Suara Bangsamoro to seek UN rapporteur intervention for Philipppine lawmaker’s anti-Muslim speech

Aug. 11, 2008

Cotabato City-A Mindanao-based Moro group lambasted Makati representative Teodoro Locsin’s privilege speech about the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity made at the House of Representative last August 5. The group said they will submit a complaint against Locsin at the office of Dodou Diene, United Nation’s special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

“Locsin’s privilege speech reeks of anti-Muslim hysteria. It’s very irresponsible for a statesman to attack religion and culture on the basis of hearsay and very dangerous for it foments religious bias,” said Amirah ali Lidasan, national president of Suara Bangsamoro.

Lidasan further said that if the issue is about the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) panel’s manner of concealing information vital to the understanding of the people about the GRP-Moro Islamic Liberation Front talks, Locsin should have questioned the government and not divert the issue on the type of Muslim governance that he fears.

“A government that does not reflect the wishes of its people is a bad one. We do not have pit to one religion with the other just so we could cover the sins of our present government,” said Lidasan.

Lidasan pointed out that on the issue of the memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain, the government panel should be blamed for not informing the people about the negotiation.

Lidasan challenged Locsin that instead of painting a scary picture for the people in Mindanao under a Muslim government, he should look closely at the current situation of the Moro people under the Philippine government.

Lidasan said that under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration, activists in Mindanao are being summarily executed, mostly Christians, while hundreds of Lumads and Moros have died due to military operations using mortars and bombs.

“Under the Arroyo administration, our communities are being pulled back in the dark ages. We are stripped of our civil and political rights and were made fall guys for anti-terror policies,” said Lidasan.

“The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) remains one of the poorest region, the highest in illiteracy rate and with the people barely surviving because of the high prices of basic commodities,” said Lidasan, adding that employees and teachers in the ARMM complain of delayed salaries, while wages of workers barely reach the minimum wage.

Lidasan calls on other organizations, Muslims and Christians, to submit the same complaint at the UN in the hopes that Diene will be able to issue a statement criticizing lawmakers and government officials issuing bias statements against the Moro people and Muslims in general.#

for reference: Amirah Ali Lidasan

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