Gov't to ensure Mamasapano will not be repeated: Panel chair

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 17 2016 06:47 PM

The Government Implementing Panel for the Bangsamoro Peace Accords said security panels are making sure the Mamasapano incident won't be repeated.

In an interview with Mornings@ANC Wednesday, panel chair Irene Santiago said the deadly encounter that left 44 men of the Special Action Force (SAF) was the main reason the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) was derailed.

"One of the things you see when there is war or destructive conflict is there is such a thing as demonizing each other. All you need is a little trigger and then that comes out," she said.

This time, as the new administration puts peace in Mindanao front and center, Santiago said they are "already planning ways in which that can be avoided because it can always happen again."

"There’s a ceasefire mechanism that has to do with the police and the relationship of the police, the military, the MILF. I think we can refine that and we’re already discussing that," she said.

READ: DOJ indicts 88 over Mamasapano carnage 

She is confident, however, that the newly formed Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) will be able to come up with an enabling law that will not suffer the same fate as the BBL.

She said, they are preparing to weed out some of the possible provisions of the law whose constitutionality may be questioned.

"Congress will not anymore discuss any constitutionally infirm provisions. So take those out, give that to the Constitutional Convention or Assembly to deliberate on, so the one that’s going to go to the enabling law that’s going to go to congress really doesn’t have that kind of problem," she said.

READ: Expanded transition team to draft new Bangsamoro Law within a year 

The BTC will now have 21 members, 11 to be nominated by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and 10 by the government, from the 15 it had under a contract signed in 2014.

Santiago said they are looking into having members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), indigenous peoples, local government units, and sultanates sit into the commission as key stakeholders.

"A lot of [the peace process] is that people feel so excluded, and people feel so marginalized, and so representation and voice are very, very important things, so we have to be very careful," she said.

They are to submit to Congress within a year a draft law creating a new autonomous government in Mindanao.

Santiago, who has also previously joined a peace negotiation panel with the Moro people, also cited roots of conflicts.

"I think acceptance of identity is going to need a lot of activities to one another and seeing the other person, not as a Moro, not as a Christian, not as an indigenous person, but as a human being," she said.