• 22 May 2015
MANILA, May 22 --  The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have thanked the Philippine government for its willingness to support migrants and refugees from Bangladesh and Myanmar currently stranded in the Andaman Sea and the Straits of Malacca. “We welcome (Justice) Secretary de Lima’s declaration and are reassured that the right to asylum will be upheld. The Philippines has a strong humanitarian tradition of international protection in support of voiceless refugees. UNHCR is asking countries in Southeast Asia to approach this as a regional issue with real human consequences. It has been engaging governments in the region on the growing problem of irregular maritime movements," UNHCR Representative in the Philippines, Bernard Kerblat, said.During her meeting with Kerblat on Tuesday, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima proposed that the Philippines and other member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) send ships to rescue the boat people.The IOM’s Chief of Mission in the Philippines, Marco Boasso, also commended the Philippines, saying, "It is very clear that these people are in need ...Read more

Critics free to question legality of Bangsamoro draft law --  Palace

 CENTRAL  22 May 2015
MANILA, May 22 --  A Palace official on Thursday said those against the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) are free to challenge its legality before the Supreme Court. Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said all the provisions in the proposed law have been scrutinized and careful ...Read more

Fear of opt in provision as "creeping expansion" of Bangsamoro unfounded — Maguindanao rep says

 CENTRAL  22 May 2015
MANILA, May 22  – Maguindanao and Cotabato City Representative Bai Sandra Sema, one of the vice chairpersons of the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law, defended the opt-in provision retained in the proposed Basic Law of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region approved ...Read more