Lawmaker seeks support for Bangsamoro

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A party-list lawmaker from Mindanao appealed to her colleagues in Congress to backstop the measure creating a Bangsamoro region.

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Rep. Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman of Anak Mindanao party-list made the appeal following President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s statement in his State of the Nation Address underscoring that the agreement between the Aquino administration and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) should bear fruit, and that both parties should stay true to their respective promises. Moreover, the chief executive stressed that both parties nurture trust on each other.

“The highlight for me was his commitment to the peace process. For now, we should support the negotiations and applaud the fact that both parties reached an agreement, particularly on wealth-sharing,” Hataman, the wife for Gov. Mujiv Hataman of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said in an interview.

The Anak Mindanao lawmaker was referring to one of the annexes of the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement wherein government and the MILF has agreed on a 75-25 sharing on wealth of the Bangsamoro region, in favor of the Bangsamoro region. The wealth would include: tax collection, natural resources both metallic and non-metallic, fossil fuels (such as petroleum, natural gas and coal), and uranium, among others.

The other annexes include: modalities [of transition from ARMM to Bangsamoro region thru law and plebiscite], power-sharing and normalization or putting MILF army beyond use.

The government and the MILF have agreed on the modalities and the wealth-sharing provisions thus far.

In a separate talk, former-President Joseph Estrada has expressed doubts if the MILF would be ready to give up their armed struggle for good.

“I hope and pray that it will succeed because this has been pending for over 40 years. It was always a case of having peace talks, then ceasefire, then peace talks, then ceasefire. I hope this time such trend would stop. I don’t know if they can be trusted because the agreement has not been settled yet,” Estrada said.

“Let us wait. After all, we already waited for more than 40 years. I cannot say [for sure than they can be trusted]until the agreement is settled,” Estrada added.

Hataman, however, countered that there people can’t play the doomsayers role after all the hard work exerted to ink a peace agreement which took four decades to be realized.

“It is not the time to be negative. Let us be thankful that both parties continue to talk. Eventually, it will be the people who will decide the fate of the Bangsamoro region,” Hataman pointed out.

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