Bangsamoro Law must address Filipino aspiration for peace and justice — Ferrer

By on February 23, 2015


President Benigno S. Aquino III and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak witness MILF Peace Panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal, Malaysian facilitator Tengku Ghafar, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles affix their signature to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in a ceremony at the Kalayaan Grounds of the Malacañan Palace on Thursday (March 27). Also in photo are MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim,Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles,MILF Peace Panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal,GPH Peace Panel chairperson Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and Malaysian facilitator Tengku Dato Abdul Ghafar (Photo by Ryan Lim/ Malacañang Photo Bureau)
President Benigno S. Aquino III and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak witness MILF Peace Panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal, Malaysian facilitator Tengku Ghafar, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles affix their signature to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in a ceremony at the Kalayaan Grounds of the Malacañan Palace on Thursday (March 27). Also in photo are MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim,Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles,MILF Peace Panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal,GPH Peace Panel chairperson Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and Malaysian facilitator Tengku Dato Abdul Ghafar (Photo by Ryan Lim/ Malacañang Photo Bureau)

MANILA — Government of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel chair Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer Monday asked Congress to enshrine and protect the people’s aspirations for peace and justice as envisioned in the 1987 Philippine Constitution ‎when it considers changes to the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

The chief negotiator referred to the statement of the framers of the Philippine Constitution which states that “the decision on the Bangsamoro will ultimately rest on what the people want of our country. And what the deliberations and the overwhelming vote in the plebiscite for the Constitution tell us is that they dream of a free people in a democratic society where peace and justice reign.”

According to the statement of the Constitutional framers, “the core principle of the 1987 Constitution in mandating a special status for the autonomous regions is human development.” ‎‎

“Definitely, it is the aim of the BBL to fulfill this intent. To address the human development of the Bangsamoro people, which will in turn redound to shared prosperity and shared security for the entire country,” Coronel-Ferrer said.‎

“In this regard, we look up to our legislators for wisdom and guidance, in crafting a good legislation ‎for the Bangsamoro peoples,” she said. ‎‎

An effective way to give members of the House of Representatives and the Senate a deeper understanding of the principles that lie behind the proposed Bangsamoro law is “if our legislators see the BBL within the context of the Bangsamoro’s historical and legitimate aspirations.”

“The creation of the Bangsamoro will also realize the mandate of the Constitution for social justice for our brothers and sisters who have historically been marginalized politically, culturally and socially,” Coronel-Ferrer said.‎

“It is in this regard that we will welcome the enhancement of the BBL without diminishing its substance or purpose as set out in the CAB,” the chief negotiator added, referring to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front on March 27, 2014.‎‎‎

The chief negotiator also noted that the establishment of the new Bangsamoro government shall be accompanied by the decommissioning of MILF weapons and combatants.‎

“This is a victory for the Filipino people,” Coronel Ferrer said referring to the willingness of the MILF to turn in their arsenal of weapons to the decommissioning body and participate in the social and political processes of the country.

Just recently, Cagayan de Oro second district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who chairs the Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL, said that the new target date of the House of Representatives for the passage of the law is June 11.

  • Juan Mabayan

    Very amateurish negotiators:
    Reading the BBL, one gets the distinct impression that the team of Deles, Ferrer and PNoy is giving away the Philippines. An example is the section on “Share in Taxes”. Please read:

    “Section 10. Share in Taxes of the Central Government. – Central Government taxes, fees, and charges collected in the Bangsamoro, other than tariff and customs duties, shall be shared as follows:
    a. Twenty-five percent (25%) to the Central Government; and
    b. Seventy-five percent (75%) to the Bangsamoro, including the shares of the local government units.
    The aforementioned twenty-five percent (25%) share of the Central Government shall, for a period of ten (10) years, be retained by the Bangsamoro Government. The period for retention may be extended upon mutual agreement of the Central Government and the Bangsamoro Government.”

    Imagine that you now own something and somebody comes and tells you ” I’ll take that from you, but I think I’ll be generous and leave you 25%”. And you say thank you. Then he says “But I will keep your share for 10 years. You can not use it”. And you say thank you again. Then he says “After 10 years, we will talk about it, I may not want to give you anything”. You say thank you again and then put this agreement in writing.

    This is not a negotiation. These are terms of surrender. I have not seen such amateurish negotiation. Even a slave negotiating with his master will not sign this agreement.

    And they want Congress and the Senate to rubber stamp the BBL. Deles and Ferrer must be removed from the negotiating panel.

    http://www.opapp.gov.ph/sites/default/files/House%20Bill%20No.%204994.pdf