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    Posted January 28, 2014 by

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    Philippines to pursue peace

    A Philippine official on Tuesday said the government may certify as urgent the passage of a basic law establishing the Bangsamoro political entity which is a priority program of the administration.
    Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said they are hoping to have the political entity in place and its officials elected by 2016.
    "The indications point to the bill being certified as urgent, because it is a priority program of our administration," Coloma said.
    The official issued the statement as intermittent clashes between government troops and the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) continue to rage in the country’s war-torn regions.
    Violence erupted anew a day after the signing of the annex on normalization by government peace negotiators and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panel which are now working on a comprehensive peace agreement that would end the decades-old rebellion in Southern Philippines.
    Under Article VI, Section 26 of the 1987 Constitution, no bill passed by either House of Congress shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days, "except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency."
    Coloma said the Palace is hoping lawmakers will be one with it in working to bring peace to Mindanao soonest.
    "We hope lawmakers study the merits of the proposed Bangsamoro basic law, and fulfill their sworn duty to serve the people," he said.
    He also expressed hopes the lawmakers will see the merits of the bill and use it as basis to decide on it.
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