MILF Will Only Accept Political Autonomy That Is Better Than ARMM

By: M. Musa

COTABATO City— The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) had expressed its position that it will not accept an autonomy that lower than nor equal to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

“The position of MILF is very clear, first, MILF will never accept an autonomy that is lower than the ARMM, second, the MILF will not accept an autonomy that is equal to the ARMM,” Mohagher Iqbal, Chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Peace Implementing Panel (PIP) stressed in a gathering of more than 60 Civil Society Organizations’ leaders held at Pagana Native Restaurant at Cotabato City on July 30.

The activity oriented the participants from across Mindanao and island provinces on the enhanced Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and provided updates on the Government – MILF peace process.

It was organized by Federation of Bangsamoro Civil Society Organizations and Women’s Organization Movement of the Bangsamoro (FBCSCO-WOMB) with the support of The Asia Foundation.

Iqbal said that if he is in the position to suggest, the BBL should be passed as it is and let the Supreme Court decide on unconstitutional infirmities.

“Yung BBL ngayon kung ako lang ang masusunod ang maganda dyan ipasa na nila ng walang bawas at walang dagdag (That BBL now, if I may only be followed, it would be good that it will be passed in its entirety- no more no less),” he suggested.

Hayaan na lang natin ang Supreme Court maghusga kung alin dyan ang unconstitutional, diba (Let the Supreme Court decide which among its provisions are unconstitutional, right)?” Iqbal asked the participants.

“And then kung maghusga ang Supreme Court ipunin na lang natin yun dahil meron pang function ang BTC mag-propose to amend the constitution” (And if the Supreme Court makes a ruling and identify the unconstitutional provisions, then we will collect all those because the BTC still has the function which is to propose amendments in the constitution),” he explained.

Iqbal also disclosed that the ARMM was offered thrice to MILF, however the Front rejected it.

When asked on his projection on the BBL movement in the House of Representatives, the MILF PIP Chair said that the Congress may opt for two stages, one is to pass all the constitutional provisions and the other thing is for Congress to amend the constitution to accommodate unconstitutional substances of the he proposed Bangsamoro law.

“These unconstitutional provisions will then be forwarded to the working committee which will draft the federal system of the country,” he said.

The enhanced BBL was drafted by the expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission chaired by MILF First Vice Chairman Ghazali Jaafar.

President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing for the transformation of the form of governance from unitary system to federal which will also provide a Bangsamoro state.

The MILF and Bangsamoro civil society groups have been fostering the passage of BBL first before federalism.

 

 

 

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