Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro updates
Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro updates
LATEST UPDATE: February 16, 2020 - 12:21pm
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February 16, 2020

The first of 11 planned Joint Peace and Security Team barracks has been turned over to the Joint Peace and Security Committee, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process says.

The JPST will be tasked with safeguarding decommissioned weapones from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, OPAPP says.

The barracks will be put up in seven provinces in Mindanao and are being builty through the OPAPP, with funding support by the UN Development Programme.

Decommissioning of MILF weapons and combatants is part of the normalization tracks of the peace agreement with the former rebel group.

October 22, 2019
From 5,000 to 7,000 decommissioned combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and their families stand to benefit from P100 million in livelihood and employment assistance under a memorandum of agreement between the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the Department of Labor and Employment.
The assistance is among the programs under the normalization track of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and will cover MILF combatants who are decomissioned this year.
These programs aim to strengthen the government’s efforts to help the combatants make the transition to peaceful and productive civilian lives, OPAPP says.
October 21, 2019

A contingent of police and military personnel are in Parang, Maguindanao for deployment with Joint Peace and Security Teams that will be jointly staffed with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process says.

It says 77 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and 96 from the Philippine National Police will be joined by 152 from the  Moro Islamic Liberation Front - Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces for training with the JPSTs.

"The JPST training is a unique community policing training where contingents from the AFP, PNP and MILF-BIAF shall undergo a one-month training program to enable them to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes to make them a capable and dependable force to protect the gains of the peace process," Police Lt.Col.  Arnold Razote, training director, says in the OPAPP release.

August 28, 2019
As part of the Normalization Track in the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, 219 former combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front completed their 26-day basic military training on Tuesday for their new role as peacekeepers.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process says in a press release that the BMT graduates can serve on composite Joint Peace and Security Teams.
"The graduates will now form the 6,000-strong JPST contingent that will be composed of 3,000 MILF, 1,600 Philippine National Police, and 1,400 Armed Forces of the Philippines members," OPAPP says.
The JPSTs will be tasked mainly with maintaning peace and security in Moro Islamic Liberation Front communities.
July 29, 2019

Two soldiers were wounded as government troops clashed against the New People Army rebels and overran teir camp in the jungle of Lumba Bayabao town, Lanao del Sur on Sunday, a military official says.

The troops were tracking down about 180 NPA rebels who had eluded combat operations in Bukidnon and slipped away to Lanao del Sur to conduct training when they encounter 10 armed rebels at Barangay Sabala Bantayao, Brig. Gen. Romeo Brawber, commander of the 103rd Infantry Brigade, says.

Brawner says they had received reports that about 180 NPA rebels from Guerilla Front 12 of Sub-regional Committee 5 entered the town of Lumba Bayabao to conduct training while also taking supplies from locals.

He says soldiers from the 49th, 55th, and 82nd Infantry Battalions, and the 15th Division Reconnaissance Company launched an operation in response and engaged the rebels believed to be deployed as front line defense in a firefught.

Brawner says the firefight that erupted about 9:15a.m Sunday raged for several minutes leaving undetermined rebels, and two soldiers, wounded. — The STAR/Roel Pareño

July 17, 2019

Member agencies of the Security sub-cluster have identified the initial requirements for the September decommissioning of Moro Islamic Liberation Front combatants, which is part of the normalization track of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process says.

"The decommissioning is in line with the objectives of Normalization in helping former MILF combatants achieve their desired quality of life through the pursuit of sustainable livelihood and political participation within a peaceful and deliberative society, and to put their weapons beyond use," OPAPP says in a statement.

The Security sub-cluster includes Department of Defense-Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Interior and Local Government - Philippine National Police, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and the Office of the Solicitor General.

Normalization involves decommissioning combatants and weapons as well as helping former rebels and their communities return to mainstream society.

June 12, 2019

Development projects in the normalization program of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro will benefit communities outside the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, a parliament member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority says.

In a press release from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Abdullah Macapaar says Camp Bilal in Munai, Lanao del Norte is among the Moro Islamic Liberation Front camps that the government plans to turn into "peaceful and resilient" communities.

"Although Lanao del Norte is not part of the BARMM, that won’t be a problem because we are included among the six major camps of MILF. All of the projects to be implemented here in Lanao del Norte, all of the help, are not for Camp Bilal alone but for the community, for all of you," he says in Filipino.

He says the development projects will benefit nearby communities too.

Lanao del Norte voted against joining the BARMM in a plebiscite held in February although the 'yes' vote won in the six towns that petitioned for inclusion in the new region. Inclusion required a majority vote in the municipality and in all other municipalities in the province.  

June 11, 2019

A government implementing panel has begun camp visits and consultations in six Moro Islamic Liberation Front camps as part of preparations to implement the Normalization Track of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process says in a release.

Among the MILF communities that will be "normalized", or transformed into development areas, are Camp Bushra, Camp Bilal, Camp Rajamuda, Camp Abubakar, Camp Bad’r, and Camp Omar.

"The event is part of the information and education campaign of the Government Panel to further enhance the communities within and near MILF camps understanding of the Bangsamoro peace process, particularly the Normalization Track, which includes the decommissioning of MILF forces and weapons," OPAPP says.

January 17, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte will visit the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on Friday, the ARMM's Bureau of Public Information says.

The bureau says the president will visit to support ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law at the plebiscite next week. 

"Thousands of pro-BOL supporters and ARMM employees are expected to attend the peace rally to be held here jointly organized by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front," the bureau also says.

January 17, 2019
January 21 will be a special non-working holiday in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Cotabato City, and Isabela City in Basilan, the Palace announces
January 16, 2019

Religious freedom will not be affected by ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which is up for ratification at a plebiscite on Monday, a provincial governor campaigning for a "Yes" vote for the law.

"It is very clear too that the BOL has provisions assuring Christians and indigenous non-Muslim communities of ample representation in the BARMM government. So what is there to fear about? Let’s vote for its ratification," Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu says.

The statement was in response to apprehension by some that non-Muslims would be subjected to Sharia laws under the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

In December, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Mujiv Hataman also countered rumors that ratification would lead to a ban on fiestas and on pork.

"It’s not true that the Christians’ practices such as fiesta and eating pork will be prohibited. ARMM has been there for many years and fiestas have not been prohibited. You go to Wao, Lanao del Sur, and Lamitan City, Basilan City where fiesta and faith are equally respected," Hataman said.

January 14, 2019

Ballots for the January 21 plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law have already been printed out, the Commission on Elections says.

The January 21 is for areas in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao that are considered part of the core territory of proposed Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao.

A February 6 plebiscite will also be held in other areas.



January 8, 2019

The Supreme Court consolidates the petitions of the Philippines Consitution Association (PHILCONSA) with the earlier petition filed by province of Sulu questioning the constitutionality of the Bangsamoro Organic Law. 

The court also requires respondents, both the executive and legislative branches of government, to file their comment on the petitions within ten days.

"The Comelec has scheduled the plebiscite on the 21st, since there is no TRO at the moment, the plebiscite can proceed," Court Administrator Midas Marquez says at a briefing.

December 26, 2018

Ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, "will massively cut the threat of violent extremism," the Mindanao Advocacy and Social Communication in Davao City says in a statement.

"Remember how violent extremism emerges every setback in the Moro peace process? The appearance of the Abu Sayyaf was due to the miscarriage of the 1996 Moro National Liberation Front peace agreement implementation," Mindacomm managing director Candido Aparece Jr. says.

"When the Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order on the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters came to being. And the dawn of the infamous ISIS inspired Maute Group-that caused the huge ruin of Marawi City and vast fear in many Filipinos of Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines- was since the failure to enact the Bangsamoro Basic Law," he also says.

"All these showed how pocket violent extremist Moro groups pop up out of frustration in the Moro peace process."

The Commission on Elections will hold a plebiscite on the BOL on January 21, 2019.

December 20, 2018

The Philippine National Police has ordered its regional police office in the Zamboanga Peninsula to deploy 9,000 personnel to secure the January 21, 2019 plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law,

Chief Superintendent Emmanuel Luis Licup, regional director, says the augmentation order was issued after a security meeting on the plebsicite at the national headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

"The national headquarters identified we need additional 9,000 troops in the region," Licup says.

He says the regional office has already organized two companies of police personnel, mostly from the mobile force battalion, for deployment to Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

The police unit in Basilan will source its forces by realigning its personnel. — The STAR/Roel Pareño

December 19, 2018

Local officials campaigning for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law attended the last “ulat sa bayan” of the governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Wednesday.

For the first time ever, leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front graced the ulat sa bayan of ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, possibly the last if the BOL gets ratified via a plebiscite on January 21, 2019.

The now 29-year ARMM, which has a regional charter, the Republic 9054, could be replaced with a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, or BARMM, if the BOL gets an approval from voters in its proposed core territory.

December 18, 2018

All is set for what could be the last State of the Region Address on Wednesday of the now outgoing governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The now 29-year-old ARMM could be replaced with a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, or BARMM, if the Bangsamoro Organic Law, is ratified in a January 21 plebiscite.

The SORA, also known as “ulat sa bayan” of ARMM Gov. Mujiv is a yearly activity of the 24-seat Regional Assembly, touted as the “Little Congress” of the autonomous region.

Peace advocates and local executives from across the autonomous region, which covers the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, are expected to grace the event, to be held inside the 32-hectare ARMM compound in Cotabato City.

Chief Superintendent Graciano Mijares of the Police Regional Office-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao says a security contingent is now guarding the surroundings of the ARMM capitol to ensure the safety of SORA event guests.

December 17, 2018

The police and military are increasing security in areas where the January 21 plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law will be held.

The exercise, to be administered by the Commission on Elections in all five provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and in several towns in Regions 12 and 10 and in Isabela City under Region 9, will seal of the fate of the BOL.

The BOL is also known as the Republic Act 11054, the enabling measure for the replacement of ARMM with a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, or BARMM.

In separate statements Monday, Chief Superintendent Graciano Mijares of the Police Regional Office-ARMM and Major Gen. Cirilito Sobejana say their units in areas to be subjected to the January 21 plebiscite have started imposing security measures to ensure the safety of Comelec personnel and local facilitators of the activity. -- John Unson

November 19, 2018

MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim has made a historic visit to Camp Aguinaldo, the headquarters of the Armed Force of the Philippines, in Quezon City.

He and other top leaders of the MILF and Bangsamoro Transition Commission met with Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff. 

October 31, 2018

ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman urges the local government of Sulu, represented by Gov. Abdusakur Tan II, to keep pushing for peace after the latter expressed opposition to the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

"It is such a shame that it is a Moro who seeks to spoil this process all over again. We cannot allow the personal interests or anyone—especially not a Moro—to again sow discord where we so clearly need peace. We cannot allow the short-sightedness that is the politics of patronage to again wreck the progress we have made on the road to a lasting peace," Hataman says in a statement.

"This is not the time to put a roadblock up against the Bangsamoro Organic Law. Not after all the struggle and time invested in years of working to make a fully-functional and truly autonomous Bangsamoro region a reality. We need peace, and we will have that peace even if there are those who would break it to gain political leverage."

October 30, 2018

The Supreme Court has asked Malacañang and Congress to respond to the petition of the Sulu provincial government to nullify the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

The SC discussed the petition filed by Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan II during its session on Oct. 16, according to an insider, The STAR reports.

August 6, 2018

Duterte says he signed into law the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which he hopes "will finally end the decades of conflict that is rooted in the Bangsamoro fight to find identity."

August 6, 2018

President Duterte hands over the Bangsamoro Organic Law to MILF Chairman Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim here in Malacañang. 



— Alexis Romero

July 29, 2018

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza welcomes the "very positive and timely statements of support" by the United Nations and European Union on the passage of the Bangsamoro law.

"The EU and the UN have been with us in our long and at times challenging moments through their consistent support. During bad times, they kept the faith and stayed with us, and never walked away from the 'table.'"

He also notes the positive comments of the Japanese government and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on the Philippines.

"The Japanese Government on the other hand has been a faithful partner in the advancement of peace in Mindanao with its continuous support to the peace process and reconstruction and development of the region."


July 26, 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte announces that he had already signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which aims to carve a self-ruled region for Muslims in Mindanao.

Speaking during the distribution of relief goods to the residents of Labuan, Zamboanga City, Duterte says he had already signed the law which he says was needed in forging peace in Mindanao.

Duterte says he will adopt a wait-and-see attitude on his expectations of the law.

July 24, 2018

The House of Representatives ratifies the proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law. It will now only need the signature of President Duterte to become a law.

July 23, 2018

The Palace says it is unfortunate that the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which the Senate ratified earlier Monday, has yet to be ratified by the House of Representatives.

President Rodrigo Duterte was expected to sign the bill, which is based on the 2014 peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, into law in time for his State of the Nation Address on Monday afternoon.

"We consider this as a temporary setback in the administration’s goal of laying the foundation for a more genuine and lasting peace in Mindanao," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says.

He says Duterte will sign the bill once both houses have ratified the bill.

July 23, 2018

The Senate has ratified the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law crafted by a bicameral conference committee, News5 reports.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to sign the bill, which will implement the 2014 peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, into law today, the same day he will give his annual State of the Nation Address.

The House of Representatives, which is also holding its opening session Monday morning, is expected to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law today.

July 18, 2018

After more than a week of debates, the Senate and House of Representatives approve the final version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law. 




— with Paolo Romero

May 29, 2018

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao welcomes news that the Bangsamoro Basic Law has been certified urgent.

"We welcome the president's certification, with the optimism that the upper and lower houses of Congress will work together to meet the deadline they have earlier set for themselves with regard to passing the Bangsamoro Basic Law. We also ask Congress to stay true to the essence of the proposed law, as they work towards passing a law that will genuinely uphold our right to self-determination," Regional Gov. Mujiv Hataman says in a statement.

"It has taken us more than a decade of negotiations that led to our most recent draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, and we now only have a few days to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law before Congress adjourns," he also says.

May 24, 2018

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas ask President Rodrigo Duterte to certify as urgent the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.

In a letter to the president dated May 23 but released to the media only today, the House leaders say they seek to pass the measure on third and final reading before the congressional break on June 2.

May 22, 2018

Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri ask President Rodrigo Duterte to certify as urgent the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law to speed up the passage of the measure which seeks to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao.

“We aim to pass the said measure on third reading before the sine die adjournment of the Senate on 2 June 2018,” the two Senate leaders say.

March 27, 2018

President Duterte, in a speech in Sulu, says he will not allow the proposed Bangsamoro region to have its own police and armed forces, neither of which are proposed in the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law.

March 26, 2018

Duterte, speaking before residents of Patikul, in Sulu, many of whom are of the Tausug people, says he is worried that the Bangsamoro Basic Law might not address tribal rivalries in Mindanao.

"This BBL, it is going on in Congress, let us look at it closely. I am a little worried, would it do well to mix it all in one pot?" Duterte said in English and Filipino.

Mujiv Hataman, regional governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said he is confident there will be no interruption of reforms and government services during a transition to a proposed Bangsamoro region that will replace the ARMM.

He added regional officials will meet on a potential transition that will happen if the Bangsamoro Basic Law is passed.

"I want them to know that I started from a problematic regional government. Ayaw ko maranasan nila (Bangsamoro Transition Authority) ) ang naranasan ko noong nag-transition ako," Hataman, who was caretaker governor from 2011 to 2013, said. He was elected regional governor in 2013 and again in 2016.

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