Duterte to name new Bangsamoro commission members in January
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte would name the new members of the expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) next month.
Dureza, in a statement, said the appointment papers would likely be released in January, around two months after Duterte signed Executive Order No. 8, which expanded the BTC, a body tasked to draft and propose a law creating a Bangsamoro political entity.
The BTC is a product of the final peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
A draft Bangsamoro law was filed in the last Congress but it was stalled and did not pass in time for the elections amid questions on constitutionality and inclusiveness.
During President Benigno Aquino III’s term, the BTC had 15 members representing both the MILF and the government. The MILF side was represented by BTC head Mohagher Iqbal and members Robert Alonto, Abdulla Camlian, Ibrahim Ali, Raissa Jajurie, Melanio U. Ulama, Hussein Munoz and Said Shiek. The government was represented by Akmad Sakkam, Johaira Wahab, Talib Benito, Asani Tammang, Pedrito Eisma, Froilyn Mendoza and Fatmawati Salapuddin.
The expanded BTC will now have 10 members from the government and 11 from the MILF.
Dureza said the increased number of members would help bring together all stakeholders in the implementation of the Bangsamoro agreement.
“In our initial talks with the MILF last August 2016, we have agreed to raise the members from 15 to 21 so we can have more representatives, more inclusive memberships that represent other key sectors,” he said.
Earlier, the peace adviser said the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) faction led by Muslimin Sema would join the BTC, as well as indigenous peoples, sultanates and local government units.
While the group will not be able to include all sectors, it plans to consult all groups within the proposed Bangsamoro area.
The commission is expected to finish the draft law by July 2017 in time for Duterte’s second State of the Nation Address.
“The old BBL already underwent scrutiny but failed to be passed because of the Mamasapano incident, which put doubts on the level of trust in the talks. There were also issues on its constitutionality, but there are sectors affirming that the old BBL is constitutionally-compliant,” Dureza said.
He said the Constitution might or might not be amended, depending on the result of the discussions. CBB/rga