Gov't, MILF peace panels to meet over draft Bangsamoro bill in Malaysia

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Monday, July 7, 2014


THE Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panels will be meeting this week in Malaysia to thresh out the issues on the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Government chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer on Monday said that the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) passed a resolution to elevate the matter to the panels.

The decision was reached after the Office of the President (OP), which reviewed the draft BBL prepared by the BTC, raised some modifications on the document.

"That is why we are taking the necessary steps to ensure better understanding of the concerns, and to find a good resolution through frank and open discussion," Ferrer said in a statement.

Aside from the government and the MILF peace panels, also expected to be present in the meeting in Kuala Lumpur were Malaysian Facilitator Tengku Ghafar and the members of the International Contact Group.

The members of the BTC will also be present, thereby ensuring close coordination and processing, Ferrer said.

"We will be meeting in Kuala Lumpur this week in a workshop that would thresh out the various substantive matters that have arisen from the BTC submission and the subsequent OP review," she explained.

She said the Kuala Lumpur workshop will help sort out the "grey zones."

"If we are going through this difficulty now, it is because we want the next stages to be less difficult not only between the government and the MILF, but among all the institutions and actors that will be or have been playing a role in the process. A well-processed bill that goes through the legislative mill, with the certification of the President as urgent, will stand much better chances of smooth-sailing passage in both the Senate and the House of Representatives," the official said.

She appealed for understanding of all sectors, while she expressed hope to forward the Bangsamoro bill to Congress shortly after its opening on July 28. (SDR/Sunnex)

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