'All-Moro body' to draft new Bangsamoro law

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 19 2016 05:36 PM

'All-Moro body' to draft new Bangsamoro law 1
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte; Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF vice chairman for political affairs and Atty. Randolf Parcasio of the MNLF talks during the Mindanao Hariraya Eid’l Fitr in Davao City on July 8, 2016. Rene B. Lumawag, Malacanang photo

MANILA – A new Bangsamoro law will be drafted under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, as the new government aims to come up with a ''more inclusive'' measure than the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which failed to pass the 16th Congress.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process said a peace road map now entails the creation of an ''all-Moro body'' which will be tasked to draft the proposed bill.

"There will be inclusivity under the Duterte road map for peace where all the Bangsamoro factions, groups will have to come under one roof so that there will be inclusivity in the implementation of the agreements," presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza said.

Dureza noted that the Bangsamoro peace process is now in its implementation stage ''as the time for negotiations are over."

Duterte's predecessor, President Benigno Aquino III, failed to pass BBL, a proposed law granting wider autonomy to the country’s Muslim minority, before he stepped down last June 30.

Public outrage over the death of 44 police commandos in a botched anti-terror raid in the remote farming village of Mamasapano in January 2015 derailed the passage of the the BBL.

During Aquino's time, the BBL was also challenged by several groups, which noted that only the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was accommodated in the negotiations that spawned the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

The Moro National Liberation (MNLF) had lamented that it was left out of the talks and the previous agreements it entered into with the Philippines were practically abrogated.

One faction of the MILF, led by its founding member Nur Misuari, launched a siege in Zamboanga in 2013 in response to the MILF deal.

The OPAPP aims to address this issue by consolidating and converging the various peace agreements already entered into like the MILF's CAB, and the Moro National Liberation Front's 1996 Final Peace Agreement (FPA), including relevant provisions of the Republic Act No. 9054 (or the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao Law) and the Indigenous People's Rights Act (IPRA).

Under the CAB, the Bangsmoro Transition Commission was supposed to craft the proposed Bangsamoro law. The OPAPP said this body will be reconstituted, with representation coming from the MILF, MNLF, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and other Bangsamoro representatives.

The OPAPP said the move towards the creation of a new Bangsamoro and its eventual implementation would not affect the Duterte government's goal of setting up a federal form of government.

READ: Federalism is 'last card' for Moro insurgency, says Duterte

''Work on the new proposed Bangsamoro enabling law will be done simultaneous with the moves to shift to a federal set-up, the latter expected to come later under the planned time line,'' the OPAPP said in a statement.

''The reconstituted and inclusive BTC will also be mandated to propose amendments to the Philippine Constitution that are pertinent to the Bangsamoro as inputs towards eventual federalism in the land."

Dureza said that Duterte has already approved the government's peace road map, which tackles not only the Bangsamoro struggle, but the impending resumption of peace negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF), and the implementation of closure agreements with other rebel groups in the country.