GPH peace panel lauds House commitment to pass BBL; hopes for its passage by 3rd quarter of 2015 July 25, 2015Posted by HERBERT CURIA in PEACE TALK UPDATES.
COTABATO CITY – Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, chair of the government peace panel in talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, today said that many people are anxiously waiting for the committee report of Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on the proposed Bangsamoro Law to be released. “Until the Senate committee report is out, the law-making process in the Upper House stays at a standstill, she said. “We are grateful that the Lower House has moved ahead of the process at their level and intends to see it through.”
House Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales II said last Sunday that the House is targeting the passage of the Basic Law on third and final reading by the third week of September, alongside the committee hearings on the 2016 national budget which will begin soon after Congress reopens next week.
“After all the hearings and public statements, the only hard basis on which to discern the fate of the draft law is the Senate Committee report. How far from the current House bill would the Senate version go? Would the key structural features be retained? Are we back to square one?” Ferrer asked.
“Still, we continue to hope that we will get over the hump and look forward to more constructive engagements with our legislators in both Houses,” Ferrer said. ”
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles for her part affirmed that the government’s efforts to push for peace in Mindanao will continue even as the Aquino administration is already on its last year.
“The President remains unwavering in his commitment to bring an end to this internal armed conflict, these four decades of war,” Deles said, noting that the Bangsamoro peace process “has reached the closest that it has ever reached to ending this armed conflict.”
According to Deles, this is also the “closest that the peace process has ever reached to bringing a new arrangement, a new demographic institutional arrangement in Muslim Mindanao, to be able to come as close as possible to that aspiration of self-determination, of self-governance which is recognized by our Constitution.”
“Yan ang ating hinahangad na makamit in this remaining time (That is what we hope the achieve in this remaining time),” Deles added.
“Di pa tapos ang pagtutulak sa kapayapaan (Our efforts to find peace are not over),” Deles declared, adding that “there is so much to do in terms of rebuilding the region that has been so devastated by war. We know that the BBL will not resolve all the problems of violence in the area, but we also know that with the resolution of this problem with the largest, most organized group that has been fighting government, this is a good foundation…. a necessary foundation for being able to resolve all the other problems of violence in the area.”