New Bangsamoro Enabling Law, targets to be crafted ASAP

admin   •   August 17, 2016   •   2476

IMAGE_AUG-16-2016_UNTV-NEWS_BANGSAMORO-PEACE-TALKS

AS SOON AS POSSIBLE — This is the precise statement of the Presidential Peace Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza when asked what their target timeline is to craft the new law that will create the Bangsamoro Government entity or known as the new Bangsamoro Basic Law.

In the first briefing conducted right after their arrival from the two-day Bangsamoro peace talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sec. Dureza reported that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is also appealing to the Supreme Court to release its resolution on the petitions submitted questioning the constitutionality of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro or CAB itself.

Through this, there will be a strong basis for the Bangsamoro Transition Commission on the crafting of a new Bangsamoro Enabling Law.

“If there will a ruling from the Supreme Court and their will be provisions which will be proven unconstitutional. We will not include it anymore in the enabling law which will be passed. Let’s wait if it will be constitutional compliant. If we have to ammend,” Sec. Dureza said.

In the meantime, just like what has been agreed upon, the Bangsamoro Normalization Trust Fund will be immediately implemented.

Around 20 million pesos is the allocated fund for 2016 to rehabilitate the MILF communities as well as to finance the livelihood projects for the 145 MILF combatants who have been decommissioned already.

“This is a trust fund that is supposed to finance the development rehabilitation work for the conflict-affected areas there specifically targeting the initial stage. The MILf combatants who have been decommissioned already,” OPAPP, Peace and Development Usec. Diosita Andot said.

Sec. Dureza also announced the agreement to expand the membership of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission to promote inclusivity in crafting the Bangsamoro Enabling Law.

From 15-member BTC or Bangsamoro Transition Commission, it will increase to 21 membership, 11 coming from the MILF while 10 from the government. — Rosalie Coz / UNTV News & Rescue

Duterte ends peace talks with Reds for killing soldiers in relief missions

Marje Pelayo   •   April 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The series of attacks against government forces on humanitarian missions during this time of crisis is the final straw for President Rodrigo Duterte to end peace talks with the communist rebels.

“I’m so sad about this development but there will always be a time for reckoning. There is no more peace talks to talk about,” the Chief Executive said in his late night address on Monday (April 27).

A number of soldiers were killed and wounded in several encounters with members of the New People’s Army — the Communist Party of the Philippines’ armed wing — throughout the month of April.

Three soldiers died and four others were hurt in an encounter with the NPA while conducting security patrol during the distribution of the social amelioration grant in Sitio Tugas, Barangay Carabalan in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental on April 19.

An Army soldier was also killed in a remote village in San Jacinto town, Masbate province on the same day.

Two soldiers, meanwhile, were killed while three others were wounded in an attack by communist rebels in Aurora province on April 21. The soldiers were stationed in the area guarding the conduct of aid distribution. 

Two more soldiers were injured in an attack by NPA rebels in Victorias City, Negros Occidental on April 24.

The Philippine Army said the soldiers, together with members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were conducting a security patrol and information dissemination about COVID-19 in the area.

“I am not and I will never be ready for any rounds of peace talks simply because the NPA, the Communist Party of the Philippines, has no respect either for their spoken works or in their deeds of killing soldiers who are on humanitarian missions,” President Duterte stressed.

READ: Duterte threatens to declare martial law if NPA attacks continue

The President earlier threatened to declare martial law if atrocities against government forces engaged in relief distribution continue. 

READ: Duterte’s new martial law threat, a cover-up for failed COVID-19 response — CPP

But the CPP, unfazed by the President’s warning, responded by accusing him of using the NPA as an excuse ‘to cover up’ the administration’s failed response against the COVID-19 crisis and to carry out his agenda of imposing martial law. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

Palace: Duterte dares Joma Sison to a one-on-one talk in PH

Marje Pelayo   •   December 26, 2019

Communist leader Jose Maria ‘Joma’ Sison (L) and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (R)

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is challenging communist leader Jose Maria ‘Joma’ Sison to return to the Philippines and have a one-on-one talk with him.

The President’s agenda is about the peace process away from the usual Philippine Government-National Democratic Front’s way of doing things, according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

“The President is daring him to come home to the Philippines and have a one-on-one talk with the President,” Panelo said.

“He is asking him to come to the Philippines, there will be no enforcement of any warrant, just come to the Philippines and talk with him,” he added.

Sison, who is on self-exile, is recognized as a political refugee in Utrecht, the Netherlands and enjoys the protection of the Refugee Convention and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Panelo said the Chief Executive wants the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to explain the recent attacks of the New People’s Army (NPA), the group’s armed unit, against government forces in Camarines Sur and Iloilo on the eve of the ceasefire.

“We condemn of course the violations of the ceasefire agreements,” Panelo said.

“We are giving them the chance to explain why it has committed such violations. He (Duterte) will wait for the explanation coming from them,” he added.

Meanwhile, Panelo said President Duterte is considering the request of her daughter, Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte to maintain localized peace talks and exclude the city from the negotiations with the Reds. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Formal peace talks with Reds likely to resume in January – Bello

Marje Pelayo   •   December 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The government intends to resume the formal peace talks with the communist group come January next year.

According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III who serves as the government’s chief negotiator, the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) would probably resume on the second or third week of January.

NDFP is the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founded by activist Jose Maria ‘Joma’ Sison who is now in exile in the Netherlands.

Over the weekend, Bello was able to talk to Sison who responded favorably to President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer for both parties to return to the negotiating table.

In line with this, Bello said the CPP may declare a truce on December 20 or 21.

Though Sison agreed to the resumption of the peace talks, he wants it done on a neutral venue.

In a recent interview, Sison said he could meet President Duterte in person but he wanted to have legal and political guarantees that he’d still be protected under the provisions of the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Though the meet-up is a remote possibility, Sison said, it may not happen in the Philippines but “maybe in a nearby country.”

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