Friday, September 12, 2014

Pres. Aquino turns over Basic Law to Congress

From the Website of MILF

Pres. Aquino turns over Basic Law to Congress

President Benigno Simeon Aquino III transmits on September 10 the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law to Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. in turnover rites held at Rizal Hall of Malacanan Palace.

The President let Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Chairman Mohagher Iqbal to physically hand over book-bound copies of the draft bill, first to Drilon and then to Belmonte while Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr. and OPAPP Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles looked on.

The 122-page draft BBL was described by Aquino as “makatwiran, makatarungan,  at katanggap-tanggap sa lahat” (reasonable, just and acceptable to all).

In a speech that lasted for 8 minutes and spoken in pure Tagalog, Pres. Aquino said that he strongly believes that the draft BBL is in accordance to the Constitution, faithful to the principles of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), and reflects the collective efforts towards inclusive growth.

Aquino made specific appeals to the Filipino people especially in Luzon and Visayas, apparently referring to the Christian majority, to accept in full the Muslims by respecting their beliefs and ways of life. “(G)amitin natin ang ating talino at panahon upang lubos na maunawaan ang kasaysayan, kultura at karanasan ng mga kapwa rin natin Pilipino.” (Let us use our intelligence and time to fully understand the history, culture and experience of our fellow Filipinos.)

Addressing the numerous lawmakers who attended the occasion, Aquino urged the members of Congress to expedite the passage of the proposed BBL.

Aside from Drilon, other senators who graced the ceremony included Ralph Recto, Pia Cayetano, Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., and Vicente “Tito” Sotto III.

In a presscon, Drilon emphasized that the proposed BBL is a historic opportunity that must not be missed.

Sen. TG Guingona, chair of the Senate Committee on Peace and Unification, described the event as a “major step forward by our country in our bid to recognize the right of our fellow Filipinos with a culture and history of their own as everyone else's equal.

Officials of the international NGOs who attended the ceremony also expressed congratulatory words to  the Government of the Philippines (GPH), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and the BTC.

The HD Centre, a member of the International Contact Group (ICG), said in its statement that it is “optimistic that the upcoming legislative process that now aims to entrench the common ground reached in the form of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro as embodied in the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law will bear fruits of a just and lasting peace for the Bangsamoro and Filipino people.”

On the other hand, BTC Chairman Iqbal simply said that he is “happy” when asked by media what he felt about with the event.

iqbal said that they have done their best over the 17-year long peace negotiations that could now culminate in a law that “addresses all the legitimate aspirations of the Bangsamoro.” #####

MILF Website

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