Malacañang continues pursuing BBL passage
Eileen Nazareno Ballesteros (The Freeman) - February 5, 2016 - 9:00am

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines — Despite the failure of the 16th Congress to pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law before its adjournment the other day, Malacañang sent out its officials in its pursuit to disseminate the significance and value of the Bangsamoro region.

Associate Solicitor General Armi Beatriz Bayot visited this city yesterday for a forum on BBL with the media and representatives of the police, the military, national government agencies, local government units, and academe.

Bayot was part of the team from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process that has been going around the country for the purpose of discussing the BBL via a forum organized by the Philippine Information Agency.

Bayot, in the Tacloban forum, dismissed apprehension among ordinary citizens, especially those not in Muslim regions of Mindanao, and expounded on the main substance of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed on March 27, 2014.

Tthe creation of an autonomous Bangsamoro region should not be understood as a springboard towards granting full sovereignty to the Bangsarmoro autonomous region. “The fact alone that the Muslim leaders signed with the government of the Philippines the CAB, it means they are not for being itself a full sovereign state,” she said.

“The central government will continue to exercise jurisdiction over the Bangsamoro,” she said, clarifying that the initiative does not attempt to create a new sultanate, considering further the benefit of a proposed parliamentary government.

Bayot told the forum participants on the need for an intelligent and more comprehensive public conversation. “It is not enough that we approve or decline without having more in-depth knowledge about certain issues such as the BBL.”

Congress’s non-passage of the BBL was a small fallback, she said, but added that what is more important would be to make the Filipinos know what the proposed creation of Bangsamoro Core Territory and the BBL is all about.

Bayot continued to disclose more specific attempts under the Bangsamoro Agreement, including the normalization annex, power-sharing annex and wealth-sharing annex provisions in it. “This is just a catching up mechanism for the two autonomous regions other than Bangsamoro and the Cordilleras,” she said as she discounted the effort towards federalism.

The idea of having a federal government in the Philippines needs deeper study and more careful understanding, and not something people should simply go for or against, Bayot said.

However she could not provide a 100 percent certainty that the Bangsamoro Agreement will be fool-proof, although this could be the better way of granting “self-determination” to the Bangsamoro territory than the current ARMM.

The proposed Bangsamoro core territory will still have the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines, and that it will only have a one-year transition budget of P1 billion, and later on will have fiscal autonomy.

“The success of this initiative depends on us working together in the implementation of the BBL, which Bayot said will be passed eventually and Bangsamoro territory be realized. (FREEMAN)

 

 

ACIRC ASSOCIATE SOLICITOR GENERAL ARMI BEATRIZ BAYOT BANGSAMORO BANGSAMORO AGREEMENT BANGSAMORO AND THE CORDILLERAS BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW BANGSAMORO CORE TERRITORY BAYOT COMPREHENSIVE AGREEMENT OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER PEACE PROCESS
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