Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Patikul mayor denies ID system implemented in Sulu town

By Julie Alipala

Contrary to military claims, a local experimental ID system has not been fully implemented yet here.

Mayor Khaber Hayudini said only local officials like himself, the vice mayor, councilors and the 30 village chiefs have availed of the ID system.

Hayudini said they are still going around communities to convince residents to register at the 3rd Marine Brigade headquarters in barangay (village) Liang here, or at Task Force Comet headquarters in Bus-bus village in Jolo town.

Colonel Natalio Ecarma, 3rd Marine Brigade commander, earlier said the majority of Patikul residents have availed of the system.

Major General Reuben Rafael, Task Force Comet chief, even bragged that "great majority [of residents] supports the idea and many want to have an ID."

Patikul has about 34,500 residents based on the 2000 National Census. Earlier, former Patikul mayor Esmond Suhuri told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.net) that they are against the ID system.

"Pag wala kang ID, masama kang tao. Pag meron, mabuti kang tao. Mahirap namang kilalanin ang pagkatao ng isang tao dahil lang sa isang pirasong papel [If you have no ID, you’re a bad person. But if you have one, you’re good. It’s rather difficult to judge a person’s character by a mere piece of paper]," Suhuri said.

Hayudini said the military had imposed a different system before, issuing a "safe conduct pass" that allowed residents to go to their farms.

But lawyer Jose Manuel Mamauag, director of the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) for Western Mindanao, said he was concerned over the determination of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to impose the localized ID system, which he called unlawful, in Sulu.
"It's not the role of the AFP to impose such [a] practice," he said.

"Expect more reports of forced disappearances as people who will not subscribe to such system will be considered an outlaw," he added.

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