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MILF fears watering down of Bangsamoro bill in Congress

/ 08:27 PM April 25, 2014

Ahud (aka Murad) Ebrahim. FILE PHOTO/MALACANANG PHOTO BUREAU

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines—The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Friday admitted that it fears the watering down of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law in Congress.

“Congress may try to change some provisions of the Basic Law. It could be watered down. This is one of the challenges we foresee,” MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad told European ambassadors in Camp Darapanan, Maguindanao.

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Murad said that is one of their worries when the bill, which was drafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Council, is submitted to Congress.

The Bangsamoro Basic Law will pave the way for the creation of the Bangsamoro political entity following the comprehensive peace agreement between the Philippine government and the MILF.

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The draft has been submitted to President Benigno Aquino III. Upon the President’s approval, the proposed bill will have to be submitted to Congress to undergo the legislative process before being enacted into law.

Murad said they will have to convince lawmakers that the law should not be diluted because it is a crucial part of the peace agreement and a product of four decades of “hard negotiations…hard struggle of the Bangsamoro (people).”

The MILF camp was the second stop of the European Union delegation’s mission to Mindanao.

The delegation was led by Ambassadors Guy Ledoux of EU, Thomas Ossowski of Germany, Massimo Roscigno of Italy, Josef Muellner of Austria, and Roland van Remoortele of Belgium.

Delegates from the United Kingdom, Romania, France, and Spain were also present.

The group on Friday met with the MILF, officials of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and other stakeholders.

EU has a number of projects being implemented in Mindanao in support of the peace process. It is also the biggest donor to the World Bank-administered Mindanao Trust Fund, which provides for various livelihood and development programs in the region.

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TAGS: Al Haj Murad, Bangsamoro Basic Law, Bangsamoro Transition Council, Congress, MILF
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