Transition commission postpones Bangsamoro Assembly

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) announced Sunday, October 29, that the slated gathering of some 500,000 people for the Bangsamoro Assembly this week will be postponed.

"We regret to inform that due to reasons beyond our control, the said Bangsamoro Assembly has to be postponed," said Ghazali Jaafar, chairperson of the BTC, a commission tasked to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

The BTC earlier set November 3 and 4 as the dates for the assembly, which aims to muster support from various sectors for the passage of the proposed BBL.

A revised version of the BBL was filed at the House of Representatives earlier this month.

The BBL is the culmination of a peace deal signed between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the administration of President Benigno Aquino III. Aquino had wanted it passed before he stepped down, but a botched police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, in 2015 derailed its passage.

The BBL is among the measures expected to be prioritized by Congress this year.

Jaafar, also vice chairman of the MILF, said they are looking to hold the assembly in the 3rd week of November.

"In the meantime, all the preparatory works of the Standing Committees will continue," he said.

In an earlier announcement which has since been taken down from Luwaran.com, the MILF had said it is expecting President Rodrigo Duterte to attend the assembly.

The event will take place at the old provincial capitol of Maguindanao in Sultan Kudarat. – Rappler.com