Local execs in Iligan City express support to Bangsamoro; foresee peace & dev’t December 5, 2014Posted by HERBERT CURIA in PEACE TALK UPDATES.
FROM THE WEBSITE OF OPPAP
Local execs in Iligan City express support to Bangsamoro; foresee peace & dev’t
ILIGAN CITY – Local government executives in this city led by Mayor Celso G. Regencia and Representative Vicente Belmonte Jr. expressed their firm support to the passage of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), saying that Iligan City will definitely benefit from the dividends of peace in the future Bangsamoro.
Regencia, speaking in Visayan, said that “here in Iligan City, we don’t oppose the proposed BBL…but we ask that people participate and clarify things in the BBL in the consultations,” during his welcoming message at the 21st public hearing conducted by the House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL in this city on November 28.
Regencia urged the people of Iligan and Mindanao, whether Muslims, Christians, or Indigenous Peoples (IPs) to continue to cooperate for peace and development that is for the well-being of all.
Belmonte on his part anticipated that “soon we (Iligan City) will be called the gateway city to the Bangsamoro territory. Although Iligan is not part of the core territory of the Bangsamoro, we are still very much concerned because certain provisions will affect us in the future. Iligan City will be involved (in the passage of BBL) in the name of peace and development.”
Thirteen members of the Ad Hoc Committee attended the public consultation here presided by committee vice-chair Rep. Henry Oaminal of the 2nd District of Misamis Occidental. On the same day, the committee simultaneously held consultations in Tubod, Lanao del Norte and in Pagadian City on House Bill 4994. Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) members, the body who drafted the BBL, as well as resource persons from the Government of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel joined the public hearings to help explain the background, context and spirit of the proposed law.
GPH peace panel legal team head Atty. Anna Tarhata Basman joined the hearing here. She discussed the salient points of the draft BBL to hundreds of attendees. The passage and ratification of BBL will pave the way for the replacement of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) by a Bangsamoro region by 2016.
Plebiscite for creating Bangsamoro
GPH peace panel legal team head Atty. Anna Tarhata Basman addressed one of the main concerns of the city officials which is the conduct of plebiscite for the future Bangsamoro that will define its territorial jurisdiction.
She underscored that Iligan City is not part of the proposed Bangsamoro territory found in the Bangsamoro bill. But it is being discussed in Iligan because of its proximity or contiguity to the proposed Bangsamoro areas.
Basman explained the BBL provision in Article XV that provides the requirements for areas on how to join the plebiscite. Section 4 of the proposed bill states that “any local government unit or geographic area outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro, but which are contiguous to any of the component units of the Bangsamoro, upon a verified petition for the conduct of a plebiscite of at least ten percent (10%) of the registered voters, submitted to the Bangsamoro Electoral Office.”
“Only when these two requirements (of said contiguity and petition) are met can an area join the plebiscite. The overarching principle is consent of the governed. Ang mamamayan ang huhusga kung sila ay sasali sa Bangsamoro. (Citizens [registered voters in the area] will decide if they want to join Bangsamoro,” she emphasized.
BTC commissioner and MILF peace panel member Maulana “Bobby” Alonto expressed in his message that the MILF is revolutionary group that negotiated with the GPH for genuine autonomy as a political settlement of the conflict. He noted that “the MILF is not adverse to democracy,” but in fact agreed for achieving genuine autonomy in the south within the constitutional process of the Philippines.
He referred to the draft BBL, which is proposed enabling law of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), submitted to Congress for passage. Then it will go through a plebiscite for the people to decide on their inclusion to the Bangsamoro.
Rep. Oaminal on his part said that the success of Bangsamoro is a victory for all of us and ensures solidarity of all Filipinos.
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