Don Loong discussed and tackled 6 major issues in his presentation discussed during the Young Moro Professionals Network roundtable in Zamboanga City and dozens of other dialogues among Young Moros and other stakeholders national and local. AIM Bridging leadership concepts such as multi-stakeholder approach, systems thinking, force field analysis was used to see the relationships among the major issues.
Recently, one of the active young moro leaders, Hon Mujiv Hataman (AMIN Partylist) guested on the early morning talk show of Joel Villanueva ADYENDA. From what Ive heard from his inputs, Ive seen that he has clearly eluciddated the following points:
1. There is clear absence of Governance in many LGU’s in ARMM areas specifically in the areas of ZAMBASULTA where these kidnappings take place (with notable exceptions of course), and since governance and the LGU executives could not resonate within the local populace, there is no actual process of peace and order. Imagine a PO1 relative of a mayor becomes chief of Police and the Municipal town hall unoccupied for six months inhabited by Goats.
2. There is a clear need for governance not only to be felt but for the communities to be actively participative, therefore to make sure that peace and Order becomes also a concern for them.
There were also other concerns raised by Cong Hataman, too many to be mentioned here. But what is worth saying is that we have a need to have more of his kind, selfless political leaders who continually strive for the betterment of their constituents. being a leader who rose from the ranks, Mujiv knows what he is saying and what changes are needed to be made. we do hope that Mujiv eventually is able to make the people in the national government realize that they should listen to his policy reccomendations or lose investor confidence.
Singapore – Debates over freedom of expression have been at the centre of Indonesia’s decade-old democratic journey. Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, similar issues feature prominently in ongoing political upheavals. These debates have been mainly domestic in scope, which is not surprising since all politics is ultimately local. Yet, there is something to be gained from keeping track of global developments in the area of freedom of expression.
Recently, we had the opportunity to be part of an international conversation on this topic. In September 2007, we were the rapporteurs for an informal seminar on freedom of expression organised by the Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF) in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
One of the key conclusions from that seminar was the bankruptcy of the notion of an Asian-Western divide over the principle of freedom of expression. Instead, there are many key ideas that cut across national boundaries.
It is clear that freedom of expression is not only an individual right but also an essential ingredient for societal progress. It is vital for development. The new global economic competition requires education systems that nurture open and creative minds – inconceivable without freedom of opinion and expression. It is also indispensable for democracy.
Governments cannot be truly accountable to the people without the scrutiny of independent media.
No freedom is absolute. It is legitimate to require that the individual’s freedom of expression be exercised in ways that take into account the rights of other individuals as well as public interest. People have a right to protect their private lives and their reputations, and no one has the right to incite hatred or violence. International standards allow restrictions on speech to uphold public order, public morality and national security.
However, such restrictions are frequently misused by governments to suppress legitimate speech and protest. Around the world, journalists, bloggers, artists and others continue to be victimised for their work. Any restriction on expression should pass three tests. It should be based on law rather than arbitrary action. It should serve aims that are recognised internationally as legitimate – which do not include the need to protect the position of those in power, and any interference with freedom of expression must be necessary and proportionate, unlike the all too common tendency of authorities to engage in overkill.
There is a global trend to combat governmental secrecy by guaranteeing access by citizens to official information. More and more countries in Asia, as elsewhere, are instituting freedom of information laws.
The “right to know” supports transparency and good governance, and counters official corruption. Such laws have been introduced recently in Bangladesh and Indonesia. Even Britain, from which some countries’ secrecy laws came, has embraced the principle of open and transparent government.
There is also growing awareness of the limitations of the free market and the profit motive in providing the amount and quality of information and ideas that society needs. The dominance of media corporations needs to be balanced with government policies in support of media diversity, including independent public service media and alternative grassroots media.
Finally, there is recognition that freedom of expression does not mean removing the state from the equation. Quite the contrary: the state is needed to uphold the rule of law. In many parts of the world, including here in Asia, government censorship is not the only or even the most serious threat to media workers and artists. Unpopular but legitimate speech is routinely attacked by non-government interests – including angry mobs – that go beyond vigorous complaint and use violent means to silence those with whom they disagree.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights – 60 years old last December – proclaims the principle that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
It is time to put that ideal into practice. While it is far from being realised, there is today a deeper understanding of its importance and of how this human right can be secured for all. There is no single formula, but our interactions across the region convince us that people everywhere believe passionately in their right to speak their mind.
* Kevin Boyle is a professor of law at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom. Cherian George is an assistant professor at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication of Information at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. This article is distributed by the Common Ground News Service (CGNews).
Source: Jakarta Post, 7 January 2009, www.thejakartapost.com
Copyright permission is granted for publication.
It has been a strong argument today that Moro intellectuals must actively participate in the formation of the Moro nation state, its activities as well as moving for its establishment. Meaning,Moro intellectuals must consolidate efforts for the betterment of the Moro people.
It is a comforting thought as well as agitating, however, one may seem to be at loss if one may want to define what is good for the Moro people? Many situations appear that Moro figures appear to be “doing good” but obviously not for the Moro people but for their own people.
Facing a dilemna today due to events that we have thought has been solved long ago, but recurring in cycles we may need to find answers to these recurrences.
One may recall that the government has several times “decimated” the doyen of terrorism in the homeland, the dreaded “Abu Sayyaf” after having nipped all its leaders, henchmen and ringl leaders. But recent media exposures on events says otherwise. It appears they are alive and kicking.
We say that we are proud to be Muslims after 300 years of Spanish oppression, and yet, we have not even have a single collective identity as a Moro people. Others may disagree with me, but if you are around taking a stroll in the city, “to speak Muslim” means to speak ones particular dialect (like there has to be an officially Muslim dialect acceptable. I speak chavacano with my Moro cousins and Convert cousins and feel no loss about it.)
At the grassroots level, there is no single joining politicization of a Moro identity. Muslim yes, bangsa moro… I disagree.
You may ask anyone from the street if he identifies himself as a Moro, he will always first define himself by his bangsa ( tribe) rather than as a Moro.
We do not have a singular unifying language. One that has the pecularities of unification, thus no national language. For the people of Zamboanga,Basilan, Sulu and Palawan…. Tausug appears to be the lingua franca of the Moros there. But if you go to Marawi and Cotabato, there are mixed signals, Maranao may be an influential language, but the Maguindanao dialect is spoken by the most populous group. And you would see mixed reactions from the Moro tribal minority groups in Northern and southern Mindanao on adopting either language as a Lingua Franca owing to the peculiarities of their own dialects.
A lot of Moro intellectuals have done good in their own personal, professional and institutional roles, but there appears not clear-cut vision of what they should do.
The homeland continues to be in utter disarray. There is a need for these intellectuals to band together irregardless of tribal orientation and biases.
Its a standing challenge, the Moro intellectual must define his role and vision for his people or his people will not have a future in the end.
I was recently invited by Elcid Pangilinan,( special asst to SEC Jess lapuz at DEPED) to a discussion on e-learning. indeed when I saw everybody around, i felt like what am I doing here?
Seeing people from the three levels of education (primary, secondary and tertiary), as well as other stakeholders in the education sector, I was wondering why did i ever think of going there?
However, I remembered, I was a Moro educator based in Manila. It was my duty not only as a teacher to learn new trends in E-Learning, but also as a Moro I must be able to use this experience to enhance the Moro inteligensia in the field of E-learning.
What was ironic was that when the guest speaker was about to talk, he suddenly changed his mind.
He let everybody talk and enumerate the problems faced in e-learning and then he let the other participants explain their individual experiences in solving problems in e-learning.
Cool. The British council spends money to fly in a specialist based in Catalonia Spain to facilitate academics and indutry practitioners on how to solve problems in e-learning. That was the lesson I learned for the round tables discussion in SEAMEO.
Here’s the profile of our facilitator and the supposed program that ended in what we all thought was a contrast to educators.
Gavin Dudeney – Gavin has worked in education since 1988, as a teacher, materials developer, IT manager and web/user interface designer. His blend of pedagogical and technical skills has taken him around the world. Gavin has published ‘The Internet and the Language Classroom’
Additional info taken from his website
Until the end of 2003 he held two posts: the first as Head of the New Technologies Department at International House Barcelona , and the second as Lead Developer for the online training centre Net Languages . In 2003 he left to set up the Consultants-E and has worked as the Project Director since then. His work involves project planning and delivery, as well as the EduNation presence in Second Life.
Apart from his work with the Consultants-E, he is the web manager for a wide range of educational organisations and is a past Cooordinator of the IATEFL Learning Teachnologies Special Interest Group, as well as editor of its newsletter - The CALL Journal. His other work for IATEFL includes the management of the Associates website and discussion form (PAL). In 2007 he was elected Honorary Secretary.
Gavin has published ‘The Internet and the Language Classroom’ (Cambridge University Press 2000, Second Edition 2007) and – with Nicky Hockly – ‘How to Teach English with Technology’ (Longman, 2007). He is also the author of numerous print and online articles
The program for the roundtable is as follows:
Dr. Erlinda Pefianco
|Introduction of the Speaker
Special Assistant to the Secretary
Department of Education
|Presentation by Gavin Dudeney|
|Q&A to be facilitated by Elcid Pangilinan|