IAG conducts first public forum on Bangsamoro Organic Law in Cotabato City
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IAG through its Australian DFAT-supported Enpold Bangsamoro Politics for Peace Phase 2 program partnered with Notre Dame University, Notre Dame Broadcasting Corporation and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Philippines Office to conduct the forum aimed at disseminating and objectively discussing the contents of the BOL.
After getting full congressional approval a day after the State of the Nation Address (SONA), the BOL was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on July 26, bringing closer to implementation the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) reached with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the previous administration.
With the passage of the BOL, IAG underscored the urgent need to convey the right information on the contents of the law so that people can make an informed decision in the plebiscite.
MILF Chairman Murad Ebrahim said during his keynote address that the MILF has officially accepted the BOL, adding assurances that the “Bangsamoro Government will be an inclusive government and primarily based on justice and equality.”
“The Organic Law confers to us our distinct identity as Bangsamoros and acknowledges the same even as it allows other identities to co-exist with us”, Murad said, citing that in the BOL, “we have ensured that no one is left out as there will be sectoral representation from the non-Moro Indigenous Peoples, settler communities, women, and youth.”
GPH-MILF Implementing Panel Chairman and BTC Commissioner Mohagher Iqbal, BTC Legal Consultant Atty. Lanang Ali Jr., Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo of the Bangsamoro Study Group, BTC Commissioner Susan Anayatin and BTC Commissioner Romeo Saliga served as resource persons.
They explored key principles and provisions of the BOL, including: territory, political autonomy, Bangsamoro Government and Parliament, justice system, transition and the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), fiscal autonomy, block grant, taxation, natural resources, and inclusivity.
“The Organic Law carries with it the seeds of opportunities as well as bears the birthmarks of failure. What we do with it will define its success or failure”, Sinarimbo said, summing up the essence of the BOL.
IAG extracted all the questions raised during the forum and sent them to a team in the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) led by Commissioner Raissa Jajurie for more thorough answers, Visit the IAG website at www.iag.org.ph to access the full Q&A and other resources on the BOL.