Muslim rebel commanders transform into Philippine officials

Muslim women pray in Manila on Monday after a nationwide peace caravan from Mindanao to show support for the signing of a framework agreement. (File/Reuters)
Updated 22 February 2019
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Muslim rebel commanders transform into Philippine officials

  • The Philippines and Western governments and the guerrillas see Muslim autonomy as an antidote to ease nearly half a century of Muslim secessionist violence
  • About 12,000 combatants are expected to be demobilized starting this year under the peace deal

MANILA, Philippines: Some of the fiercest Muslim rebel commanders in the southern Philippines are in Manila to be sworn in as administrators of a new Muslim autonomy region in a delicate milestone to settle one of Asia’s longest-raging rebellions.
President Rodrigo Duterte will lead a ceremony Friday to name Moro Islamic Liberation Front leader Murad Embrahim and some of his top commanders as administrators of a transition government for the five-province Bangsamoro region.
About 12,000 combatants are expected to be demobilized starting this year under the peace deal.
The Philippines and Western governments and the guerrillas see Muslim autonomy as an antidote to ease nearly half a century of Muslim secessionist violence, which the Daesh group could exploit to gain a foothold.


Thousands of motorbikers protest at Philippines’ new plate regulation

Updated 5 min 30 sec ago
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Thousands of motorbikers protest at Philippines’ new plate regulation

  • Cases of murders, robberies and other crimes perpetrated by people on motorbikes have been rampant in the Philippines
  • President Rodrigo Duterte signed a measure into law this month, requiring all licensed motorbikes to display bigger front and rear plates

MANILA: More than 10,000 motorcycle riders staged a motorcade on Sunday in the main highways of the Philippine capital Manila to protest at new regulations forcing them to display bigger license plates, saying the measure would not solve the problem.
Cases of murders, robberies and other crimes perpetrated by people on motorbikes have been rampant in the Philippines, as more and more people turn to using motorbikes because the roads are so congested.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the measure into law this month, requiring all licensed motorbikes to display bigger front and rear plates to make them more visible to the authorities and any witnesses to crimes.
At present, registration plates are displayed only on the back.
Under the law, the font style of plates should be readable from a distance of 15 meters. For quick and easy identification, the plates need to be color coded for each of the country’s 17 regions.
“This is not a solution for crime because a criminal will not use his own motorcycle. This is why the riding community should fight the double plate bill,” protester Joseph De Los Reyes said.