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Palace not worried about restive MILF commanders

/ 07:31 PM July 30, 2014

Mohagher Iqbal, chief MILF negotiator, and Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, head of the government negotiating panel, exchange copies of the peace agreement between the MILF and the Aquino administration they signed in Malacañang on March 27, 2014. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Wednesday said it is not worried about the supposed restive ground commanders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) amid the delay in the filing of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

“I think the MILF is going to inform their people on the ground,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said, explaining that the MILF leadership should be able to allay the fears of their frontliners.

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He assured the public that President Benigno Aquino III’s commitment “has not wavered.”

“All we want to be sure of is that the bill that will be submitted to Congress will be acceptable to all—both from government and also the Bangsamoro people,” he added.

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Aquino, during his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Friday, asked Congress for understanding  for the delay while asking them to pass the law before the year ends.

But lawmakers are not the only ones growing impatient. Media reports said some ground commanders of the MILF have begun questioning the delay. Earlier, the MILF also expressed fears that the BBL will be watered down in Congress.

The BBL was supposed to be filed in Congress months ago but the review of the Office of the President delayed the process and has even necessitated for another dialogue between the MILF and Philippine government panels over contentious provisions.

On Monday, Philippine government chief negotiator Mmiriam Coronel-Ferrer said among the issues being tackled were fiscal autonomy and the Bangsamoro government structure.

Once the BBL is passed into law, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority will prepare for the 2016 plebiscite, which will define the territorial scope of the Bangsamoro autonomous region.

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TAGS: Bangsamoro Basic Law, MILF, Nation, News
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