• Executive Order on expanded Moro commission for signing today

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    DAVAO CITY: President Rodrigo Duterte will sign on Monday an Executive Order (EO) creating the 21-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) responsible for drafting of an enabling law for the Bangsamoro.

    The BTC has been expanded from 15 to 21 as agreed on by the Joint Implementing Panels of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Malaysia last August.

    GPH Chairman of the Joint Implementing Panel, Irene Santiago, said of the 21 members, 11 will be from the MILF plus the chairman and 10 from GPH that include three seats reserved for the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)-Sema group.

    It is the MNLF-Sema group that agreed to sit in the BTC.

    At the signing of the EO on Monday afternoon, Santiago said the President is expected to formally name the GPH members to the BTC.

    The MILF will nominate its members and the chairman.

    According to Santiago, the EO signing will be held in a simple but significant ceremony in Malacañang.

    After the signing, there are some processes until the BTC buckles down to work.

    The BTC has until July 2017 to submit the draft law.

    Santiago clarified that the enabling law will be strictly in line with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

    Meanwhile, ahe said there will also be a review of the 1996 peace agreement between the government and the MNLF to detail what has never been implemented.

    While MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari does not want to take part in the BTC because it is an MILF initiative based on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, which is part of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed by the GPH and MILF in March 2014, the MNLF leader has already vowed to support an inclusive peace initiative of President Duterte.

    Misuari said he trusts that President can solve the long-standing peace and order in Mindanao.

    He came out from hiding after standing warrants of arrest were suspended by the Pasig Regional Trial Court over rebellion charges filed against him over the Zamboanga siege in September 2013.

    The commitment of Misuari augured well for an inclusive peace process. “The opportunity is seismic.” Santiago said

    Santiago added that Misuari agreed to the convergence of the Bangsamoro people in the peace process to bolster the Duterte administration’s vision of a just and lasting peace in Mindanao.

    “The convergence [of the BTC]will see what should be implemented under the 1996 peace agreement. President Duterte asked us to look into it and that it should be included in the implementing law,” she said.

    Santiago added that since the suspension of the cases of Misuari is only good for six months, they are hoping that by the end July of 2017 they will have a draft of the enabling law.

    She said all meetings of the BTC will be conducted within the country, while their office will be in Cotabato City.

    PNA

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