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Sotto: No need to railroad federalism efforts after Bangsamoro Organic Law approval

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2018

 

 

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FILE PHOTO: Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III

 

MANILA, Philippines — The proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law hurdles the scrutiny of the bicameral conference committee following the reconciliation of all its sensitive and contentious provisions on Wednesday (July 18).

And with the expected enactment of the proposal, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that the Congress will no longer need to railroad the efforts for the shift to federalism.

During a weekly press briefing at the Senate, Sotto noted that the proposed organic law could be a good test case to see if a federal type of government would work in the country.

“Magandang experimental itong Bangsamoro Organic Act. Dito makikita natin kaya hindi natin kailangang apurahin yung federalism,” Sotto said.

The measure seeking to create a Bangsamoro entity that aims to help attain lasting peace in Mindanao is expected to be ratified by the Congress on July 23.

President Duterte is expected to sign the bill into law on the same day when he delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Sotto added that in the two years of the implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Act, the public would be able to weigh in if it is effective or not.

He said that the Congress can always repeal the law if it fails to cease the hostilities. But if it turns out positive, it would not be hard to push for charter change.

Sotto admitted that for now, he is not keen to push for the immediate passage of the proposed federal charter as it contains issues that need to be thoroughly scrutinized.

These include the proposed political party system, putting up of a democracy fund and the anti-political dynasty.

“Maraming debatable issues pa,” said the Senate president.

The Senate leader plans to call for a caucus after the SONA on Monday (July 23) to get his fellow senators’ take on the proposed constitutional revisions. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

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BIFF to support Bangsamoro Organic Law if results are favorable – BIFF spokesperson

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2018

 

A member of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — Abu Misri Mama, the spokesperson for the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), announced that the group will support the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) if the results turn out to be favorable.

Lately, the BIFF has been noticeably silent and less active in Mindanao.

The group said they are watching closely how the proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law will turn out once it is ratified through a plebiscite next year.

The BIFF stressed that they are willing to open the doors to peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front under the BOL.

President Rodrigo Duterte said recently that if the ‘yes’ vote wins in the plebiscite, he plans to speak with MILF founding chairman Nur Misuari.

Abu Misra Mama assured the BIFF’s support for the BOL as a means to end the conflict in Mindanao.

“Ang aming stand mag-observe muna kami dahil tingnan muna natin kung ang Bangsamoro Organic Act o Law ay yung maka-solve sa problema sa Mindanao ay sama tayo,” he said.

The group also assured that while the peace process is ongoing, they will not launch any attacks.

However, if their expectations are not met, they will continue the fight and will not align themselves with the BOL.

“Wala po kaming gagawing pag-aatake at wala pong anu-ano na makasisira sa anong bagay na pakinabangan natin pero kung aatakehin kami ‘yon lalaban po kami,” said the BIFF spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines welcomed the group’s statement of support.

Joint Task Force Central Commander Major General Cirilito Sobejana said that this development is favorable to the armed forces because it means one less opposition in the government’s pursuit of peace.

“It is a positive development dahil bawas na sa gobyerno kapag sila’y sumusuporta na sa Bangsamoro Organic Law,” Sobejana said. — Dante Amento

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Gringo Honasan, an asset in DICT — Sotto

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Senator Gringo Honasan

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III confirmed on Wednesday (November 7) the appointment of Senator Gringo Honasan as Secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

The appointment papers of the senator may be possibly released on November 12.

Sotto said that Honasan is a huge loss to the Senate. However, the Senate president believes that the senator can contribute greatly to the DICT particularly in national security.

“I think he will be an asset sa DICT. Ang nakikita lang natin sa DICT yung communications. Hindi pero ang laking factor dun ng national security, even the entry of third telco,” said Sotto. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Duterte forms inter-agency task force on federalism

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, November 5th, 2018

 

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the creation of an inter-agency task force on federalism through Memorandum Circular No. 52.

The task force aims to integrate, harmonize and coordinate government efforts to raise public awareness on federalism and constitutional reform.

It will coordinate with Congress to initiate the process of and address the roadblocks to constitutional reform.

The inter-agency task force will be headed by the secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government; its vice chair will be the secretary of the Department of Justice and the other nine agencies will serve as its members.

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