PAF’s 3rd Air Division steers info drive re Bangsamoro Basic Law PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 02 December 2014 12:18

The Philippine Air Force’s  3rd Air Division, under the command of Maj. Gen. Emeraldo Magnaye conducted Troop Information and Education (TI&E) about the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on November 21, 2014 at Edwin Andrews Air base, Zamboanga City.

Maj. Gen. Magnaye delivered his inspirational message to the Officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees of the 3RD Air Division prior to the start of information dissemination proper. The 3rd Air Division Commander also expressed his desire to disseminate what the Bangsamoro Basic Law is all about to avoid misinformation. He added that everybody must be well-informed considering that the area of responsibility of 3rd Air Division is the whole archipelago of Mindanao which covers the core territory of the Bangsamoro.

As the legal officer of the 3rd Air Division,  Capt. Franklin D. Anaas, took the lead in enlightening the troops. A little background of the Bangsamoro Basic Law was provided to the troops and was explained why the same is considered as an urgent bill by the President. Also, the Road Map towards the creation of the Bangsamoro based on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the Annex on Transitional Arrangements and modalities was presented.

The Bangsamoro Basic Law is basically drafted as stipulated on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) wherein it provides that “there shall be a created Transition Commission through an Executive Order and supported by Congressional Resolutions”. One of the functions of the Transition Commission is to work on the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law with provisions consistent with all agreements entered into by the PARTIES. On December 17, 2012, President Aquino signed Executive Order 120 that provided for the creation of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.

The salient parts of the draft BBL were explained and the contentious issues were also stressed. The draft BBL when become a law will be entitled as “AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE BASIC LAW FOR THE BANGSAMORO AND ABOLISHING THE AUTONOMOUS REGION IN MUSLIM MINDANAO, REPEALING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9054, ENTITLED [AN ACT TO STRENGTHEN AND EXPAND THE ORGANIC ACT FOR THE AUTONOMOUS REGION IN MUSLIM MINDANAO], AND REPUBLIC ACT NO. 6734, ENTITLED [AN ACT PROVIDING AN ORGANIC ACT FOR THE AUTONOMOUS REGION IN MUSLIM MINDANAO], AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.”

In the BBL, the Bangsamoro Identity and Territory was defined. Based on Section 1, Article II, Bangsamoro people are identified as “ those who at the time of conquest and colonization were considered natives or original inhabitants of Minadanao and the Sulu archipelago and its adjacent islands including Palawan, and their descendants, whether of mixed or of full blood xxxx. Spouses and their descendants are classified as Bangsamoro.”

The core territory of the Bangsamoro, as specified in Article III, shall be composed of: a.) the present geographical area of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); b.) the Municipalities of Baloi, Munai, Pantar, Tagoloan and Tangkal in the Province of Lanao del Norte and all other barangays in the Municipalicties of Kabacan, Carmen, Aleosan, Pigkawayan, Pikit and Midsayap that voted for inclusion in the ARMM during the 2001 plebiscite; c.) the cities of Cotabato and Isabela; and d.) all other contiguous areas where  there is resolution of the local government unit or a petition of at least ten percent (10%) of the registered voters in the area asking for their inclusion at least two months prior to the conduct of the ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law and the process of delimitation of the Bangsamoro.        The Bangsamoro Governement shall be parliamentary as specified in Article IV of the BBL. Its political system is democratic which allows its people to freely participate in the political processes within its territory. Under Article VII, the powers of the government shall be vested in the Bangsamoro Parliament xxxx. It shall set policies, legislate on matters within its authority, and elect a Chief Minister, who shall exercise executive authority in its behalf. The executive function and authority shall be exercised by the Cabinet, which shall be headed by a Chief Minister who heads the ministerial government of the Bangsamoro. The Chief Minister shall be elected by a majority vote of the Parliament from among its members.

Also discussed were the powers of the Bangsamoro Government. In connection with this, the Reserved powers of the central government; Concurrent powers of the parties and the Exclusive powers of the Bangsamoro Political entity were presented and explained.

The provision also regarding the role of the military was discussed. As stated in Article V, the defence and external security is retained under the authority and jurisdiction of the Central Government. Nevertheless, the AFP supports the peace initiatives of the National government with the MILF and aspires for the speedy resolution of all contentious issues in the BBL.

Other topics during the TI&E include Powers of Government, Intergovernmental Relations, Wali, Basic Rights, Bangsamoro Justice System, Public Order and Safety, Fiscal Autonomy, Economy and Patrimony, Rehabilitation and Development and Plebiscite.

Capt. Anaas however stressed that the draft BBL can be subjected to change as the Committee on BBL at present are conducting Public Hearings on the provisions of the draft re: proposals, comments, constitutional issues and other issues.

After the information drive, the men and women of the 3rd Air Division asked some clarifications and had an open forum through an exchange of thoughts and insights regarding the content of the draft BBL.

During the conduct of public hearings headed by Rep.  Rufus B. Rodriguez, chairperson, Ad Hoc Committe on the BBL in Zamboanga City, the City local government headed by its Mayor and supported by the City Councils expressed its position not to be included in the Bangsamoro Goverment xxxx.

On the other hand, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AF) expressed its full support for the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that seeks to provide a solution to the conflict in Mindanao. This was announced since September 2014 by the AFP Chief of Staff, General Gregorio Pio Catapang AFP.

The AFP firmly believes that the successful implementation of the peace process with the eventual establishment of the Bangsamoro Political entity will provide the solution that will end the decade-long armed conflict in Mindanao that has posed major setbacks to the full progress and development to the country.