Peace pact details sought
Published : Thursday, March 27, 2014 00:00
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THE House independent minority bloc yesterday reiterated their call for the Aquino administration to provide Congress with the full details of the peace agreement with Muslim rebels.
Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, the bloc leader, made his call on the eve of the scheduled signing today in Malacanang by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).
“We are not against the peace agreement. But we are calling on the Aquino administration to provide both Houses of Congress with the complete details of the peace pact for the creation of the Bangsamoro Basic Law,” Romualdez said.
Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. led House leaders in welcoming the signing of the CAB.
“We welcome and hail this latest development that would end the four decades of fighting in Central Mindanao. We are fully supportive of the Bangsamoro agreement and we will just wait for the draft bill,” Belmonte said who earlier made a commitment to approve with dispatch the proposed law on the establishment of the Bangsamoro juridical entity.
Anak Mindanao party-list Rep. Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman, wife of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Mujiv Hataman, and Basilan Rep. Jim Hataman credited President Aquino for his commitment to attain peace in Mindanao by establishing the Bangsamoro region to replace ARMM.
“Anak Mindanao is in solidarity with the nation in welcoming the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. With this is our prayer and commitment to continue working for peace and ensuring the gains of this agreement will benefit the peoples of Mindanao and translate into progress and development in the region and the nation,” Turabin-Hataman said.
Jim Hataman, brother of the ARMM governor and who witnessed the signing in Malaysia of the peace agreement last January, said: “We will do everything we can to pass the law. I believe in the maturity and sincerity of all the members of Congress to help bring our country towards sustainable peace and development.”
Deputy Speaker and Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao, a lawyer, said the public should expect that some groups will question the legality of the final peace pact before the Supreme Court (SC).
“It (law) will pass in Congress, there is no question. The larger problem is the legal challenge that many will mount with the SC against the agreement and the enabling law. Sadly, there are sectors in our society that spring to court in a default mode, for even the most prosaic of reasons,” Aggabao said.
Magdalo party-list Rep. Ashley Acedillo vowed to ensure that the Bangsamoro law “is within the bounds of our Constitution; responsive to the needs of the Muslim, Christian, and indigenous communities that it seeks to govern; and will guarantee a peaceful and prosperous autonomous region within the bounds of a Filipino nation.” RPP