GPH, MILF panels vow to finish Bangsamoro BL Aug. 18 as Davao City meeting ends

 
aug 11, 2014
 
Both panels of the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front vowed to finish the draft of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law by August 18 as they ended their ten-day meeting Sunday evening in Davao City.    
 
 
The meeting was closely kept under wraps as local reporters were prohibited from covering the meetings following denial of MILF peace panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal to a news report last Thursday that he accused President Benigno Aquino III of reneging on a “promise the government that will be flexible in its application of the Constitution to the (BBL).”
 
He said he was misquoted by Manila Times reporters who wrote the report, although he said he “(does) not recall having been interviewed by any of the (said) reporters.”
 
Iqbal, chairman of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, led the MILF panel, talking with the government’s chief negotiator, Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer.  
 
In a joint press statement issued early Sunday night after the meeting, the panels said they “have reached agreement on substantial portions of the document, and have developed a shared understanding of the remaining challenges and unsettled issues, which they will bring back to their principals for further guidance. “
 
They reiterated their commitment “to finish an agreed draft Bangsamoro Basic Law by August 18, 2014, in sha Allah, in order to allow the Office of the President to submit the same to Congress as soon as possible. “
 
During the ten-day meeting, “discussions took place in plenary as well as in small groups focused on addressing specific issues such as fiscal autonomy and administration of justice,” their joint communique said.
 
“There were also inputs provided by resource persons coming from the Bangsamoro Development Agency, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and the Ateneo School of Government on the matter of development planning and budget transfers to the Bangsamoro,” it said.
 
Moreover, the panels expressed their appreciation to the members of the International Contact Group, the Third Party Monitoring Team, and Tengku Dato’ Ab Ghafar Tengku Mohamed “who observed,” and to the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission and the Panel of Independent Lawyers “who assisted.”
 
They also thanked members of Mindanao-based civil society organizations who visited and expressed their support and encouragement. 
 
The Facebook of Opapp Peace Process posted Saturday a photo showing Bangsamoro Transition Commission as composed by it Chairman Iqbal and BTC Commissioners Robert Alonto, Pedrito Eisma, Hussein Muñoz, Ibrahim Ali, Said Sheik, Akmad Sakkam and Asani Tammang. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)
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