Aquino to certify Bangsamoro bill urgent

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

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“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.

The final peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) 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 they hope Congress will 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

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

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).

“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.

Since the historic signing of the Framework Agreement in October 2012, a 15-step roadmap has been set up that will continue up to 2016, the target date for the establishment of the Bangsamoro political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

After the signing of the comprehensive peace deal in February or March, the next step is the completion of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law which the 15-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission, headed by MILF peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal, hopes to finish by April 2014.

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