Duterte to certify ‘harmonized’ Bangsamoro bill as urgent

Written by Antonio L. Colina IV.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte said he was planning to certify as urgent a harmonized version of the Bangsamoro law proposed by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) faction under Nur Misuari, and the draft document to be crafted by the 21-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) in a bid to end the decades-long Moro armed struggle in Mindanao.

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President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte|Manila Bulletin

The 21-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) – 11 members from MILF and 10 from the government (GPH) – will submit a draft Bangsamoro law, or an enabling law to fully implement the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB), on May 18, or about five weeks from now, to Duterte so he can study it before submitting to Congress by June 2017.

He will then be able to certify this as urgent and include it in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24.

The government (GPH) has also created a separate five-member panel, headed by Deputy Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Nabil Tan, who will deal with the five-member MNLF implementing panel, headed by Lawyer Randolph Parcasi.

In a press conference before his departure to the Middle East Monday, Duterte said he will meet with the GPH negotiating panel, along with the peace negotiating panels of the MNLF faction under Misuari and MILF chairman Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim to consolidate their respective proposed drafts of the Bangsamoro law.

He said Misuari asked him for more time to craft the proposed agreement “within the structure of the MNLF” and may be aligned in the context of federalism that the Duterte administration is pushing.

“I know that he is supposed to be in prison, at some point in time, we cannot forever be quarreling with enemies… I want the wars between Filipinos ended. I cannot wage a war against my own people,” he said.

On March 30, BTC chair Ghazali Jaafar, who is also MILF first vice chair, said that the GPH must deliver a “political solution to end the Bangsamoro armed struggle by fully implementing the 2014 CAB through the passage of a acceptable enabling law in Congress.

“This is a political problem and it can only satisfy the Bangsamoro people pagnadeliver ang political solution,” he said.

He said that he appreciated the efforts of the government in trying to solve the issues through economic means in order to trigger development in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) but said what the Bangsamoro people want are self-determination and their own Bangsamoro government.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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