SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
26 November 2020 09:31:50 PM
The House Special Committee on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity chaired by Maguindanao Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu on Thursday resumed its hearing on the status of the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB). It was the turn of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to brief the panel on the status of implementation of the CAB. In last week’s hearing, the body listened to the updates on the implementing peace talks between the National Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), especially on the normalization process. OPAPP Chief Secretary Carlito Galvez told members of the panel the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) had proposed for an extension of the BTA to give them more time. Galvez said when President Rodrigo Duterte asked for his opinion, he recommended that the request be given due consideration as the transition of three years is really short. “I said to him, as the chief implementer, we saw the difficulty in the implementation of the normalization and political tracks,” he said. Galvez said the President expressed his support for the BTA’s possible extension. “We are aware of the difficulties of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Government in its efforts to lay the ground for the foundation of a regional government,” he said. Galvez said the drafting of crucial codes have been affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also appealed to those opposing the extension saying, “If we want the transition to be successful, we have to give our brothers ample time to lay down the foundation and realistically, we can’t achieve this in three years.” In the presentation that followed, OPAPP Undersecretary David Diciano discussed the current status of the political and the normalization tracks of the peace agreement signed by the government and the MILF in 2014. He said the participation of Congress does not cease from the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). “The foresight to ensure that the spirit and principles of the BOL comes to full fruition is also very crucial,” he said. Diciano said the GPH needed continuing commitment and support from Congress in securing sufficient funding for the substantial delivery of socio-economic packages for the MILF decommissioned combatants and their families; expedite programs on the transformation of MILF camps into peaceful civilian and productive communities; and to support programs against private armed groups and firearms control management, among others.