By Ellson Quismorio
House Deputy Speaker and Basilan lone district Rep. Mujiv Hataman has condemned the bombing of the Isulan public market in Sultan Kudarat on Saturday morning, wherein at least seven people were hurt.
“I condemn this act of terrorism in Sultan Kudarat. Marami ang gustong hilahin pababa ang ating mga ganansya na pangkapayapaan (There are many who want to defeat the gains we’ve made toward peace),” Hataman said.
The incident was the second bombing in the province this year, with the other occurring in April in front of a chicken barbecue stall.
Despite this, Hataman, a former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor, expressed confidence that this type of extremism can still be solved through the cooperation of the people and the leadership of the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, (BARMM) region.
As a concrete move, the Deputy Speaker appealed to his lawmaker-colleagues, as well as the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), to facilitate the infusion of some P338.3 million into the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) to fund vital programs aimed at preventing violent extremism.
“The NCMF was established in 2010 to look after the welfare of Muslim communities throughout the country. Pero marami itong mahalagang programa na hindi napondohan ngayong taon. Nananawagan ako sa aking mga kasama sa Kongreso na tulungan natin ang komisyon na gampanan ang kanyang mandate,” Hataman said.
(It has a lot of important programs that weren’t funded this year. I appeal to my colleagues in Congress to help the commission fulfill its mandate.)
The House of Representatives, which possesses the power of the purse, is currently scrutinizing the proposed P4.1-trillion budget for the year 2020.
The NCMF, through a letter sent to the House leader signed by Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan, said it had five programs in need of funding, first and foremost of which is the Project on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE), which should have an allocation of P192 million.