• Aquino ready to certify as urgent Bangsamoro bill


    President Benigno Aquino 3rd is ready to certify as urgent a bill establishing a new Bangsamoro political entity, a Malacanang official said on Tuesday.

    “Lahat ng indikasyon naitungo diyan, dahil nga ito ay isang priority program ng ating administrasyon [All indications are leading to that because this is a priority program of the administration],” Presidential Communications Secretary Hermino Coloma Jr. said in a press conference.

    The final peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front will be the basis of a Bangsamoro basic law that both sides will draft and submit to President Aquino, who, in turn, will certify it urgent when he submits it to Congress for approval.

    Coloma said that they hope Congress would consider the merits of the basic law and work fast to pass the measure.

    “Umaasa tayo na ang ating mga mambabatas ay makikiisa sa layunin na makamit ang ganap na kapayapaan sa Ka-Mindanaoan [We hope our lawmakers will support our goal to achieve peace in Mindanao],” he said

    “Umaasa tayo na pag-aaralan nila ang merito ng Bangsamoro Basic Law, at tutuparin nila ang tungkulin na kanilang sinumpaan para sa kapakanan ng pinakamalawak na sektor ng mga mamamayang Pilipino [We expect them to study the merits of the Bangsamoro basic law and fulfill their sworn duty to promote the interest of Filipinos],” Coloma added

    Meanwhile, the Palace official reiterated that the government remains open to inputs from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in the drafting of the basic law.

    “[The] MNLF inputs to the crafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law are welcome,” Coloma said, as he assured the government has not abrogated the 1996 peace agreement.

    He said that the government even wants to incorporate into the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law all the best features of the 1996 peace deal, as well as those in the Organic Act on the ARMM or Republic Act 9054.

    According to him, the government has also adopted the 42 consensus points agreed upon during the tripartite talks between the government, the MNLF and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

    “These consensus points have been conveyed to the Bangsamoro Transition Commission that is tasked to prepare the draft bill to be submitted to the President and Congress,” he said.

    “Ang pananaw ng pamahalaan, gusto pa rin maging kasali lahat na may taya sa prosesong ito [Our government wants the peace process to be inclusive],” Coloma added. CATHERINE S. VALENTE


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