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Transition body on Bangsamoro gov’t to meet this week, say MILF, PH gov’t

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MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – The Transition Commission (Transcom), the body tasked to draft the charter for the future Bangsamoro government, will be holding its first “en banc” meeting on Wednesday, according to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine government.

The Transcom, chaired by MILF peace panel chair Mohaqher Iqbal, will meet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ortigas, according to the rebel group’s Sunday statement.

Teresita Deles, presidential adviser on the peace process, confirmed the holding of the first meeting of the 15-man Transcom, although she did not specify any date.

She said the occasion would serve as venue for the government and the MILF “to formally introduce to the public the members of the all-Bangsamoro body.”

Deles said aside from her, Cabinet officials led by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa would observe the conduct of the Transcom meeting.

“We welcome the holding of the first en banc meeting of the Transition Commission on April 3,” Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, government peace panel head, said in a separate statement, a copy of which was furnished the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The Transcom was created by President Aquino in December through Executive Order No. 120 and appointed its members, based on recommendations by both the government and MILF panels, on Feb. 25.

The other Transcom members, who was described by Deles as having been “drawn from various ethnic, professional and political backgrounds from within the Bangsamoro,” were Robert M. Alonto, Abdulla Camlian, Ibrahim Ali, Raissa Jajurie, Melanio Ulama, Hussein Muñoz, and Said Shiek; Akmad Sakkam, Johaira Wahab, Talib Benito, Asani Tammang, Pedrito  Eisma, Froilyn Mendoza, and Fatmawati Salapuddin.

The President also ordered the release of P100 million to bankroll the Transcom’s task of laying out the basic law for the future Bangsamoro government, which will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Deles said the government was confident the Transcom “can perform its functions even if the comprehensive agreement is still being worked at.”

“The FAB (Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro) already provides enough guidance for the Transcom to start its work,” she said.

Deles also said even as the panels have been striving to come to terms over annexes to the FAB, OPAPP would “work closely” with the Transcom to come up with a draft law that would govern the future Bangsamoro government and in its other tasks.

As outlined in Aquino’s order, the Transcom is mandated to assist in identifying and coordinating development programs in the proposed Bangsamoro; and conduct dialogues and consultations with the national government and other stakeholders.

Iqbal said the meeting of the Transcom should have taken place last week yet but it was reset to April 3 due to the Lenten season.

He said the body would spend the next 21 months from April 3 to draft the Bangsamoro charter.


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Tags: Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro , Miriam Coronel-Ferrer , Mohaqher Iqbal , Moro Islamic Liberation Front , News , Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process , Paquito Ochoa , peace negotiations , peace process , Peace Talks , Philippine Government , Regions , Teresita Deles , Transition Commission




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