Tuesday, December 16, 2014

MILF: Calls for extension of transition period increase

Posted to the MILF Website (Dec 16): Calls for extension of transition period increase

Proposals for extending the expected transition period for the Bangsamoro continued to grow in number in the last leg of the Mindanao consultations made by the Congressional Adhoc Committee on the BBL.
On Dec. 10 at Buluan (Maguindanao), a high-ranking official of DepED ARMM suggested that the first regular elections for the Bangsamoro Parliament be made in 2019 instead of May 2016 as contained in the draft BBL.

In the following day at the CAP auditorium in Davao City, no less than Magdalo Partylist Rep. Garry Alejano proposed before his fellow members of the Adhoc committee that the transition period be extended since “a year or less than a year is not enough” to effectively prepare for the regular Bangsamoro government.

Alejano, a former soldier, recounted how his combat experience and their group’s advocacy against corruption in the military have ultimately led him to work harder  for peace and reforms in the bureaucracy.

The Mindanao Peoples Caucus also submitted a formal petition to the Adhoc committee in Davao.

A similar sentiment for lengthening the transition time was also expressed by a punong barangay of Butuan City in the 30th public hearing held at the Caraga State University on Dec 13.

In Article XVI, Section 1 of the draft BBL, the transition period for the establishment of the Bangsamoro shall begin upon the ratification of the BBL and shall end upon the dissolution of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) which shall be the governing body or interim government during the transition period. BTA shall be deemed dissolved immediately upon the qualification of the elected Chief Minister under the first Bangsamoro Parliament in May 2016.


Maguindanao Provincial Governor Esmael Mangudadatu reiterated his firm support to the BBL and even dispelled rumor that his fellow governors are against the draft law.

He said that he does not want a repeat of the bunged MOA-AD in 2008 that plunged Maguindanao in a violent war.

Majority of Maguindanao mayors and members of the provincial board attended the hearing that was participated also by more than 5000 people in the jam-packed municipal gymnasium.


In a crowd composed mostly of professionals, academicians, businessmen, civil society organizations and indigenous peoples, the Davao consultation was marked by deliberations over legal issues on the draft BBL.

Atty. Israelito Torreon, Dean of the Law School of Cor Jesu Colleges in Digos City and former counsel of Cotabato Province in the latter’s petition against the MOA-AD, expressed hope that the proposed law will not suffer the same fate as that of the 2008 agreement.

Law students of the Ateneo de Davao University College of Law also raised questions on aerial domain, natural resources, powers over local governments, conflict of laws and excise taxes that would be collected by the Bangsamoro government.
Most of the legal issues were answered by Adhoc Committee Chairman Rep. Rufus Rodriguez who is also a lawyer and former law school dean of San Sebastian College.

Saying that the draft BBL is an “antidote to independence”, Rodriguez believes that giving more political and fiscal powers to the Bangsamoro would make the latter more attached to the Philippine nation-state, as can be gleaned from the recent referendum in Scotland wherein the latter opted to continue its union with the United Kingdom.


Rodriguez reiterated before a very large crowd in the Caraga State University gymnasium his statement in the Davao hearing that the success of the Bangsamoro would open the gate for a federal parliamentary system in the Philippines, something he is openly advocating in several of the congressional hearings.
In assuring the indigenous peoples who dominated the proceedings, Rodriguez said that the BBL respects and protects their rights and provides further additional rights, such as reserved seats in the Bangsamoro Parliament and equitable share in the exploration, utilisation and development of natural resources covered by their native titles.

BTC participation

As in all the public hearings and consultations made by the Adhoc committee, commissioners and legal staff of the BTC were present in the last-leg of the Mindanao sessions.

In Buluan, Maguindanao Commissioners Abdula Camlian, Melanio Ulama and Raissa Jajurie served as resource persons while Comms. Robert Maulana Alonto and Hussein Munoz joined the Adhoc committee in Davao City.

Comm. Said Sheik was in Butuan City with MILF Peace Panel member Datu Antonio Kinoc who also attended the Buluan and Davao public hearings.


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