Submission of the Bangsamoro draft bill may have been delayed but this is no cause for alarm, according to Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, the chief of the government negotiating panel with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Ferrer said the draft may not have been submitted to President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Monday as the government and MILF have planned but she noted that Aquino will be able to “sit down and look through different parts” of the draft within the week.
“We have to keep calm,” Ferrer said onTuesday. “Perhaps we are all imagining that the there will be a physical submission of the draft, that is not our process now.”
She explained that all channels are open between the Office of the President and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission headed by MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal for the finishing touches of the draft law that will pave the way for the creation of a Bangsamoro territory in Mindanao.
“We have online exchanges for some of the provisions in the draft law, for us to incorporate these provisions into the main draft,” Ferrer said.
“We have changed the format, the method,” she added. “This is no longer a panel to panel meeting. Right now, what we are doing is online exchange, which is easier because we are only talking here of a few provisions.”
These provisions include administration of justice or policing, which Ferrer described as “articles in themselves that were set aside during the discussions, that is why we are ironing them out now.”
She said some members of Congress are constantly being updated on the progress of the peace process.
“It is not as if they do not know what they are going to face when the draft is finally transmitted to Congress,” Ferrer added.