President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Republic Act 9997 on February 18, 2010, creating the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) and abolishing the Office on Muslim Affairs (OMA) which took effect on March 6, 2010. Republic Act 9997 (or the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Act of2009) was approved last Feb 18, 2010 in the House of Congress, House of Senate and then the Office of the President.
This RA 9997 pertains to the creation of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) which then abolishes the name of Office on Muslim Affairs (OMA) and will take over its powers, functions, responsibilities and appropriating funds. It replaced the 23-year-old Office on Muslim Affairs (OMA).
On Section 2 – Declaration of Policy:
It is henceforth the policy of the State to ensure the rights and well-being of Muslim Filipinos with due regard to their behefs, customs, traditons and institutions, as well as to further ensure their contribution to national goals and aspirations and to make them active participants in nation-building.
NCMF coverage shall be both local and national affairs involving Muslim Filipinos that include the implementation of economic, educational, cultural, and infrastructure programs for Muslim Filipino communities.
The Mandate of the Commission is to preserve and develop the culture, tradition, institutions, and well-being of Muslim Filipinos, in conformity with the country’s laws and in consonance with national unity and development.
Composition of the Commission
The Commission shall be composed of nine (9) full-time members who are Muslim Filipinos and shall be headed by a Secretary: Provided, That one (1) of the Commissioners shall come from the women sector, one (1) from the youth sector and another Commissioner shall come from the Ulama sector: Provided, further, That not more than two (2) Commissioners shall come from the same Muslim Filipino tribe at any given time, to ensure a more equitable representation in the Commission. The President shall appoint the regular members of the Commission. The Commissioners shall be academic degree holders and must speak and write fluently the Enghsh and/or Arabic languages. They shall be individuals who possess the highest degree of integrity and have the endorsement of their respective tribes or sectors.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed Secretary Bai Omeira Dimakuta Dianalan Lucman – a Moro woman leader as secretary or head of office of the newly created National Commission for Muslim Filipinos (NCMF). Sec. Lucman, is a former undersecretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and also served for five years at the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA). She is married to former Ambassador Dr. Alibasher Lucman.
Also appointed as commissioners by the President are Alladin I. Ampatuan (Maguindanao), Solaiman C. Mutia (Lanao del Norte), Hatimil E. Hassan (Basilan), and Raida B. Maglangit (women sector), former mayor of Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur.
Four others are Mufti Jaafar (Tawi-Tawi), Prof. Moner M. Bajunaid (Maguindanao), Atty. Edilwasif T. Baddiri (Sulu, youth sector), and Aleem Sharief Julasiri Abirin (Sulu, ulama sector).
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) branded the creation of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) as nothing but counter-insurgency measure to liquidate the current struggle of the Bangsamoro people for right to self-determination (RSD).
“We have never been Filipinos in our entire life; only those subjects of Spain can rightly assume ‘Filipino” as their nationality,” Muhammad Ameen, chair of the MILF Secretariat, told www.luwaran.com.
He said this showed the government is not really focused and serious in the ongoing GRP-MILF Peace Talks.
“This is imposition, he said, citing a provision of the Tripoli Agreement on Peace on June 22, 2001, to wit: “The negotiation and peaceful resolution of the conflict must involve consultations with the Bangsamoro people free of any imposition in order to provide chances of success and open new formulas that permanently respond to the aspirations of the Bangsamoro people for freedom.”
However, Ameen took exception to the good intention of the legislators who sponsored the bill and all those who supported it.