Friday, May 1, 2015

BBL means meaningful Bangsamoro autonomy, not power for any group — OPAPP

BBL means meaningful Bangsamoro autonomy, not power for any group — OPAPP

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is designed to address the clamor for a genuine autonomy in Mindanao, and not as an appeasement to any revolutionary group.
“The BBL is not for MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) alone.  BBL should be equated with meaningful autonomy, which is to capture the articulation not only of the Moro fronts but the Muslims in Southern Philippines,” said Jose Lorena, Undersecretary for Bangsamoro Affairs of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.
“I would like to underscore that the Bangsamoro Basic Law, in what form it may be passed should be intended to build meaningful and effective institutions in order to make autonomy efficient and effective in addressing the aspirations of the Bangsamoro people for good governance,” he added.
Lorena gave a solidarity message in behalf of Sec. Teresita Quintos Deles and served as a panel discussant   on the historical perspective and context of the Bangsamoro peace process, during the launching of the “Pro-POLITICS for Peace,” which aims to provide a platform for the various stakeholders particularly the  local government units (LGU)s from Basilan-Sulu-Tawi-Tawi region to articulate interest and at the same time capacitate them “on the concept of autonomy within the broader peace process”.
It was conducted back-to-back with the forum  “Politics and Governance for Peace: Opportunities and Challenges” in Zamboanga City on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Both events were conducted by the Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG), in partnership with other organizations and funded by the Australian government.
Lorena said the Bangsamoro peace process should be understood under the “parens patriae” concept – “meaning the government as the parent of the entire constituency of the Republic of the Philippines.”
“It is not a negotiation with the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front), neither it is a negotiation with the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front).  It is the recognition of the just causes of the Muslims in southern Philippines for meaningful autonomy, and therefore it should be inclusive,” he said.
The Bangsamoro rebellion started in 1970s at the height of Martial Law. The MNLF initially led the rebellion, and followed by the MILF, whose stronghold is in Central Mindanao. Both organizations had signed separate peace deals with the government.
Lorena explained the context of the draft BBL, saying that the gains of previous peace agreements have been incorporated in the draft bill.
“I would correct the impression that the law that we are crafting loses sight of the historical past because if you look into the draft law, there is the linking of the powers achieved in the 1996 Final Peace Agreement to the present agreement,” he said.
“Any law that will be crafted now would not be for the MILF, neither will it be for the MNLF, that is why the MILF and MNLF have always said that they are the vanguards of the Muslim people and therefore the representatives of the Bangsamoro people,” he continued.
The current Bangsamoro peace process, he said, is now on the legislative process. “Under that context, we should look into two perspectives: the perspective of negotiation, and the perspective of legislation,” he explained.
“Negotiation is really a power vested in the executive, but legislation to make the resolution in a negotiated settlement permanent is to be legislated and the power of legislation is the power of Congress, because it will become an institutional policy for the governance of Southern Philippines,” he added.

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