Vehement objection of the populace towards the Visiting Forces Agreement;
Speedy and just trial of Cocoy Tulawie, a human rights defender from Sulu currently detained in Davao City
And lastly, on the issue of the right to self-determination, the group is calling for a just political settlement and signing of a peace agreement between the government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Meanwhile, at the summit venue, representatives of local civil society organizations led by Mrs. Pat Sarenas of MINCODE had an audience with PNOY himself who was accompanied by top executives, among others, DILG Secretary Jessie Robredo, MinDA Chair Lu Antonino, ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, Bureau of Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva and PNOY’s Political Adviser Ronald Llamas.
The CSO delegation presented a gift to the president, which was handed over by Mr. Dani Caspe of MPC, an album containing a copy of a speech of then Senator Ninoy Aquino delivered at the King Abdel Aziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia way back in May 12, 1981 titled “The historical background of the Moro problem in Southern Philippines.” In the said article, Ninoy outlined the root causes of the conflict in Mindanao and his proposed solutions, including the right to self determination of the Bangsamoro. The speech was presented to PNOY to remind him of what his father envisioned a long time ago. A fitting reminder for everyone who aspires for genuine reform in the ARMM.
Christine Sumugoy of MPC read the content of the Free Cocoy Tulawie Movement official statement at the meeting and submitted related documents to the president.
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