BBL passage is a commitment of the government: Iqbal

By: UNYPAD ComTeam

COTABATO CITY/ May 5, 2018 – Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Peace Implementing Panel Chairman and Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) member Mohagher Iqbal reiterated that the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is a commitment of the Government of the Philippine (GPH).

Speaking as resource person during the a forum entitled “Bangsamoro Peace Process with ARMM Employees” held at Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex (SKCC) ORG Compound, Cotabato City last Thursday (April 26), Iqbal pointed out the strong stance of the MILF that “BBL passage first before federalism.”

Iqbal was given with the topic “The Bangsamoro Government and Federalism.”

“For the MILF, it’s BBL first before federalism for the reason that BBL passage is a commitment or obligation of the GPH as provided for in the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) AND Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB),” he recalled.

He added that passing BBL, the legal instrument which will pave way for the establishment of Bangsamoro political entity with more fiscal and political powers, is the commiment of the president Duterte during the election campaign and has “repeatedly asserted of these days.”

The MILF peace implementing panel chair also cited that passing the Bangsamoro law is easier because it is in the Article 10 of 1987 Philippine Constitution which provides the “creation of Autonomous Regions in Muslim in Mindanao and in the Cordillera.”

“Any change of national status qou, where power and resources are controlled by power and wealthy elites, will be very difficult,” he said.

Iqbal further stated the remark of President Duterte who promised to “make the BBL as the template of the federalism in the country.

The speaker defined federalism as a system of government in which power is divided between a central authority and constituent political units and added “that there is no single formula of this form.”

“Some have a central government that regulates the whole country, while others give more power to the different states or provinces,” he explained.

The forum was organized for the ARMM employees to have better grasp on what shall happen in the transition period should the new Bangsamoro government will be established following the passage of BBL by teh Philippine Congress.

Other speakers were BTC members Raissa Jajurie and Dr. Susana Anayatin.

The BTC was created to draft the BBL as provided in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the peace deal signed by the GPH and MILF in 2014.

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