Govt, MILF vow to sort differences on draft law

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While the four-day special meeting between the peace panels of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) failed to result in a breakthrough in the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the parties have vowed to continue working on measures to sort out their differences.

“They (the peace panels) achieved modest progress and identified consensus language in the light of signed agreements. They resolve to continue working together to come up with a mutually acceptable draft Bangsamoro Basic Law,” the panels said in a joint press statement released after the meeting.

The panels discussed the contents of the revised BBL submitted by the legal team of the Office of the President, according to the statement.

It also said that the meeting provided the panels the opportunity to clarify misperceptions and affirm the intent and sincerity of the parties to abide by the signed agreements.


“They (the peace panels) agreed to continue discussions on specific concerns in Manila within the next few days. They recognize the importance of these discussions in order to ensure that the draft law would be submitted to Congress at the soonest possible time,” the statement added.

The July 8 to 11 meeting held at the Bellamy House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was prompted by concerns raised by the MILF over the “overhauled” draft copy of the BBL which Malacañang returned to the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) after undergoing more than a month of review and revision in the hands of the legal team of the Office of the President.

Earlier reports cited that Malacañang’s legal team changed almost the entire draft of the BBL submitted by the BTC. The said revised draft, however, was not released to the public.

MILF’s Vice Chairperson for Political Affairs Ghadzali Jaafar had expressed concern over Malacañang’s delayed response on the draft BBL.

Jaafar, however, affirmed that the MILF continues to rely on the commitment of President Benigno Aquino 3rd to facilitate the enactment into law of the BBL within his term in office.

The BBL was crafted by the BTC following the signing of a comprehensive agreement between the government and MILF peace panels.

The draft law was submitted by the BTC to Malacañang on April 22 for its comment.

The BBL’s enactment into law would pave the way for the creation of a new autonomous Muslim region in Mindanao, which both parties envision as the key to ending the decades-old conflict in affected regions.

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