Peace panel leaves ‘ambiguities’ of Bangsamoro deal to Congress

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014


CARRYING the role of enacting the basic law for the envisioned Bangsamoro territories, government peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said it is Congress that will detail any ambiguities on the soon-to-be-signed Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

"Kung ano man yung ambiguity na hindi nalagay sa agreement, mga parts na hindi na-detalye, inaasahan natin Kongreso kasi sila din ang may kapangyarihan na magsabatas nito," Ferrer said at the sidelines of the Senate committee hearing on the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement.

At Tuesday's Senate hearing, Zamboanga City Representative Celso Lobregat raised concerns on the envisioned territory of the Bangsamoro region, asking whether his city is "contiguous" or not.

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"It is up to Congress to define whether Zamboanga is contiguous or not by providing its definition of contiguity," Ferrer said.

The peace agreement states that contiguous areas can be part of the Bangsamoro region either through a resolution for inclusion from the local government unit or a petition of at least 10 percent of the qualified voters.

Once the Bangsamoro basic law is approved in Congress and submitted for plebiscite, Ferrer said it will now be up to the people to decide whether they want to be under the proposed autonomous government.

"At the end of the day, pinanghahawakan natin yung demokrasya kung saan ang tao mismo magde-decide kung saan ilalagay yung kanilang future. Do they see themselves better off under autonomous government or within their respective provinces? That's an option available to everyone and there are processes for that option to be possible," Ferrer said.

Ferrer expressed confidence that Congress will be able to meet its deadline to pass the basic law by the end of this year despite the heavy work, which confronts them.

Ferrer said the consultations of both the House of Representatives and the Senate only show its support for a meaningful peace agreement for the Bangsamoro region. (Sunnex)

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