Bangsamoro basic law will replace ARMM, says Leonen


The Bangsamoro basic law will replace the organic act that created the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), according to the government’s chief peace negotiator with Moro rebels.

The organic act, Republic Act No. 9054, “will be changed in its entirety,” Marvic Leonen, head of the government peace panel, told reporters on Thursday night.

“There will be a Bangsamoro basic law and it is also possible that the Bangsamoro basic law will take what is good in the ARMM organic act,” Leonen said.

“Only one law will exist. The Bangsamoro basic law should be designed to replace the organic act,” Leonen said.

Under the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Monday, a Transition Commission will write the basic law that will create a new autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao, the Bangsamoro.

Urgent bill

President Benigno Aquino III will certify the draft basic law as an urgent bill then submit it to Congress for enactment.

The final approval of the basic law is by plebiscite, after which a Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) will be established to replace the ARMM government.

Once the BTA is established, the ARMM is deemed abolished.

The creation of the ARMM is part of a peace agreement that the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) signed with the government in 1996.

For that reason, MNLF leader Nur Misuari frowns on the Bangsamoro agreement, threatening to question it in the International Court of Justice.

Consensus points

But other MNLF officials, including Cotabato City Mayor Muslimin Sema, favor the Bangsamoro deal, although they want to know how it can be brought into harmony with the 1996 peace agreement.

Told about the query, Leonen said government consultations with the MNLF had produced “consensus points,” among which is giving the MNLF seats on the Transition Commission.

Representation on the commission will ensure that MNLF interest will be dealt with in the formulation of the Bangsamoro basic law.

There should be no problem with the MILF, an offshoot of the MNLF, as the MILF wants the peace deal “to be inclusive,” Leonen said.

Leonen said the government and the MNLF had “agreed upon the process” toward a final peace accord with the MILF.

Talks with MNLF

Consultations between the government and the MNLF are carried out through three-corner talks involving Indonesia and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Peace Commission for Southern Philippines (OIC-PCSP).

Among the topics of discussions in the talks are infirmities in the ARMM organic act.

The OIC, however, has recognized the framework agreement between the government and the MILF. OIC secretary general Ekmeleddin Ishanoglu was present at the signing of the agreement in Malacañang on Monday.

Leonen said the government was also talking to Misuari, who said the Bangsamoro deal was illegal and refused to serve on the Transition Commission.

Misuari’s role, however, “will depend on the decision of the MNLF as a whole and will depend on the talks with the government,” Leonen said.


Leonen stressed that the policy of the government in finding lasting peace in Mindanao is “convergence.”

“It wants to be able to find the best common denominator among the groups,” Leonen said. “We think [the MNLF and the MILF] will remain separate, but at least there will be convergence as to how to proceed with respect to the Bangsamoro.”

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  • Jorge Angel Cruz

    Religion tend to divide People. and it is said that a rose by any name is just as sweet. A rose has no guns and a rose can”nt  feel . The name used with the new muslim leaders should have chosen a kinder name not to confuse a one nation and one Philippines? So here in its starting points Christians begins to murmur,  

  • Edgardo Mendoza


  • Datuitum

    Koran and Democracy don’t mix ! It’s going to be a Talibanized Bangsamoro !

    • vigilant1975


    • beerhunters

      exactly. “Allah is our Lord, Mohammed is our Leader, Qur’an is our Constitution, Shariah is our Law, Shahadat(martyrdom) is our Desdire, Jihad is our Way, to Chop Off the hands and heads of unbelieversINFIDELS wherever we find them-is our Bounden Duty.” Allahu Akbar!!

  • Rod

    Peace will come finally when: 1. The Moros  will cease to see themselves as a different nation and be one with filipinos, or 2. they manage to free themselves from the Philippines [independence].

    Other them them is buying time.

    The Moro nation should be happy by now. At least they are now recognized as a nation by the Filipinos. Cheers to Bangsamoro.. This is indeed a historical date for them. [I don’t mind them being independent, actually. Andyan na yan. Good or bad, Filipinos should remember people like Leonen for that. Maybe Bangsamoros will do better? How will it be with the future Philippine Government administrations, and how will it be with the future leaders of the Bangsamoros? We can only guess for now.

    So much fuss over nothing but a ceasefire. In ARMM we saw arms laid down and we saw Moro integration into the Filipino nation. Mere words are cheap. Wishfull thinking goes nowhere.

  • Rod

    Peace?  If you are around a decade later, same thing will likely be there in southern Philippines.

    It’s not about killing people. Its about ending an idea. When the idea for independence lives, war goes on and on.  Faces come and go. There is no end to that. The dead are simply replaced.

    Have the Moros changed their minds to be one with Filipinos?

  • Jols – batman Robin


  • Rod

    Bangsamoro entity to become a federal form of entity. They will be hands-on in government. In exchange for that, I suppose they promised to behave better to the Filipinos? Fine. Good when good, worse if bad.

  • nice_boy

    The MNLF knew all the while that the GRP was talking with the MILF.  Why did they wait for the framework to be signed before they started making noise.  Because of their neglect, their  rights may be considered abandoned.  Hope the two won’t go to war against each other with the GRP in the middle.  That’s the problem with taking with these people.  Both claim to be the legitimate representative of the Filipino Muslims yet both do not have a clear mandate from the people they claim to represent.

    • Handiong

      It is only Misuari who is making noise. Some of his followers are abandoning him.

    • Rod

      Mukhang may power struggle lang. Peru balik sa question ng kapayapaan, wala magaling na Filipino sa bagay na iyan. Sapagkat ang kapayapaan sa Mindanao ay nasa kamay ng Bangsamoro.  Habang may dream sila magtiwalag sa Pilipinas tuloy ang gulo. Sa mga muslim lang iyan kung gulo o kapayapaan. Nasa waiting end actually ang gobyernong Filipino.

      Ngayon, sa bagong entity kung ano man ang tawag diyan, kung pairalin ang demokratikong paraan, malamang mga pangalan katulad ng Ampatuan, Mangudadato, Tamano, Pacquao atbp ang maghahari diyan at malayo ang mga pangalan katulad ng Umbrakato. Kaya ang gagawin ng isang demokratikong pamahalaan katulad ngayon ay dayain, o manipulahon, o i-appoint na lang tong mga Bangsamoro para makasakay sa gobyerno para wala gulo. [Kung puede mo tawagin na demokrasya iyan at hindi baluktot napamumulitika].

    • Jasmin

      Just because the pact is signed it doesn’t mean nothing can be done against it.  They can still question it before the high court.

  • Guest

    Sabi nga ni Sen. Chiz, kailangan mag-develop tayo ng tinatawag na “peace constituency” para lahat involved, ‘yung lahat ng sector ay makiki-isa at ipaglalaban ‘yung kapayapaan.

  • Etisburther

    Misuari claimed that some 17,000 armed fighters bolted the MILF and joined MNLF to protest the newly minted peace accord. GPH should verify it, sabi nga ni Sen. Chiz Escudero, to avoid a repeat of what happened in 1996 when the ARMM agreement was signed.

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