President Aquino signs EO creating Transition Commission to craft Bangsamoro Basic Law

A December 18, 2012, press release from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process 

President Benigno S. Aquino III today issued Executive Order No. 120 creating a Transition Commission (TC) that will draft the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law provided for in the Framework Agreement signed by the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on October 15.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles said the EO “affirms the President’s resolve to move forward the peace process for the Bangsamoro as a strategic initiative for political stability and economic development.”

The peace adviser added that the EO also provides a mechanism for authentic democratic collaboration in the crafting of a proposed law where the affected people themselves are actively involved.

The EO creates a 15-member TC that will be appointed by the President. The Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front shall come up with a list of candidates from among the Bangsamoro and other residents in the prospective core area of the new political entity.

It is also provided that the TC may put up an office and coordinate with other government agencies and Congress to get its work done. It has an initial budget allocation of P100 million.

According to the Executive Order, the TC may also recommend to Congress and the people, when necessary, proposed amendments to the Constitution.

“The aim is to install the Bangsamoro through a new organic act as soon as possible in order to have an elected Bangsamoro government by 2016,” said Government chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer. “This does not prevent the TC or its members from examining the constitution and recommending constitutional reforms.”

“However, the President has made clear that constitutional change is not his priority during his term,”  Coronel-Ferrer added.

The Transition Commission shall also assist in identifying development programs together with the Bangsamoro Development Authority and the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute—two institutions affiliated with the MILF.

“Government is committed to the reconstruction of conflict-affected areas and to fast track socio-economic development in the region,” Coronel-Ferrer said. “This will be accomplished by empowering the Bangsamoro themselves through their participation in transforming their own communities.”

The TC can begin its work even as the GPH and the MILF negotiating panels are still finalizing the four annexes that will complete the FAB, she added.

opapp.gov.ph