2nd Bangsamoro law draft submitted to Aquino
MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – The 2nd draft of the proposed law seeking to create a new autonomous government in Mindanao was submitted to President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday night, August 20.
Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr received the document signed by Mohagher Iqbal as chairperson of the joint government and MILF commission that crafted the law. Iqbal also wears another hat as the chief negotiator of the MILF.
"As agreed upon by the parties, the MILF submitted the final draft of the Bangsamoro basic law to the Office of the Executive Secretary yesterday evening. As further agreed upon, the latest draft has been submitted to the President for his review. Further discussions may be held based on the guidance of the President," Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Deles said.
The final draft of the Bangsamoro basic law will be certified as urgent by the President once it is submitted to Congress by the end of August.
“We are respectfully submitting the draft Bangsamoro basic law (BBL) … and we are ready to adhere to our understanding to work on the final text of the proposed BBL after its review by the President,” the cover letter of the document, as quoted by a post from the official website of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Luwaran.
The proposed law is a product of the final peace accord between the government and the MILF signed on March 27 aimed at ending 4 decades of war in the South. It seeks to replace the present Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with a parliamentary form of government that has greater political and fiscal powers.
Under the agreement, the MILF-led Bangsamoro Transition Commission was tasked to create the draft that would serve as the legal framework for the envisioned entity.
The process reached a roadblock when the MILF accused the government of diluting the proposed law after the commission submitted the first draft of Bangsamoro basic law to Malacañang for review.
It took 4 consecutive workshops, including a marathon 10-day meeting, before both sides were able to reach a consensus on how to move forward.
Copies of both versions of the proposed law have yet to be made public.
Under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the MILF agreed to decommission rebel firearms and troops in gradual phases as political commitments towards the creation of the Bangsamoro entity, including the passage of the basic law in Congress and in the succeeding plebiscite, are achieved. - Rappler.com