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    Posted August 6, 2014 by

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    ‘Moro draft law will pass Philippine Congress’

    NOW on its 6th day of discussion in Davao City, government of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer on Wednesday said she is optimistic that the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will pass Congress within the year at the minimum.
    Ferrer said the GPH and the Moro Liberation Front (MILF) peace panels are gaining progress in finalizing the text of the draft BBL, although the panels have yet to go back to some contentious issues before the 10-day meeting closes.
    She said discussions on issues in the draft BBL that needed to be reviewed after Malacañang returned the document is moving ahead and many issues were considered closed.
    On April 22, the Bangsamoro Transitory Commission (BTC) submitted the 97-page draft BBL but was returned by Malacañang on June 21. The return sparked concerns among the MILF member panel because the document reportedly left little space for the attainment of the Bangsamoro autonomy.
    While there are points that need detailed review, Ferrer was positive that every point was explained why some recommendations were pushed by the Malacañang review team. She said that as both panels understand each other, they are able to find solutions, emphasizing that it is the essence of the process.
    Ferrer said they are moving fast on every issue and go back only to contentiousness ones with the assistance of independent lawyers, which both panels requested to review and advise.
    The GPH-MILF panels have been meeting since Friday at the Waterfront Insular Hotel to discuss what other details they can put in and how BBL can be operationalized within the bounds of the Philippine constitution.
    She said the draft BBL will undergo a detailed review on legality and constitutionality and other issues like inclusiveness, social justice, and principle of upholding the right of governance are balanced.
    Ferrer disclosed that there are 18 articles in the draft and some have been closed.
    He said bulk of the review is on power sharing which is translated to three articles such as on structure of government, powers of government and inter-government relations; the annex on wealth sharing in a number of articles like fiscal autonomy, economy, patrimony and rehabilitation issues.
    Ferrer said the review will be completed within a month and re-submitted to the Office of the President for certification as urgent/priority bill by President Benigno Aquino III to Congress for the legislative process.
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