Panels meet to plan for BBL passage

The Peace Implementing Panels of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) met on August 29 and 30 at Davao City 

to find ways for the eventual passage of the stalled Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

In a strategic planning workshop, the Panels explored concrete measures to be undertaken so that the present 17th Congress of the Philippines would pass the Bangsamoro enabling law.

An intensive review of process went through by the BBL was made by focusing on the challenges and lessons learned from the past experience.

In his opening remarks, MILF Peace Implementing Panel Mohagher Iqbal said that flexibility and creativity are needed since the process is now in the implementation mode. However, he emphasized that consistency to signed agreements should be foremost in consideration.

Iqbal said that while regular meetings of the Panels would be held in the Philippines, formal documents like the term of reference for the Panels would still have to be signed in Kuala Lumpur.

Iqbal, who is now on his 13th year of uninterrupted chairmanship of the MILF Panel, appealed to everyone not to lose sight of main agenda which is how to solve the Bangsamoro Problem or Question.

“We have to make use of the process as a problem-solving exercise,” he said.

Some mechanisms of the peace process were made to report to the two panels.

These included the Coordinating Committees on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH), Joint Task Force on Camps Transformation (JTFCT), the Joint Normalization Committee (JNC), Ad-Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG), International Monitoring Team (IMT) and Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC). 

Three known Constitution experts were also invited to share insights on the BBL.

They were former SC Justice Adolf Azcuna, former COMELEC Chairman and 1987 Constitutional Commission member Christian Monsod and Ateneo School of Government Dean Antonio Laviña. ####