Nominees to Bangsamoro Transition Commission known this week

By Delon Porcalla, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 12 2013 07:32 AM | Updated as of Feb 12 2013 08:11 PM

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino hinted yesterday that the seven government nominees to the 15-man Transition Commission and their eight Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) counterparts will be appointed anytime this week.

“Hopefully I can do it within the week. The list was submitted to me late last week,” Aquino told journalists who covered the launching of Sajahatra Bangsamoro socio-economic program in Sultan Kudarat in Maguindanao province.

He said he already has a list of the “personalities nominated by all the stakeholders,” which contained all the needed details in their curriculum vitae that make them qualified to hold such a position.

“So we would want to give justice by reading all of the resumés submitted and the CVs to come up with the best group of people that will come up with the organic law,” he added.

The 15-man Transition Commission will be tasked to draft the basic law that will pave the way for the establishment of a Bangsamoro region in Mindanao, as provided for in the framework agreement that the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed last October.

Palace insiders hinted that the members of the Transition Commission – as per Executive Order 120 – will be named before the March 29 appointment ban takes effect, in compliance with Commission on Elections Resolution 9385.

Section 261 (G) of the Omnibus Election Code provides that government is barred from making any “appointments or hiring of employees, creation or filling up of new positions, promotion or salary increases” from March 29 to May 13 of this year.

There shall also be no “transfer or movement of officers and employees from civil service” from Jan. 13 to June 12 of this year, just like the entire duration of the gun ban.

A portion of EO 120 reads: “The Commission may sit en banc or constitute itself into divisions, as it may deem necessary for the speedy, effective and efficient performance of its functions.”

According to the EO, the commission will move forward the “comprehensive peace process agenda in Mindanao,” which is necessary for the achievement of “real and inclusive regional and national development goals.”

The commission will recommend a draft bill to Congress creating the Bangsamoro.

Secretary Teresita Deles said Muslims can then lobby – which is legal – with the congressmen and coordinate with them on how to write a law for themselves.

In turn, Congress will deliberate on the Bangsamoro basic law, which will govern the residents in the area but remain bound by the 1987 Constitution and under the national government.

The commission, according to former chief government negotiator and now Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen, will hold all-inclusive consultations in the affected areas to know the pulse of the people in the proposed Bangsamoro.

Leonen said that the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will continue to exist until a new law is crafted by Congress.

Officials of the Bangsamoro will be joining the May 2016 synchronized elections.

The basic law of the Bangsamoro will have to be ratified before President Aquino steps down in 2016. The Chief Executive, according to Deles, will certify as urgent the measure that will establish the Bangsamoro.

Meanwhile, a peaceful revolution launched by the Department of Education (DepEd) with representatives of the MILF in October 2008 calling for open and participatory peace negotiations is slowly but surely gaining ground.

Ernesto Alcanzare, lead organizer of Yes for Peace – Bayanihan para sa Kapayapaan, reported that 2,274,091 responses based on compliance reports to DepEd Memorandum No. 277. s. 2011 were submitted by private and public elementary and high school principals, schools district supervisors, schools city/provincial division superintendents and regional directors of the DepEd nationwide.

Alcanzare expressed his gratitude to the Yes for Peace National Advocacy Council chaired by Ricardo Penson for providing private sector support for the allowances of volunteers preparing the national summary report that they will submit to President Aquino during the 27th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power revolution later this month.

Penson, also the convenor of the Krusada Kontra Dynasty, reiterated that Yes for Peace is a “revolution of ink and paper of the Filipino people against the guns and bullets used in the name of the Filipino people.”