Monday, December 22, 2014

OPAPP confirms BIFF invitation to Bangsamoro Basic Law hearings (Abu Sayyaf not invited)

From the Zamboanga Today (Dec 22): OPAPP confirms BIFF invitation to Bangsamoro Basic Law hearings (Abu Sayyaf not invited)

The Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro has invited representatives of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) to provide inputs on the pending Bangsamoro Basic Law.

This was confirmed by Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process Undersecretary Atty. Yusuf (Joe) Lorena during a hearing on the proposed BBL at a local hotel in Zamboanga city last Saturday.
Lorena however discounts the possiblity of any participation by the Abu Sayyaf group in the continuing discussions on BBL, a group considered by the government to wholly focus on violence in attaining its objectives.
The BIFF, on the other hand, was described by Lorena as a large organization composed of radicals and moderates, adding that it is the group of moderates that the government is inviting to participate in discussions relative to the proposed BBL.
“If the moderates want to participate, it will be very good for us,” said Lorena.
He said that the committee directed the invitation however to the BIFF group in general and was not addressed to any specific leader in the community.
“We have friends who have knowledge of the communities,” Lorena said.
The manner on how the invitation was delivered was different from that on how the Committee invited members of the Moro National Liberation Front to the discussion, which was said to have been delivered personally in Cotabato city.
Lorena said that the invitation to the two sectors is part of government’s efforts to engage these groups in discussions relative to the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.

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