Friday, April 25, 2014

Isabela City Mayor categorically declares “NO” for Bangsamoro

From the Website of MILF

Isabela City Mayor categorically declares “NO” for Bangsamoro

More than two weeks after the historic signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in Malacanang Palace where over a thousand of people attended led by President Benigno C. Aquino III, MILF officials led Chairman Al-Hadz Murad Ebrahim and Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Najib Razak, foreign dignitaries and regional, national and international development and peace partners who witnessed the signing of the peace pact, the City Government of Isabela in Basilan sponsored a Forum on the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and the FAB’s four annexes on April 14 at the Formation Center, this City.

Participants to the forum were barangay officials from the city’s 45 barangays, members of the city council, department heads, NGO representatives, Christian religious leaders, the City Police and members of the Philippine Army as well as members of local media. Speakers were Professor Moy Edding, Political Science Instructor of the Western Mindanao State University WMSU), Zamboanga City and BTC Commissioner Pedrito Eisma, but the latter failed to show up due to previous commitment in Manila.

During the opening program, Mayor Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar officially declared that she personally decides for NO for the Bangsamoro new political entity considering that the city populace had already spoken for exclusion in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) during the 2001 expanded ARMM plebiscite. She explained that although under the Annex on power sharing it provides for the non-diminutions of powers and authority already enjoyed by the local government units but she is more apprehensive on the future Bangsamoro Local Government Code on the terms, “UNLESS OTHERWISE, MODIFIED, ALTERED AND AMENDED if members of the Bangsamoro Assembly found it necessary to improve its services.

Mayor Santos-Akbar further feared that the moment Isabela City would be under the Bangsamoro Government, the faith of the Internal Revenue Allocation (IRA) for the LGUs may already be put into uncertainty.

On his part, Professor Edding questioned the term Bangsamoro in the agreement because it may cause for a constitutional infirmity considering that in the constitution it does not provides so. He further explained that the 1987 constitution provides that only the term Muslim Mindanao Autonomous Government was clearly mentioned and stipulated and not Bangsamoro Autonomous Government as provided in the CAB signed last March 27, 2014.
Professor Edding added that the envisioned ministerial form of government for the Bangsamoro is also another legal question that may be raised the moment the basic law shall have been enacted by the House of Representatives and the Senate later this year. But Mr. Allan Pisingan, head of a Civil Society Organization in Basilan and Renald Bucoy, President of the Association of Barangay Chairmen (ABC) reacted on Professor Edding’s predicament emphasizing that the proper forum which can determine the constitutionality of the issue is the Supreme Court. Our tasked at this time is to let the people understand the provisions of the Bangsamoro Agreement so that during the ratification of the BBL, qualified voters may freely decide whether to vote for yes or no, the ABC President Bucoy added.

Mr. Pisingan, likewise appealed to the participants to give peace a chance to work for the betterment of everybody in the Bangsamoro area. He reminded that in war the victims are not only the two warring parties referring to government forces and MILF combatants, but also  innocent civilians who become collateral damage with their properties destroyed during conflict. 

In another development, Isabela City Bishop Martin Jumoad suggested that position paper protesting the inclusion of Isabela City to the proposed Bangsamoro Government must be made. While Professor Maximo Eisma in his remarks said that the “Bangsamoro means the destruction of the church”.

MILF Website

Article links: