Duterte to BTC: Craft a law for the good of Moro communities in Mindanao

Feb. 25, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte, along with Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza and GPH implementing panel chair Irene Santiago join the members of the expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission for photo opportunity during the launching of the new BTC in Waterfront Insular Hotel in Davao City on Friday, Feb. 24. (Paulo C. Rizal/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines— Tasked to draft proposals of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission was formally launched Friday afternoon in Waterfront Hotel Insular Hotel, this city.

No less than Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte presided the inauguration of the expanded and inclusive Bangsamoro Transition Commission which was formed through Executive Order No. 8 signed Nov. 7, 2016.

In his speech, Duterte has urged the BTC to propose laws for the betterment of Moro people in Mindanao.

“I would like to see people from the Moro community crafting laws for their own good. You have many changes there, you can follow best, what is really good for Mindanao…I would be very happy to step down if I see a good law that would govern us all equally,” he said.

“I am urging BTC to navigate hindrances and obstructions and find way to peace. I will ask the Filipinos to vote for it,” the president added.

Ghazali Jaafar is the chairperson of the BTC and who served as the Chair of the MILF Peace Negotiating Panel from 1996 to 1997, other members were Atty. Jose Lorena, Atty. Maisara C. Dandamun-Latiph, Mohagher Igbal, Abdulraof A. Macacua, Ibrahim Ali, Atty. Hussin Amin, Samira Gutoc, Datu Mussolini Lidasan, Haron Abas, Atty. Raisa Jajurie, Said Shiek, Dr. Susana Anayatin, Romeo Saliga, Hatimil Hassan, Hussein Munoz, Melanio Ulama, Gafur Kanain, Atty. Firdausi Ismail Abbas, Atty. Omar Yasser Sema and Ammal Solaiman.

The BTC is a body under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro mandated to draft a piece of legislation for the establishment of the envisioned Bangsamoro political entity.  The increase of membership from 15 to 21 seeks to represent the diverse groups in the Bangsamoro.

The program started with an interfaith prayer and followed by a video presentation highlighting the political will of the Duterte administration to bring peace in Mindanao, a campaign promise of the first Mindanawon with a Moro blood president.

For his part, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza described the launching of the BTC  as a “golden opportunity” for the Bangsamoro peace process.

“Today is a milestone, that has been promised. We have a golden opportunity. Now if we lose this it will be forever lost, we have to strike now,” he said.

Dureza has called on the BTC members to unite and use their “experience and competency to craft a law which the congress will approve.”

“Road to peace is not a smooth, if we stay on the course we will get there,” Dureza pointed out.

On Friday morning, 21 members of the BTC took their oath of office before Government Implementing Panel Chairperson Irene Santiago for the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front Implementing Chairman Mohagher Iqbal.  (davaotoday.com)

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