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Bangsamoro body close to finishing draft of basic law—MILF

/ 04:42 PM January 21, 2014

MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines—The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) is nearing completion of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, a milestone that makes the once elusive peace in Mindanao more attainable nowadays, according to the chief negotiator of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Mohagher Iqbal, together with the commissioners of the BTC, announced this on Monday, when he paid a courtesy call to Cotabato Governor Emmylou Mendoza and bring his message of peace.

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Mendoza, in her welcome remarks elaborated the importance of Iqbal’s visit and the meaningful message the BTC has brought to Cotabateños.

“It is essential that we engage in consultations and discussions about the Bangsamoro and know what stage of the road map to its establishment it is now,” she said.

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She reiterated her support to the peace process and assured the Commission of the provincial government’s support for peace initiatives such as forum, dialogues and other measures to address the apprehensions of the people.

“The time has come for the people of Mindanao to set aside hatred, differences and conflict. We have to come into terms and achieve long lasting peace in this part of the country,” Iqbal said, reading his message in front of the top officials of the provincial government of Cotabato.

Iqbal said the BTC and the quest for Bangsamoro establishment would face bigger challenges especially in the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

“The drafting of the BBL will finally be finished in April of this year and we hope for the best that President Benigno Aquino will endorse it as a priority bill,” Iqbal added.

A referendum will take place in 2016 to the envisioned core territories of the Bangsamoro.

The BTC came with the delegation from the International Monitoring Team (IMT) led by Major Gen. Dato Abdul Rahim bin Mohd Yusuff.

With him were other members of IMT whose responsibility was to keep an eye on the implementation of the ceasefire agreement between the Philippine government and the MILF.

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TAGS: Bangsamoro Basic Law, Bangsamoro Transition Commission, Emmylou Mendoza, Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, Governor, Local authorities, Local Governments, Mohagher Iqbal, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, News, peace negotiations, peace process, Peace Talks, Philippine Government, Regions
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