By: Amani M. Musa
COTABATO CITY/May 4, 2018 – The Forum ZFD and Kutawato Multimedia Network (KuMuNet) in partnership with Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) organized a forum titled “Bangsamoro Peace Process with ARMM Employees” geared to educate the participants on the transition phase of the ARMM regional government to the new Bangsamoro political entity should the passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law succeed.
The event, attended by more than 400 participants mostly ARMM employees and including the resource persons and media personalities, was held at Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex (SKCC), ORG Compound, Cotabato City on April 26, 2018 (Thursday).
Three members of the BTC namely Commissioners Atty. Raissa Jajurie, Dr. Susana Anayatin and Mohagher Iqbal, concurrently the Chairman of the MILF Peace Implementing Panel, delved on their respective topics.
Anayatin disclosed that the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) has been approved by the Committee on Local Government, Committee on Muslim Affairs, and Committee on Peace and Reconciliation at the House of Representatives.
The bill is being referred to the Committee on Appropriation and Ways and Means of the Lower House.
Anayatin further said that BBL will be subjected to interpellation once the Senate will resume session this May.
“The Bangsamoro Basic Law or BBL is a social contract that will address the decades of conflict in Mindanao,” she pointed out and stressed that it shall address the repetitive conflicts in Southern Philippines.
The ARMM is one of the mechanisms created pursuant to the 1987 Constitution particularly Article X and it has been in existence for 28 years.
It has failed to address the conflict in Mindanao that has lasted for more than 40 years.
The Philippine government has inked peace agreements with the Moro National Liberation Front in 1976 and 1996 and with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2014 called the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
Anayatin said the BBL is a consolidation of different agreements signed by the government and the moro fronts and she believes that “Recognition and respect lead towards development.”
Abdulnasser Binasing who delivered the rationale of the program said, “They said that the ARMM is indeed a failed experiment . They also claim that the new Bangsamoro entity is the answer to the decades long Bangsamoro problems.”
“Despite of that there are also lingering apprehensions that the Bangsamoro government will cost misfortune to some. Unfortunately, among of those were the employees of ARMM in more than 30,000 strongholds including the public school teachers,” he said.
Jajurie discussed topic titled “The Transition Period: Its implications to the present ARMM.”
She disclosed that there have been discussions between the Central Government and the ARMM regarding on ARMM employees on the assumption that the BBL will be passed.
The speaker said there will be transition in the will to make to make autonomy works towards the fulfillment of the Right to Self-Determination of the Bangsamoro.
The transition, according to Jajurie, wants to ensure that the regional Government will have the appropriate structure.
“Upon ratification of the BBL, the transition period begins. It ends upon the qualification of the elected Chief Minister under the first Bangsamoro Parliament,” she explained.
“The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) shall be the interim government or governing body in the Bangsamoro during the transition period until the Bangsamoro Government is elected in 2022,” she explained.
The 80 BTA members will be appointed by the President and it will include representatives from the Non-moro indigenous communities, youth, women, settler communities, traditional leaders and those from other sectors.
Jajurie said a Transition Plan shall be submitted by the interim Chief Minister to the interim Parliament within 60 days from the ratification of the BBL.