Philippines' Duterte meets with rebel leaders

Philippines' Duterte meets with MILF leaders at Congress to discuss peace accord 

Philippines' Duterte meets with rebel leaders

World Bulletin / News Desk

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and leaders of the country's one-time largest Moro rebel group met, Thursday, at Congress to discuss the smooth implementation of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
Duterte's meeting with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front's (MILF) central committee and the Bangsamoro Transition Committee was his second this month after the revolutionary group expressed dissatisfaction over recent developments about the government's peace accord.

The MILF earlier lamented that the proposed BBL had no sponsor at the House of Representatives. Also adding to the group’s dissatisfaction was the Bangasomoro new bill version of former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Congress.

Last Sept. 4, the President personally assured the MILF that the passage of the proposed BBL, which seeks to establish a new autonomous political entity, replacing the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), is an administration priority.

Presidential adviser on the peace process Jesus Dureza said President Duterte in the latest meeting presented a “game plan” to the MILF on how to ensure that the BBL will pass Congress.

"There was a discussion on both sides, and the President reiterated his commitment using his own language: "the BBL will pass Congress and will have a smooth implementation. I will continue to husband the approval of the BBL until it’s implementation,’” Dureza told reporters in Manila.

Dureza, however, declined to disclose further details on what had been discussed during the meeting, but he said the President expressed a "game plan" that is still being worked out by the Chief Executive, in coordination with the leadership of Congress, on how to see to it that the BBL will be implemented.

The President's game plan, Dureza added seeks to ensure that the BBL will not be the same during the time of former President Benigno Aquino III, where it failed to hurdle Congress amid questions on the constitutionality of some of its provisions and the Mamasapano carnage in Maguindanao.

Dureza said Duterte and the MILF will again meet to discuss more details about the President’s plan. He said he would "reconvene" the BTC again to come up with the roadmap that will hopefully shepherd the BBL through Congress. 

"It's really how to make sure that it will really pass because if you let it go, if you certify it just like that, when it gets to Congress there might be questions from members of Congress because there are still many constitutional issues," he said in mixed English and Tagalog.

Earlier, MILF implementing peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal, admitted the uncertainties of Bangsamoro Peace Process considering that the new BBL drafted by the BTC is still pending in congress awaiting her fate and the same is not included as one of the priority bills agreed upon by the Legislative - Executive Development Advisory Council ( LEDAC ). 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Eylül 2017, 09:54