Duterte pledges enactment of Bangsamoro bill after House deferment
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - July 23, 2018 - 6:02pm

MANILA, Philippines — Fulfilling his promise of a higher budget for Mindanao, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he will sign the proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law.

During his third State of the Nation Address, the president asked for two days to sign the landmark measure, which the House of Representatives failed to ratify before adjourning its session Monday morning.

"When the approved version is transmitted and received by my own office, the law has been passed actually, and I intend to give me 48 hours to sign it and ratify the law," Duterte said in his speech.

The passage of the BOL, originally called the Bangsamoro Basic Law, would make available funds which have always been allotted to "Imperial Manila," as he said Mindanaons refer to the capital.

The president lamented how national projects in Metro Manila have been funded, "leaving a pittance to Mindanao."

"Mindanao was dubbed as the land of promise and Mindanaoans say in the region that is so because what it got from the government through the years of promises, promises and more promises," he said.

Duterte made a commitment to the Filipino Muslim community that they will see the "promise of Mindanao" before his term ends.

"Despite all that has been said, or against the Bangsamoro Organic Law by all sectoral groups, I make this solemn commitment that this administration will never deny our Muslim brothers and sisters the basic legal tools to chart their own destiny within the constitutional framework of our country," the president said.

While the Senate ratified the proposed BOL, the House of Representatives failed to do so as it abruptly ended its session amid a looming change in leadership.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that the failure of the House to ratify the bill was a "temporary setback."

"We, however, remain confident that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will sign the Bangsamoro Organic Law as soon as both houses of Congress finally ratify the bill," Roque said.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: August 28, 2019 - 10:20am

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.

August 28, 2019 - 10:20am
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 - 4:16pm

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 - 11:23am

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 - 10:22am

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 - 2:09pm

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.

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