Celso brings framework pact issues to Congress PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 August 2013 11:06

District 1 Representative Celso Lobregat on Tuesday took the podium to deliver a privilege speech concerning issues surrounding the framework agreement on Bangsamoro with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Well versed on the history of the various peace treaties and accords signed by the government with secessionist groups, Lobregt’s speech refreshed memories of the over 200 congressmen present during Tuesday’s session regarding events and activities that happened since the start of peace negotiations with secessionist groups.

Lobregat spoke about possible repercussions that may arise if and when the issues brought about by other groups to include Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder Nur Misuari are not addressed and resolved.

“We are herewith requesting the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace Process and the GPH negotiating panel to address the issues brought about by Nur Misuari concerning the Tripartite review process and the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro with the MILF,” Lobregat said.

And to his colleagues in the House of Representatives especially to the would be members of the Committee on Peace and Reconciliation, he stressed: “like it or not, the reality is, there already is an existing organic law on the ARMM—and to put in place the Basic law on Bangsamoro, the provisions of RA 9054 have to be complied with”.

RA 9054 is the Act to Strengthen and Expand the Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, amending for the purpose RA 6734 entitled an Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“To have an honourable, just and lasting peace in Mindanao, we cannot simply have another peace agreement this time with the MILF without the inclusion and conformity of other stakeholders of Mindanao including Misuari’s MNLF,” Lobregat pointed out in his speech.

Entitled Déjà vu, the Zamboanga solon’s privilege speech reminisced the time when he also delivered a privilege speech in Congress entitled “In Defense of the President, the Constitution and the Republic” on July 25, 2001.

Lobregat said it was 12 years and 4 days to date since he brought to the attention of the House of Representatives the agreement of Peace between the GRP and the MILF.

The agreement was signed on June 22, 2001 in Tripoli, Libya without consultation with the stakeholders of Mindanao, he said stressing “this agreement served as the road map and basis of the peace negotiations including the failed memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain (MOA-AD) and Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE).

The agreement of peace had 3 aspects: security, rehabilitation and ancestral domain.

In 2001, Lobregat started his privilege speech this wise: “On the onset, let me state very clearly and explicitly that I, like any other Mindanaoan, am for the attainment of an honourable, just, and lasting peace in Mindanao. We are all in search for that ever elusive peace in Mindanao and we are all for the end of any and all armed hostilities”.

And his speech ended with the statement “some say that this Agreement of Peace has brought about the temporary cessation of armed hostilities. A sort of putting out of sporadic bush fires in Central Mindanao amidst the many problems our government is facing. But this same Agreement of Peace may be the very instrument that will bring about the conflagration of the entire Mindanao, a blazing inferno with international repercussions affecting the Republic”.

The MNLF through Misuari has emphasized that government’s moves to put a closure to the tripartite review process on the final implementation of the 1996 peace accord is pushing the MNLF to declare independence.

Misuari last week called for a press conference at his residence that caused undue alarm among residents following the circulation of series of false text messages. People’s apprehensions are rooted on the 2001 Cabatangan siege where MNLF forces took hostage almost a hundred people from Cabatangan a day after the conduct of the first ARMM election following RA 9054 on November 26, 2001.

The solon in his speech likewise called on Misuari to conduct his activities and make pronouncements related to the peace agreement in areas of the ARMM and not in Zamboanga City.

The present administration has announced various breakthroughs in its negotiations with the MILF with the signing of the annex on revenue generation and wealth sharing on July 13, 2013 wherein the sharing of taxation and revenues from natural resources (metallic minerals) is 75% for the Bangsamoro and 25% for the Central government. The same is true for fossil fuel (petroleum, natural gas and coal).

“While this may be considered a breakthrough in the peace process negotiations, others are saying that this is more of appeasement and not a peace deal,” Lobregat said citing an article written by Federico pascual Jr. in the Philippine Star, July 16, 2013. — Rey Carbonel