BARMM to give lifetime aid to ex-revolutionaries

BARMM to give lifetime aid to ex-revolutionaries

PHOTO: BARMM headquarters. STORY: BARMM to give lifetime aid to ex-revolutionaries

BARMM headquarters. (File photo from the BARMM website)

COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao del Norte, Philippines — The Bangsamoro Parliament has approved a measure to provide financial aid to men and women revolutionaries of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who are seniors or those who have disabilities.

At least 41 of the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority present during the session on Monday, approved Bill No. 44 which would establish the Office of the Bangsamoro Mujahideen Under Special Circumstance, to oversee the implementation of the program. No one abstained or opposed during the deliberation presided by Deputy Speaker Omar Yasser Sema.


Under the measure, former MILF and MNLF combatants who are senior citizens or those with permanent, partial, or total disabilities will be entitled to a minimum monthly aid of P7,000.


Sema said the measure was a way to “reciprocate” mujahideen for the sacrifices they made for the Bangsamoro.

“The measure is a legacy legislation intended to provide for the former combatants of the MILF and the MNLF from legal and available resources of the BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) government, for them to know that their leaders are doing all they could to reciprocate in any way, big or small, their sacrifices for the Bangsamoro,” said Sema.

For the first year of implementation, recipients will receive a lump sum of P84,000, followed by quarterly allowances in subsequent years.

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Funding for the initiative will come from a total of P500 million that will be appropriated and integrated into the annual budget of the Office of the Chief Minister.

The eligibility criteria outlined in the bill include mujahideen who participated for a minimum of 20 years in the struggle for the right to self-determination of the Bangsamoro people between 1969 and 2014. They must also belong to the “underprivileged” sector.


Recognition of revolutionaries

Member of Parliament Aida Silongan, chair of its committee on social services and development, said 1969 was the reckoning point as it was the start of clashes between Moro revolutionaries who tried to defend Moro-controlled lands and communities against government-backed militias, months after the MNLF was formally organized on March 18, 1968.

Also, 2014, or exactly March 27, 2014, is when the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro was signed between the government and the MILF, Silongan explained.

The approved bill, which is awaiting the signature of Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim, also covers those who have permanent and total disabilities due to injuries or diseases causing complete, irreversible, and permanent incapacity that renders a member unable to work or engage in any gainful occupation, resulting in a loss of income.

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Silongan said it was important to reciprocate the sacrifices of the mujahideen by recognizing what they have done, respecting them, and allocating necessary financial support.

TAGS: Bangasamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, MILF fighers, MNLF fighters, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moro National Liberation Front

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