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Mar rallies LGU support for Bangsamoro peace pact as Transition Commish starts work

Secretary Roxas with some of the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission chaired by MILF's Mohagher Iqbal (seated), and Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Deles. OPAPP PHOTO
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MANILA, Philippines - Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas on Saturday rallied local executives in Mindanao to fully support the Framework Agreement (FRAG) for the Bangsamoro recently signed by the government with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Gracing the opening ceremony of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) office in Cotabato City, Roxas said, “Together with the President, I celebrate with the whole of Mindanao and the entire country on the potential that the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement brings.”

The DILG chief expressed confidence the governors and mayors will lead their people to ensure a positive turnout of plebiscite results once Congress passes the Bangsamoro Law.

He explained how the agreement is a “crucial and necessary first step” towards lasting peace and development in Mindanao. “Thus, I ask for everyone’s support so that we can hurdle the challenges ahead and succeed in transforming this nascent promise into reality.”

In attendance at the opening rites were the 15 members of the BTC: 7 nominated by the government and 8 recommended by the MILF. They are Akmad A. Sakkam, Johaira C. Wahab, Talib A. Benito, Asani S. Tammang, Pedrito A. Eisma, Froilyn T. Mendoza and Fatmawati T. Salapuddin, Robert M. Alonto, Abdulla U. Camlian, Ibrahim D. Ali, Raissa H. Jajurie, Melanio U. Ulama, Hussein P. Munoz and Said M. Shiek.

Mohagher Iqbal, current chair of the MILF peace panel, serves as Chairperson of the Commission.

The Commission is tasked to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law that the President will certify as urgent and submit to Congress for passage. The Basic Law once enacted by Congress will then be subject of a plebiscite in the proposed Bangsamoro core territory as per the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro. Once it is ratified, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is deemed abolished and the new Bangsamoro region will be formally established.

Roxas expressed optimism that the Transition Commission work to consult and rally the support of all stakeholders in the peace process between the government and the MILF.

“I trust the Bangsamoro Transition Commission to draft an Organic Act that is within the spirit and framework of the Constitution. I am confident that whatever present concerns we have will all be properly addressed by the more comprehensive treatment by the Bill, containing the Bangsamoro Organic Act, to be filed in Congress,” Roxas said.

“Tiwala ako na patuloy nating kokonsultahin ang lahat ng grupo at sektor na interesadong magbahagi ng kanilang saloobin at opinyon kaugnay sa planong pagbubuo ng bagong Bangsamoro Region,” he added.

Roxas urged members of the Transition Commission to stand their ground against attempts to sabotage the peace process in Mindanao.

“We all know this process is difficult. Many people are trying to block the road to peace and progress. But I’m confident our will is strong, and our trust in each other will help us hurdle all challenges,” Roxas said, speaking in Filipino.