Photos courtesy: Bangsamoro Multimedia Network

Parliamentary system is the most appropriate form of governance for the Bangamoro – Iqbal

“Parliamentary system is the most appropriate form of governance for the Bangsamoro people,” Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Implementing Panel Chairman Mohagher Iqbal said during the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) Officers Assembly on Monday (May 7) held at Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

Iqbal spoke before an estimated crowd of more than 50,000 BIAF, including civilians, coming from different provinces of Mindanao to give updates of the Bangsamoro peace process.

He related that the Bangsamoro before it was annexed to the Republic of the Philippines had its own governance similar to what is today’s parliamentary system.

Iqbal explained that the parliamentary system is “group leadership” and it is adherent to Islamic principles where decisions are made out of consultation of the members of organization. 

“The Moro people used to practice consultative leadership where the cabinet members of the sultanate were consulted in making decisions,” he narrated.

Iqbal recalled the statement of the late MILF Chair Salamat Hashim who said that “The most civilized way of resolving the Bangsamoro problem is through negotiated political settlement.

“The real problem of the Bangsamoro is how to regain its self-governance,” he underscored and stressed that “Genuine autonomy is the political solution where the Bangsamoro people will have power, authority and access to their resources.”

 “With peace negotiation, we avoid loss of life and destruction of properties,” he told the Assembly participants and added that at present, “The two panels are already engaged in the peace implementation phase.”

The MILF started peace negotiation with the GPH in 1997 with a mutual desire to come up with the concrete solution to address the Mindanao problem.

 “We were engaged in peace talks with five presidents, starting with President Ramos to Estrada, Arroyo, Aquino and now with President Duterte,” the MILF peace implementing panel chair.

He related further that  the two parties have signed the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro of 2014, two political documents where the provision to establish the Bangsamoro government through passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is inscribed.

Iqbal is hopeful that the lawmakers will ratify the BBL drafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission and noted that President Duterte has the commitment to pass the BBL.

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