DAVAO CITY, Philippines — It will only take the Bangsamoro Transition Commission a few more days before they complete the new law that will create the Bangsamoro, a new political entity which will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The head of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission and the first Vice Chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Ghazali Jaafar announced Saturday that the new Bangsamoro Basic Law is close to its completion.
Jaafar told reporters in a press conference at the Park Inn Hotel in Lanang here that they are eyeing to submit the proposed BBL to President Rodrigo Duterte by the first and second week of June.
“Halos patapos na ang pagsulat ng mga honorable commissioners ng Bangsamoro Transition Commission (The commissioners of the BTC are close to completing their work),” Jaafar said.
The 21-member BTC was launched on February 24 here with the members appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The BBL will be the enabling law of the negotiated political agreement signed by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front on March 27, 2014, the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
‘Far autonomous’ than ARMM
Although he refused to give details on the provisions of the BBL draft, Jaafar described the draft BBL as “far autonomous” than the current ARMM.
“The Preamble and Articles I up to VIII essentially vest the Bangsamoro government with powers that make it far more autonomous than the present ARMM,” he said.
Jaafar said the Bangsamoro government is granted with a fiscal autonomy that is “less dependent on the central government in the field of revenue generation and control over the use and disposition of the natural resources.”
He added that the Bangsamoro can “genuinely exercise control” the exploration, development and utilization of resources under Article XIII on Economy and Patrimony.
He also said the interest of Christian settlers will be protected under the Article IV on General Principles and Policies and Article IX on Basic Rights.
Jaafar said non-Moro and Christians will also occupy seats on the Bangsamoro Parliament.
“As for the sectors of the women, youth, traditional leaders and the other sectors, they have the right for participation in governance even in the Bangsamoro Transitional Authority and in the regular Bangsamoro Government,” Jaafar added.
Under Section 6 of Article VI on Intergovernmental Relations, he said traditional leaders shall be represented in the Council of Leaders which will be created once the BTA is formed.
Meanwhile, he said democracy is guaranteed as all affected residents of the territories and contiguous areas shall be consulted whether they shall join the new Bangsamoro government.
Jaafar said the BTC will hold another plenary session to finalize the draft which they will submit to Duterte,
The BTC approved to adapt the previous BBL as its working document which Jaafar said helped a lot in crafting the new BBL.
From the previous 15 members of the BTC, the Duterte administration increased it to 21 under Executive Order No. 8. Among the members of the new BTC are three commissioners nominated by the government from the Moro National Liberation Front faction under Muslimin Sema, now under Yusoph Jikiri. They are commissioners: Omar Yasser Sema, Hatimil Hassan and Ferdausi Abbas.
The faction under MNLF founding chair Nur Misuari has a separate peace panel which is also expected to submit a report to the President.
Duterte, during his inaugural speech on June 30, 2016 said he is committed to “implement all signed peace agreements in step with constitutional and legal reforms.”(davaotoday.com)