Bangsamoro Basic Law likely to be enacted. Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) strengthened. MILF and MNLF accommodated for their inputs.

Bangsamoro Basic Law to be passed.images
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History has a way of rising up and reminding you of the mistakes of the past. The MILF, in a statement on Sunday, reminded the government that President Aquino did not formally certify the earlier BBL as urgent.

The fresh draft by the 21- member Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) is under consideration right now by the Duterte administration. It was handed over by MILF Vice-Chair Ghadzali Jaafar to the President.

Now, the two houses of Congress will study it for necessary action as deemed appropriate.

The 21-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), chaired by MILF Vice Chairman Ghadzali Jaafar, is set to hand over today its draft BBL to the President for transmittal to the two chambers of Congress.

President Duterte welcomed this initiative three weeks ago while addressing evacuees from Marawi. Moreover, he assured that he would ask Congress to pass the proposed legislation to serve as a threshold.

Thereafter, he would be able to further his agenda of establishing a federal form of government. But, the success of his efforts was largely dependent on his setting up the Bangsamoro region. This initiative would serve as a takeoff point for all future endeavors.

In turn, this proposed legislation should remove the shortcomings that the previous BBL had. The major hurdle was the setting up of a Bangsamoro region’s regional police and security forces.

Moreover, the MILF had agreed for the Presidential control of the proposed regional force. But, they also wanted local advisory powers for local Bangsamoro officials in appointment of top officials in the new region.

The intention is to replace the current Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with the Bangsamoro entity. Even now, the local Governor is legally empowered to have control on top police appointments.

However, supporters of the BBL aver that the law pertaining to top appointments has remained on paper.
The President added six members to the BTC membership which was originally 15. The strength went up to 21 for accommodating representatives from the Moro National Liberation Front and other sectors.

Thus, the draft bill included inputs from the MILF and MNLF who earlier signed peace accords with the government.
The earlier BTC crafted the old BBL draft which former President Benigno Aquino III pushed in the 16th Congress.

But, it didn’t bear the seal of official urgent certification. The initiative made it out of the Senate and House committees and did see the light of day.

However, MILF members and peace advocates were quite harsh when 44 police commandos perished in anti-terror police operations in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

That sank the old BBL draft bill.

The fact remains that the President, the Speaker and the Senate President all hail from Mindanao. This provides reason for the MILF to be confident.

Moreover, Duterte’s popularity is at an all-time high. Hence, it should not be difficult to push the proposed legislation through.

Thus, the passage of the BBL leading to the creation of the Bangsamoro autonomous entity seems almost certain. This was the conclusion reached by seventy leaders from various sectors who convened in Cagayan de Oro City last week.

This new entry could ensure the effective rebuilding of Marawi City while boosting the government’s campaign against terrorism.

Thus, religious extremism may not hold sway in the new Bangsamoro entity.

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Umrao Singh
umraoz.wordpress.com
Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson.
www.thephilippinepride.com
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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