Friday, January 29, 2016

Normalization process to push through with or without BBL January 29, 2016

From the Website of the President

Normalization process to push through with or without BBL January 29, 2016
The Philippine government (GPH) peace panel has assured that all other components stipulated under the Annex on Normalization of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) will be implemented except for the decommissioning of weapons.

In a press conference on Thursday, GPH peace panel member Senen Bacani said that even without the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the normalization process, which seeks to restore peace and livelihood in the communities affected by the decades-long armed conflict in Mindanao, will still take effect.

“Regardless of what happens, the many other components of the normalization process will continue,” said Bacani.

The process of normalization involves three main components including the security aspect, socio-economic development and transitional justice.

Bacani, however, noted that the security aspect, particularly the decommissioning of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) forces and weapons, will not be implemented if the BBL is not passed.

“The main problem in case there will be no BBL in this administration is the decommissioning,” said Bacani.
The next phase of the decommissioning will only take effect upon the legislation of the new law on the Bangsamoro, as stated in the CAB peace agreement.

Bacani still ensured that the socio-economic development programs will be undertaken for the rehabilitation, reconstruction, and development of the Bangsamoro. In particular, socio-economic programs will be instituted to address the needs of BIAF members, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and poverty-stricken communities.

Furthermore, transitional justice mechanisms will also be put in place to address the legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people, correct historical injustices, and address human rights violations – with the end in view of healing the wounds of conflict.

For her part, GPH chief negotiator Mirriam Colonel-Ferrer supplemented Bacani’s claim by stating that most of the components in the annex on normalization will be administered by the executive branch.

“With or without the BBL, I’m proud to say that through the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, all the mechanisms are in place,” said Ferrer.

As for the BBL, Ferrer is still urging legislators to pass the bill before the Congress adjourns on Feb. 5 in preparation for the May elections. The sessions will then resume by May 23 until June 10.

“If you can do it in February, why wait for May to June?” said Ferrer.

Ferrer added that as long as the important features of the BBL, such as the parliamentary system and annual block grant, are preserved then there will be a significant difference between the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Bangsamoro.

Office of the President Website

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