MNLF part of inclusive transition process, says Leonen

October 15, 2012 10:32 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 15 — The Aquino administration is inviting the Moro National Liberation Front to take part in the Transition Commission that will draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law, government chief peace negotiator Marvic Leonen said Monday.

"Insofar as the government is concerned, there is every intention that the government side of the transition commission will be inclusive and, yes, it will include members of the MNLF," Leonen said during the joint press briefing in Malacanang Monday.

Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, who joined Leonen during the press briefing, said both parties have come out with a short list.

"We have the short list already and certainly, we would consider women participation, a member of the IP (Indigenous Peoples), and maybe a representative from the non-government organizations, we will also involve them,” Iqbal said.

The basic law for the creation of the Bangsamoro, which will be drafted by the transition commission, will go through the full process of legislation in Congress, Leonen said.

"Perhaps what I could say is that it is a paper that enumerates the political commitments of the Government of the Republic (of the Philippines) to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and what it creates is not something that is exclusive to the MILF," he said.

"Let me repeat, the process is an inclusive people-driven and democratic process: A Transition Commission which will go for consultations throughout the area; submitting a Bangsamoro Basic Law or a draft of it to the Congress; the House and the Senate deliberating with elected representatives; the President mulling over the product of Congress when it passes this bill in three readings; and then, finally, a full ratification from the people in the area," Leonen said.

The Constitution and lawfull processes shall govern the process of creating the Bangsamoro, according to Leonen adding that the Bangsamoro is a political, legal and constitutional mandate.

In a statement, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles welcomed the arrival of Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary-General Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, and other foreign dignitaries to witness the historic signing of the Framework Agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Malacañang Monday.

Composed of 57 member states, the OIC brokered the 1992-1996 GPH-MNLF peace negotiations that led to the signing of the Final Peace Agreement on Sept. 2, 1996.

Malaysia, on the other hand, has been facilitating the GPH-MILF peace talks since 2001.

The GPH-MILF Framework Agreement is dubbed as the “mother agreement” that serves as a road map for the creation of the new Bangsamoro entity that will replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (PNA)

HBC/PCOO/SSC

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