GPH welcomes support of legislators, stresses role in Bangsamoro’s success PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 25 January 2014 13:06

KUALA LUMPUR – Government of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer on Thursday welcomed the support of legislators who arrived in the Malaysian capital to observe the peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“It’s the entire Congress who will pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), so we need the support of all the legislators to help us see through the full implementation of the agreement,” she said in an interview.

The GPH and the MILF peace panels are now on the third day of the 43rd round of Exploratory Talks where both sides are trying to complete the Annex on Normalization and the Addendum on the Bangsamoro Waters – the last documents to be signed in order to complete the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

The CAB, which comprises of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the four Annexes on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities, Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing, Power Sharing, and Normalization as well as the Addendum on the Bangsamoro Waters, will be the basis for the drafting of the BBL that will pave the way for the establishment of the Bangsamoro region which will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

To be drafted by the Transition Commission, the BBL will be certified as urgent by the President, passed by Congress, and subjected to a plebiscite in areas covered by the FAB.

Senator Koko Pimentel and Zamboanga City Congresswoman Lilia Nuño arrived in the Malaysian capital city ahead of other legislators who will serve as observers to the talks.

Coronel-Ferrer underscored how important it is for the legislators to be present in this round of negotiations so they will gain deeper understanding of what’s being discussed on the table.

“It’s important that they hear what kinds of issues we are discussing, what kinds of creative solutions we are putting forward…because the law will have to provide a lot more details than what we are providing in the annexes. They will have that kind of context to write a very good law in support of the peace agreements,” she added.

According to Pimentel, “legislators are here to give moral support (to the peace process and the panels) and keep an open mind.

Meanwhile, Nuño also expressed support to the peace process, underscoring that “Zamboanga may not be part of the Bangsamoro, but the success of the peace talks will not only benefit the municipalities, but the whole country as well.”