Bangsamoro transition panel formed
President Aquino has named the 15 members of the Transition Commission that will craft the basic Bangsamoro law.
Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal heads the MILF representatives to the TransCom, presidential spokesman Secretary Edwin Lacierda announced on Monday.
The TransCom was created through Executive Order No. 120.
The others in the MILF side are Robert Alonto, Abdulla Camlian, Ibrahim Ali, Raissa Jajurie, Melanio U. Ulama, Hussein Munoz and Said Shiek.
The seven-man government contingent, on the other hand, is composed of Akmad Sakkam, Johaira Wahab, Talib Benito, Asani Tammang, Pedrito Eisma, Froilyn Mendoza and Fatmawati Salapuddin.
“The appointment of these individuals who represent vital Bangsamoro constituencies and have proven their commitment to pursuing amity and goodwill in Muslim Mindanao is a key step on the road map to the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Political Entity,” Lacierda said in a briefing.
He said this was proof of both camps’ seriousness to uphold the October 2012 framework agreement on the Bangsamoro to draft the Basic Bangsamoro Law and “move forward in the peace process.”
Who are covered
Under the agreement, the Bangsamoro are “those who at the time of conquest and colonization were considered natives or original inhabitants of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago and its adjacent islands, including Palawan, and their descendants, whether of mixed or full blood.”
The constitution of the TransCom came two weeks after the President launched a socioeconomic program in the MILF stronghold in Sultan Kudarat to address the health, educational and livelihood needs of the rebels in the next 18 months.
The government and the rebel group hope to seal a final comprehensive peace agreement by March.
The TransCom, created in December last year, has three functions: draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law; work on proposals to amend the Constitution with a view of “entrenching” the parties’ agreements in the Constitution; and coordinate development programs in Bangsamoro communities.
Once drafted, the Bangsamoro basic law will be certified urgent by the President and submitted to Congress.
The draft charter will then be submitted to a plebiscite in the envisioned core territory of the Bangsamoro. Upon the charter’s ratification, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) would be deemed abolished.
The Bangsamoro is expected to pave the way for an end to the decades-long Muslim insurgency in Mindanao.
The Bangsamoro basic law will replace the organic act, Republic Act No. 9054, that created the ARMM, which was part of the peace agreement that the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) signed with the government in 1996.
No MNLF member
Quoting Secretary Teresita Deles, presidential adviser on the peace process, Lacierda said the MNLF chose not to endorse a member to the TransCom.
“But we are certain that among the appointees are people who know the situation and perspectives of the MNLF on the ground,” he said.
The seven appointees of the government panel were vetted by a TransCom selection body composed of Deles, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Secretary Mehol Sadain of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.
“The selection body agreed on the following qualification requirements for each appointee: a Bangsamoro, a track record in support of the peace process and established probity, untainted by any charge or suspicion of corruption or abuse of power, among other things,” Lacierda said.
The MILF representatives were recommended by the rebel group.