OPAPP vows to push for BBL passage amid uncertainties
Jose Rodel Clapano (The Philippine Star) - January 5, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) vowed to push for the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) despite uncertainties and challenges ahead of the May 2016 elections.

“We should hit the ground running. These last six months are going to move… fast (during which) we will face challenges,” presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita Quintos-Deles said.

“This January, we are looking forward, working hard and praying harder, that we will see the passage of BBL when Congress resumes (session),” she said.

Deles said the passage of the BBL would ease discussions during the upcoming ministerial meeting this month in Jeddah on the Tripartite Review Process on the implementation of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

“The House leadership is hopeful that they will be able to muster a quorum and finish the process. This is a message that we should not give up hope and we need to keep pushing for the completion of the most important milestone on the peace table,” Deles said.

As stipulated in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), two separate components will run through its implementation simultaneously; the political process that will lead to the establishment of the Bangsamoro political entity to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) through the enactment of an enabling law which is the BBL.

The CAB also outlined the normalization process which seeks to restore communities affected by decades-long armed conflict to peaceful and civilian lives.

Once all provisions in the CAB have been implemented, both sides will sign an exit agreement.

In a statement, government peace panel chairman Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said the government and MILF will remain steadfast in upholding the ceasefire in pursuit of lasting peace in the southern Philippines, since both parties are committed to isolating groups that continue to foment violence in Mindanao.

“The best thing about the peace process between the government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front is that the two parties have not gone back to war,” Ferrer said.

“We are gradually transforming the lives of the people on the ground, nurturing their hopes and dreams for a better future. And we are so close to putting firmly in place the needed institutional reforms to realize meaningful autonomy and democracy in the Bangsamoro,” she added.

Ferrer said both peace panels will continue to collaborate in strengthening the joint mechanisms and building mutual trust and confidence among and between their respective organizations.

“In rising to the tasks before us, we have fortified our confidence in the process. We shall continue to carry on in order to get to our destination sooner than later,” Ferrer said.

ACIRC AUTONOMOUS REGION BANGSAMORO BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW COMPREHENSIVE AGREEMENT FINAL PEACE AGREEMENT MIRIAM CORONEL-FERRER MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT MORO NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT PEACE PROCESS
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