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RIWAYA: Victim of human rights violations? Bangsa Moro Task Force is here for you

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 July) — Human Rights Violations? Contact Bangsa Moro Task Force for Legal Assistance!

Just as time and again it has been proven that there is huge potential value in bridging leaders network, I learned from former SecGen Rose Trajano of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) last Monday that there exists “a Bangsa Moro Task Force, members are Moro leaders of associations and communities and trained paralegal groups” and that Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFD),  Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND), Medical Action Group (MAG) and PAHRA are assisting, while the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) and Anak Mindanaw (AMIN) are also providing assistance. The task force can give assistance to Moro victims of  human rights violations (HRV).

Ma shaa Allah! I recommended to Ms Rose that this must be known to the public and if possible for Bangsa Moro Task Force to have a Hotline 24/7 directly available to the public for direct assistance just like 911 or 8888.

Yes! We are with the government just as we are with the rest of humanity in denouncing and preventing all forms of terrorism and violent extremism but indeed it is alarming that victims of mistaken identity or wrongfully accused as Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) Muslims in the Philippines are unlawfully arrested, and detained for long years only to be proven NOT GUILTY at the end. How tragic for them to be uprooted from their families especially so you cannot bring back long lost years. Lucky for those who survived and Qadarullaahi for those who are lost and never found; likewise to those who died in detention.

Corollary to this topic, I received a report on Monday from Vandrazel Birowa of (Zamboanga Basilan Integrated Development Alliance (ZABIDA) that five Moro workers from Barangay Dita in Zamboanga City — were arrested at 10:45 p.m. on July 10, 2021 in their rented house in Upper Bicutan, Taguig City, allegedly for being members of the Abu Sayyaf. Information was given by Aradamis Galbun to Barangay Dita secretary of Zamboanga City and to Birowa who transmitted it to me via messenger.

With the intent that they be given due process of law, I immediately took possible interventions by forwarding messages to PAHRA networks, NCMF groupchats, and to Julie Alipala of Philippine Daily Inquirer based in Zamboanga City. Amy of MAG responded to coordinate with FIND and CHR; Norjanina Marohomsalic, chief of the NCMF in the National Capital Region linked me directly to Atty Rikki Sansarona; and Ms Trajano forwarded incident report to Bangsa Moro Task Force’s groupchat for appropriate action.

I learned from ZABIDA’s Birowa the names of the five who were arrested: Taupik G. Galbun, Saik G. Galbun, Muar A. Sakib, Yasser Galbun, and Radzmir Kalbi, that two of them are masons, one is a helper and the two others are security guards.

Upon verification, Aradamis Galbun, who is based in Zamboanga City, confirmed to me that among the five arrested, two are his brothers – Saik and Taupik, while Yasser is his nephew.  Aradamis said his youngest brother, Taupik, is currently missing but the four others are now detained at Taguig City Hall.  Aradamis said Sandra, wife of Saik, was the one who called him up to inform him about the arrest. He lamented that the five were suspected to be ASG members when they are construction workers who were stranded during the lockdown.

Meantime, just like Julie of PDI, I cannot contact the wife of Saik Galbun. NCMF Commissioners Samer Allong (youth sector) and Sheikh Jamal Munib (ulama sector) were informed for pertinent policy advocacy. I hope local mechanisms will be in place and that constituents as well as enforcers are significantly aware of due process of law so that they can work hand in hand in the spirit of peaceful and just collaboration to stop the cycle of wrongfully accused due to mistaken identity and unlawful arrests that rob innocent victims of their quality time, liberty and freedom with their families. After all, “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, and property without due process of law.” Moreover, justice delayed is justice denied!

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Warina Sushil A. Jukuy describes herself as a” Muslim Tausug of Lupah Sug in diaspora, displaced twice from Sulu to Davao City in 1974 and again since 2009. She thrives as a Peace Warrior using mortar and pestle, pen and ink, colors and voice, and keyboard.”)

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