Friday, March 27, 2015

Tagle, Ayala lead Aquino-formed peace council

From the Website of INQUIRER

Tagle, Ayala lead Aquino-formed peace council

A year after the historic signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, President Benigno Aquino III announced on Friday afternoon the creation of a council of leaders from different sectors of society, including the Catholic Church, to help the public understand the peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Aquino, in an address to the nation in Malacañang, said that the independent conveners would be composed of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Howard Dee and Muslim Princess Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman.
“They will gather other responsible and respected leaders to spearhead a National Peace Summit to deliberate on and discuss the BBL,” Aquino said.
“They will dissect the proposed law in a calm and reasonable manner that will not incite anger and hopelessness.”
He said the council would write a report that would be made public, so that everyone may be informed and more Filipinos may understand the BBL.
“In this manner, we will be able to advance a reasonable decision as regards the Bangsamoro Basic Law,” he said.
He said the BBL is the most important legislative measure of his administration, adding that the BBL culminated the 17 years of peace negotiations between the government and the MILF and would pave the way for a Bangsamoro autonomous political entity.
The President said the passage of the proposed BBL would not only be for the legacy of his term but for the next generation as well.
“I do not pursue peace just to add to my legacy. What we are pursuing is a genuine peace that truly addresses the roots of the problems that led to violence,” he said.
“At this point in our history, I say to all of you: The BBL will make this a reality.”
The draft BBL has been disparaged by lawmakers, including those that initially endorsed it like Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, because of its supposed unconstitutionality and being lopsided in favor of the MILF.

The BBL is the key piece of legislation that needs to be passed for the creation of a Bangsamoro autonomous region, described as the realization of the Moro people’s desire for self-determination.
The MILF has been blamed for the bloodbath but the rebel group had said its men only defended themselves, not knowing that there was a police operation in their area.
The Mamasapano debacle left dead 44 SAF commandos, 17 rebels, and five civilians, including a young girl.With a report from Nikko Dizon | ID/RC




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