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By Radzini Oledan

Slice of Life

Thursday, December 12, 2013

CLOSER to the peace agreement.

On Sunday, the GRP and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) inked the Annex on Power Sharing, one of the four annexes leading to the final peace pact. It provides the "delineation and sharing between the central government and the Bangsamoro government within the jurisdiction of the prospective Bangsamoro political entity."

The peace agreement spells out the general principles not only on the territory but also on the extent of power, revenues in the Bangsamoro, including a graduated program to decommission the guerrilla unit of the MILF 'so that they are put beyond use.' This means that all secessionist groups will be brought to the fold. "No longer does the Moro Islamic Liberation Front aspire for a separate state. This means that hands that once held rifles will be put to use tilling land, selling produce, manning work stations and opening doorways of opportunity for other citizens."

Under the transition roadmap, the preliminary peace agreement will clear the way for the establishment of a new autonomous political entity called Bangsamoro, which will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The government of the Bangsamoro shall have a ministerial form with its own electoral system that will allow 'democratic participation, ensure accountability of public officers primarily to their constituents and encourage formation of genuinely principled political parties.'

The present geographical area of the Armm, the Municipalities of Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan and Tangkain of the province of Lanao del Norte and all other barangays in the Municipalities of Kabacan, Carmen, Aleosan, Pigkawayan, Pikit and Midsayap that voted for the inclusion in the Armm during the 2001 plebiscite; and the cities of Cotabato and Isabela forms part of the core areas.

The coverage also includes "all other areas where there is a resolution of the local government unit or a petition of at least 10% of the qualified voters in the area asking for their inclusion at least two months prior to the conduct of the ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law and the process of delimitation of the Bangsamoro."

As government aims to meet the target of January 2014 for the signing of the final peace pact with the MILF, it also signals the need for a smooth transition to ensure that the Bangsamoro entity will genuinely reflect and respond to the interest of the public. This time around, otherwise it may become another failed experiment.


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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 12, 2013.


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