Pro Bono in Diliman Way vs. Manong Johnny JP Enrile

Batanes to Tawi-Tawi

With Julmunir I. Jannaral

The Philippine Muslim Today is very lucky to have tapped known national personalities as Contributing Columnists on a pro bono basis as what our mainstay Columnists have done from Day 1 right from the launching of the Maiden Issue, Vol.1, No. 1, in June 19-24, 2020 (Shawwal 27-Dhu’l-Qi-dah 4, 1441).

Hence, as Managing Editor, I tried to source out more columns or commentaries from different writers in the country.

In a nutshell, I am referring to additional Columnists like the former Misamis Oriental Governor Atty. Bono Adaza with his DILIMAN WAY with HOMOBONO ADAZA. He was also the former Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID).

True to his name Bono, he writes for the Philippine Muslim Today also pro bono. In fact he returned my call and gladly informed me of his acceptance to write for us.

Another pro bono Columnist is former Secretary of National Defense and former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile who will have his JP Enrile Commentary appear here at Philippine Muslim Today on occasional basis.

On the 9th of August 2020, I tried to reach Manong Johnny that I usually call him. I relayed to him the invitation to write for the Philippine Muslim Today but he said he cannot write weekly when I told him our Digi-newspaper is published Online every Friday.

Nevertheless, he gave me the green light, “Go ahead.” (That is he can write but not on a weekly basis).

He added: “Thank you, Julmunir. I would like to but I couldn’t. (That is to write weekly) My vision is no longer very good. I get tired very easily. Besides, I want to leisurely use my time without being held to a schedule.”

JPE is already a Senior among Senior Citizens since his age is already in the 90s. Hence, for the first salvo of his JP Enrile Commentary, he is writing on “THE FUGA ISLAND GROUP AND OUR NATIONAL SECURITY.”

In a nutshell, as we are now on the 9th Digital Edition, Editor-in-Chief Dean Masiding Noor Yahya and myself as the Managing Editor would like to salute also and be thankful to our known mainstay Columnists who tackle very important and varied issues under the Sun.

That is if you want to know more about law and Islam then read the Ijtihad Column of former Secretary of National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Atty. Mehol K. Sadain; update on the Muslims of Metro Manila then the column of former Ambassador Atty. Mac Lanto is a ‘must read’.

On the other hand, if you want to have additional health information then read the “My two-cents Rx” Column of Dr. Benj. Bangahan, who is a member of our Board of Editors, who used to be a medical practitioner and former member of the faculty of the College of Medicine of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) along Espana, Manila; Dr. Abdul Hannan M. Tago’s column is another ‘must read’ that tackles Islamic point of view; and Ali G. Macabalang, a veteran journalist who used to write with the Philippine Daily Inquirer before transferring to Manila Bulletin, and now a blogger with his Suara Moro. But here at the Philippine Muslim Today he continues to punch with his long time Punchline column.

We have also our Section Editors where also from Day 1 of the Maiden Issue until this 9th Digital Edition have tirelessly continue to write.

Again, the Editor-in-Chief and myself as the Managing Editor salute also and express our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Filemon Guerzon Romero, Ph.D. for maintaining the Environment and Conservation Section; as well as Dr. Johnny Rabulan Lee, Ph.D., one of our Board of Editors who handles our Tourism and Photography Section.

Another Muslim professional offering his Free Services to the Ummah is Revenue District Officer Amanoding D. Esmael, a Certified Public Accountant and an MPA graduate. He is also the President of Philippine Association of Islamic Accountants. At present he has Series of Questions and Answers on Islamic Finance like questions pertaining to Zakat which is an Islamic tax paid by qualifying Muslims to deserving recipients.

Then finally the Philippine Muslim Today as a total Digi-Newspaper includes also Halal Foods & Culture Section. This is handled by Maria Fhebie Ortil.

Every issue of this Digital Edition, the Best of Home-Cooked Halal Dishes is to be featured here. For the start Ms. Ortil featured the Satti as lifted from the famous Tausug Cookbook written by Abdulaziz H. Hamsain wherein he said this is aimed to preserve the culture from one generation to the next generation.

Hence, our readers will have the chance to read and perhaps to cook by themselves these Halal Foods where the best of the dishes from the different tribes will be featured here.

Postscript:
And last but not the least, when I was about to send already the 9th Digital Edition of Batanes To Tawi-Tawi to our Editor-in-Chief cum Web Editor, a Notification on my in-coming electronic mail signaled a new arrival in my In-box.

As I opened my In-box my new e-mail was sent all the way from Beaumont, California, USA. The e-mail came from YUSUF ASHRAF “Joey” PAMARAN TUGUNG. Joey Tugung is the son of the late Lupong Tagapagpaganap ng Pook (LTP) Region 9 Chairman Ulbert Ulama “Bob” Tugung from Simunul, Tawi-Tawi, while his mother is the late Elnorita Pamaran Tugung from Basilan Province. Mrs. Tugung succeeded as the LTP-9 Chairman upon the demise of her husband.

The Philippine Muslim Today would like to thank Joey for accepting the invitation to write a Column. Just like Atty. Bono Adaza and Senator JP Enrile, and the rest of our mainstay Columnists, Joey did not ask even a single Cent for his efforts. So it is gratis and therefore also pro bono.

All what Joey told me, “my pleasure to contribute any article on national and local issues that interest me. Of course, I cannot contribute on a weekly basis because I am preoccupied with my work and a lot of things.

Rest assured, every time I will pen an article, I will email it to you. Incidentally, I just wrote an article about the pandemic and I will email this to you tomorrow….Good to know that you covered the public services of my late parents. Kamaya daran (always take care) and you stay safe too..”

Though he did not grow up in Tawi-Tawi, but he can also claim to be a Tawi-Tawian since his father Bob Tugung is from Simunul.

Just like the two Tawi-Tawians, Dr. Mon Romero of Mapun Municipality and Dr. John Lee of Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, Joey Tugung is in the same league with these two professionals who are giving their services Free of Charge.

Unlike the three Tawi-Tawians I invited last June 2020 when we were about to launch the Philippine Muslim Today they immediately asked for a Talent Fee. When they learned that we have no budget since all of us are working gratis in an effort to bring factual and not fake news for the Muslims, they did not accept the invitation.

Just like the secrecy slogan of the defunct RCPI (Radio Communications of the Philippines, Inc.), “What you see, what you hear just leave it here.” Hence, I am just leaving it here the names of the three professionals from Tawi-Tawi who can only offer their services for the Muslim Ummah if there is a Corresponding Payment.

Be that as it may, as one of the founders of Philippine Muslim Today, Founding Chairman Ding Yahya and myself agreed that this pro bono is not forever and even just a Token we should give even just a minimal amount to all our Staffs especially the Columnists. Wassalam! JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL

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