Palace blames panel for Bangsa law delay


AS the government and  Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) resume talks aimed at rescuing deadlocked negotiations on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), Malacañang blamed the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) for the delay in the submission of a measure that seeks to create a Bangsamoro entity in Mindanao.

Palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on Wednesday said that the government remains committed to the signed Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and all other previous agreements but that the BBL should conform with existing laws and the Constitution.

“You saw, for instance, the commitment of our President during the signing of the [CAB]. That commitment has not wavered. All we want to be sure of is that the bill that will be submitted to Congress will be acceptable to all, to the government and also the Bangsamoro people,” he told reporters.

The problem, according to Lacierda, arose when the BTC that was designated to craft the BBL submitted a proposal that the Palace believes would not pass congressional scrutiny.

Lacierda noted that while the BTC “drafted a bill based on the [CAB],” some provisions were “added” or “suggested.”

These additions were a reason why Malacanang lawyers had to pore over the draft to ensure that the Bangsamoro law will not suffer the same fate as the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD), which was struck down by the Supreme Court.

“We don’t have the exact provisions that were provided. But those provisions, they were additional provisions or were added or suggested by the [BTC]. The draft [BBL] that was drafted, crafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, was the one that was reviewed by the Office of the President,” Lacierda explained.

When asked to comment on speculations that the provision on “sub-state” was one of the thorny issues discussed by the two panels, he replied that he is not privy to the contents of the BTC draft.

“I am limited only to the information that we have right now. As to [the]copy of the draft of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, we don’t have a copy. What we intend to do is to come out with the forged common Bangsamoro Basic Bill between the government and the MI[LF],” Lacierda said.

He noted that the government “was not unaware” of what was going on in the BTC.
Miriam Coronel Ferrer, chief government negotiator, earlier warned that certain provisions in the proposed Bangsamoro law may be unconstitutional.

She refused to identify the parts of the draft bill that could be illegal, although she hinted that some of the contentious provisions involve the structure of government and the fiscal autonomy of the political entity that will be created to supplant the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

According to Ferrer, both parties were trying to resolve “political considerations” and “policy issues” in the draft law.

Also on Wednesday, she said negotiators were able to make some progress on discussions on fiscal autonomy and the structure of the Bangsamoro government when they met last week.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles called on the public to support the peace process and the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
“There are difficulties that lie ahead and I am sure that there will indeed be many more but let us not lose hope,” Deles said. “Keep the faith and work with us in bringing to fruition real peace and development in the Bangsamoro.”

Marathon meetings
The government and MILF panels will hold marathon meetings for 10 days to discuss and iron out contentious provisions of the draft BBL that Congress is anxiously waiting to act upon.

The meeting, according to former peace negotiator lawyer Jesus Dureza, will be an opportunity for both sides to renegotiate the draft law and take a second look at the CAB.

The meeting was confirmed by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.

“There will be a meeting, but the details and the venue are yet to be confirmed,” said Marlon Peter Dedumo, director of the OPAPP Mindanao media bureau.
Dureza stressed the need for the two panels to make “readjustments” to save the negotiations.

“I thought we have learned lessons from the failed MOA-AD,” he said. “It also disabused the minds of all, especially among the MILF leaders that what Malacanang wants, it can get. That misplaced trust has been eroded. That full confidence is no longer there so it is prudent to mitigate risks and make some readjustments while we can.”

Dureza urged the MILF to “consider changes with an open mind instead of digging in and proclaiming that what was signed was cast in stone and no longer subject to renegotiations.”

He said the government should “own up and acknowledge its mistake of making the MILF believe that what was already signed was good and okay, only to change gears at the last minute.”

“If there are persons on either side who cannot accept these parameters, I now strongly advise them to stand aside, resign and be not in the way in the difficult search for that still elusive formula for peace. Someone has to take the bullet,” Dureza added.

Lacierda allayed the fears of MILF commanders over the delayed submission of the draft BBL, saying the government is committed to having the bill passed by Congress.

“That will be a priority measure [because it has to be passed], hopefully, before the end of December of this year so that the Bangsamoro Transition Authority will be in place in order for them, for the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity, to participate in the synchronized national elections in 2016,” he said.

“So the commitment is there, the timeframe, we believe that we can continue with the timeframe that we have envisioned so that all the necessary building blocks for an effective and a truly representative bill and law will be passed by Congress,” Lacierda added.


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  1. bit 0f trouble after the signatures and handshakes? the blaming never ends…

  2. Bansang Moro my ass, theirs no such thing. You can not create another entity with in the entity. If the Bansang moro want war give them war. This people are messing the country for a long time every time they are loosing the battle they ask for ceasefire, so they can gain momentum, and the philippine goverment give it, due to the fact bullet make money. But in the other hand it destroyed the country ecomomy. keep on going in your stupidity untill the end of time.

    • I agree with your view since this religious war & taking over a portion of the country converting it to Islam law would be a disaster. There’s no peace in all Islamic country! They themselves are fighting over ones belief with extreme prejudice over other religion. Unconstitutional – of course! That’s why Church is separated from the State but ruled by Canon law. It gets crazier by the moment and the next president in line would be a total push over just to make peace with BIFF. As always they will break up into different faction because they themselves could not agree on one thing or another. Let’s save the country and stop this craziness. If they want WAR then give it to them but don’t submit to their demand. If it walks like a duck and speaks like a duck then it’s definitely a QUACK.

  3. who are the bangsamoro people? lacierda is inventing things. why need another law? a law that is anchored to a religion?

  4. I was in the impression that after his tearful SONA will stop playing the blame game again, but I was wrong after all. PNoy can never erase his bad habit of blaming others for what goes wrong. Many will comment that if he is not satisfied in anything his men and women do, he should do it himself. He, he, unfortunately, PNoy for all we know, does not know anything about the Bangsamoro Agreement he was proposing. PNoy is only exposing himself as empty in almost everything about governance. Poor Pilipino people.

  5. Of course Pnoy blames the crafters for the delay. He cannot accept the fact that he appointed the crafters. Maybe he did not give clear instructions and guidelines? Maybe he failed to supervise them? Of course he did not. He does not know how to manage people or any organization or any project.

  6. Gloria M. Kuizon on

    Parang bata. Childish President and Cabinet members. Why did President Aquino entrust the drafting of the BBL to the MILF in the first place? Of course the NMILF members and lawyers would put what they want to happen–which is for the powerful totally selfgoverning Bangsamoro substate to be created and be the springboard for its declaration of independence from the Republic of the Philippines. Of course many of the prpvisions would be violations of the Philippine Constitution. Napakatanga naman nitong presidenteng ito.
    On the other hand, baka naman devious intrigue ni PNoy ang objective–maging unacceptable ang draft ng Bangamoro Basic Law para hindi mapasa or even ma-file sa Congress.
    O di mag-kakaguerra sa Mindanao. O di may reason si PNoy at si Abad na magdecare ng state of emergency and then Martial Law na naman tayo.

    • hindi tanga ang namumuno sa gobyerno natin dahil in the first place hindi nila inabot ang mga naabot nila kung tanga sila,,anong tingin mo sa sarili mo matalino at may alam. ianalyze mo nga yang pinag sasabi mo, ganyan ba mag isip ang hindi tanga ngayun..kung katulad mo mag isip ang mga nasa gobyerno ngayun malamang nasa impyerno na tyo…