Friday, November 27, 2015

OPAPP, civil society remain steadfast for BBL passage

OPAPP, civil society remain steadfast for BBL passage

QUEZON CITY – Despite persistent delays on the legislative deliberations on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in Congress, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) together with civil society organizations and other peace stakeholders continue to push for its passage in pursuit of peace in Mindanao and the rest of the country.
“[We are] not giving up on the BBL. We are asking all stakeholders to stand firm on the peace process. The panels have been continuously meeting on different issues for the immediate passage of this law. The fight for peace continues,” said Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles.
Women Engaged in Action on 1325 (WE Act 1325) National Coordinator and Miriam College – Center for Peace Education Executive Director Jasmine Nario–Galace called on legislators to attend plenary sessions and resume the discussions on the BBL.
“This is a task that the lawmakers should fulfill. The BBL is not a simple legislation but a compilation of the Bangsamoro dreams and aspirations for self-determination. Passing this law is a duty  of the Congress,” Galace said.
Last October, WE ACT 1325, All-Out Peace, PILIPINA and Philippine Misereor Partnership Incorporated (PMPI) launched a signature campaign at the Congress committing legislators to pass the BBL under the Aquino administration. “Cong. Rufus Rodriguez, alongside other peace champions in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, has kept faith that the challenges in the plenary floor will be hurdled and that they will continue attending sessions to take up the BBL.”
Galace also appealed to the Filipino people to play their part on the peace process by pushing their representatives to continue the plenary discussions on the BBL and put the Bangsamoro peace process on their agenda before their term ends.
“The passage of the BBL does not only concern the people in Mindanao but the whole country. Various CSOs, non-government organizations (NGO) and sectors of the society are campaigning for the enactment of this law. We are not alone in this fight for peace.”
Solons vow to pass BBL under Aquino admin
Last October, several House members reaffirmed their commitment to the BBL passage in line with efforts by the government and Mindanao stakeholders to establish genuine and meaningful Bangsamoro autonomy before the end of the term of President Benigno S. Aquino III in 2016.
“We are committed to the following: 1. Expeditious and principled debates on the substitute bills towards the legislation for meaningful Moro autonomy; 2. Passage and approval of the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro region in the 16th Congress,” the statement, which was signed by House Deputy Speaker and Lanao del Sur 2nd District Representative Pangalian Balindong, read.
Also signatory to the statement were Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Anthony del Rosario; Misamis Occidental 2nd District Representative Henry Oaminal; Batanes Representative Henedina Abad; Party-list representatives Ibarra Gutierrez of Akbayan; Reymond Democrito Mendoza of TUCP; and Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman of Anak Mindanao.
“Recognizing our moral, public and constitutional duty to enact public policies for sustainable peace and development in Muslim Mindanao, [we are] aware that the 1987 Constitution has mandated the legislation of meaningful autonomous governance in Muslim Mindanao as one of the means for attaining [these objectives],” the solons stated.
“Defining meaningful autonomous arrangement as one that vests the Bangsamoro autonomous region with clear and workable powers, structures and processes towards real political and fiscal autonomy and relevant justice and security mechanisms [is our commitment],” the group added.
Solons who signed the statement also recognized the importance of the government’s 2014 negotiated peace accord with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in establishing a regional government to replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). “[We consider] the peace agreements with the Moro revolutionary groups and in particular the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) as roadmaps in the development of meaningful autonomy.”
“[We believe] that the development of autonomy is evolving and incremental thus the imperative to build on the gains already achieved than postponing the legislation of Moro autonomy to an uncertain future,” the statement concludes.





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