[Petition] Concerned Agencies: Support the IDP’s return home and rehabilitation -Change.org

Concerned Agencies: Support the IDP’s return home and rehabilitation
Petition by
Al Bahra
Zamboanga City, Philippines

IDPs Zamboanga

Screen grab of change.org petition


WHEREAS, there are more than 100,000 people from at least 7 dominantly Musim barangays of Zamboanga City who were involuntarily displaced and are still languishing in different evacuation up to now with no certain end in sight under unsuitable conditions as a result of the armed conflict between the MNLF and the government forces that lasted more than 20 days.

WHEREAS, the UN Guiding Principles on the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s), Geneva Convention IV Art. 49 and 147, the International Humanitarian Law, Rules 129 and 132, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights, provide for the right of the IDP’s to voluntarily return to their homes or places of origin immediately after the cessation of the causes of their involuntarily displacement; and said laws further enjoin the states to respect these rights of the IDP’s in their respective territorial jurisdictions.

WHEREAS, Art. 2 of the Constitution provides that the Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land, thus all the aforementioned international legal instruments are ipso facto incorporated into the Philippines laws;

WHEREAS, in the RIO-HONDO—MARIKI areas, there are two (2) parcels of the land, declared as settlement sites for the Muslims by virtue of Proclamation No. 472 issued on October 11, 1965 by Pres. Macapagal and Proclamation No. 1458 issued on July 7, 1975 by Pres. Marcos respectively; the first site containing an area of 5.7 hectares and the second consisting of 23.5 hectares or a total areas of 29.2 hectares; these areas were reserved by the Philippine Government for the exclusive use and benefit of the Muslim Filipino Communities therein which by law and jurisdiction are supposedly under the administration of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos which inherited if from the defunct Office on Muslim of Affairs, which in turn was passed on to it from the defunct Sothern Philippines Development Administration and which also originally devolved from the defunct Commissions on National Integration.

WHEREAS, a person’s domicile or place of habitual residence and origin, which is close to his place of work or source of livelihood, conducive to his culture, tradition and religion, is where his heart belongs, his comfort zone, to which he would always wish to return, no matter how humble his abode maybe, but for him it is his palatial kingdom which he calls his only “HOME”;

WHEREAS, the right of the people to determine what is best for them must be accorded utmost respect and any decision or response mechanism to be made by the powers that be on the plight of the IDP’s must be a result of a thorough and honest consultation of the concerned IDP’s themselves.

WHEREFORE, after a series of multi-sectoral consultations with the principal involvement of the concerned IDP’s of Zamboanga City, it is resolved, as it is hereby resolved by the DARUL IFTA’ of Region 9 and Palawan (Supreme Council of Muslim Ulama or clerics), by the internationally Displaced Persons of Zamboanga City, concerned Barangay and local government officials, the civil societies, and the Muslim residents of Zamboanga City, that the Office of the President and the Crisis Management Committee of Zamboanga City be informed of the unanimous decision of the concerned IDP’s of Zamboanga City, outof their free will and volition, which they deem to be in their best interest, to RETURN HOME to their respective barangays as soon as possible in order to rebuild their shelters with a corresponding plea to the government to facilitate their voluntary return without any further delay upon cessation of the causes of their forced displacement AND at the same time, to call on any kind-hearted, philanthropic individual, group or agency, local or foreign, to lend humanitarian assistance in the rehabilitation and development of the affected areas. It is further resolved to furnish copies of this resolution to the Office of the President, the two Houses of Congress, the Crisis Management Committee of Zamboanga City, the City Council of Zamboanga City, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation , the UN-Commission on Human Rights and the UN High Comission on Refugees , Amnesty International, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, International Committee of Red Cross and the Commission on Human Rights and other concerned agencies and organizations.

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