Aquino sends Bangsamoro draft law to congress, kicks off stakeholders’ dialogues

Cotabato,NJ Viehland

Cotabato,NJ Viehland

President Benigno Aquino III has submitted to the Philippine Congress the proposed law providing for the establishment of the Bangsamoro political entity that is seen as key to establishing and promoting peace and development in the southern Philippines.

Bangsamoro entity created by the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)

An update from the Institute on Autonomy and Government (IAG) reported that the Senate and House of Representatives can now proceed to deliberate on the draft law. 

Congressman Rufus Rodriguez will chair the Special Committee that will take up the proposed law in the Lower House. The House of Representatives will create a 75-member ad hoc committee to “review, evaluate and propose legislation” based on the draft BBL.

Its functions include:

* Study, deliberate on and act upon all measures referred to it inclusive of bills, resolutions and petitions, and recommend for approval or adoption by the House those that, in its judgment, advance the interests and promote thr welfare of the people;

* Establish appropriate system and procedures to ensure that constituencies, sectors and groups are given sufficient opportunities to be heard;

* Pursue dialogues and consultations with affected sectors and constituencies;

* Require the submission of studies, research and position papers;

* Engage the services and assistance of experts and professionals from the public or private sector as may be needed;

* Conduct hearings and inquiries in aid of legislation on matters within its jurisdiction;

* Act on measures referred to it and render a report to the plenary for its consideration.

Senate discussions will be led by the Committee on Local Government, chaired by Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. Members include Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (Vice chair) and member Senators Paolo Benigno Aquino, Pia Cayetano, Manuel Lapid, Loren Legarda, Aquilino Pimentel III, Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara, Grace Poe. Senators Ralph Recto, Alan Peter Cayetano and Juan Ponce Enrile are Ex-Officio members.

IAG in an e-group notice said with the NGO Philippine Center  for Islam and Democracy (PCID) it will continue to report on deliberations on the BBL in Congress.

In Cotabato City, southern Philippines, the institute will collaborate with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Philippines political foundation, Notre Dame University of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) and Notre Dame Broadcasting Corporation (NDBC) and launch a series of talk shows to foster understanding of the proposed BBL.

The talkshop series will bring together members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), experts, civil society leaders, and key stakeholders to discussions, analysis and debates on the salient features of the BBL certified as urgent by the President for approval by Congress.

IAG senior policy adviser, Oblate Fr. Eliseo Mercado Jr., meanwhile will reconvene the Bangsamoro Study Circle group in a series of special sessions to study the draft bill for greater participation of stakeholders in the discussion of the issues that confront the general public.

Concerned people are invited to study the proposed law and submit their views and opinion on the draft law to info@iag.org.ph , which will publish  comments on its website’s opinion section. 

IAG will also publish updates on Facebook and Twitter @IAGorgph using hashtag #BBLWatch 

Cardinal Quevedo, Man of Peace in Muslim Mindanao – ARMM Tribute

BY: OLIVER ROSS V. RIVERA
Wednesday 26th of March 2014

Cardinal Orlando Quevedo appeals for people to collaborate to fight prejudice and work together for the success of peace efforts in Mindanao during his homily for the March 11, 2014 thanksgiving Mass at Immaculate Conception Cathedral for his 75th birthday and Pope Francis' creation of Quevedo as cardinal last Feb. 22. By NJ Viehland

Cardinal Orlando Quevedo appeals for people to collaborate to fight prejudice and work together for the success of peace efforts in Mindanao during his homily for the March 11, 2014 thanksgiving Mass at Immaculate Conception Cathedral for his 75th birthday and Pope Francis’ creation of Quevedo as cardinal last Feb. 22. By NJ Viehland

COTABATO CITY,  March 26 (PIA)  The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) paid tribute to Orlando Cardinal Quevedo on Tuesday, hailing the first-ever cardinal from Mindanao as a “Man of Peace in Muslim Mindanao” for his contribution to the advancement of peace in the region.

Cardinal Quevedo, 75, is a highly respected leader in Mindanao, largely recognized for promoting trust and understanding among its diverse population.

He is one of the 19 bishops from different countries (elevated in February) to the College of Cardinals by Pope Francis.

ARMM’s officials and employees, of different tribes and religion, convened on Tuesday to show gratitude to the Cardinal for his role in advancing peace and speaking out against injustice.

“In behalf of the ARMM, I thank you for the kindness you have given to the people of Muslim Mindanao,” Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman, ARMM vice-governor, said.

He said the Cardinal is “not only a man of God but also a champion of Muslim human rights.”

Celebrating with Cardinal Orlando Quevedo on his 75th birthday March 11, 2014 was Bainon Karon (extreme right) former chair of the Women’s Committee of the MNLF and later Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Secretary for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. By NJ Viehland

Celebrating with Cardinal Orlando Quevedo on his 75th birthday March 11, 2014 was Bainon Karon (extreme right) former chair of the Women’s Committee of the MNLF and later Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Secretary for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. By NJ Viehland

“To you the respect of human rights is the demand of duty,” he said.

In his article “Injustice: the Root of Conflict in Mindanao”, Quevedo wrote: “Through the years I have gained some understanding of the Moro viewpoint that has significantly influenced, even altered, my Christian viewpoint. The change came not only from reading books authored by either Christian or Muslim scholars but most importantly from teaching, advising, observing, conversing, and being with Muslim students and professionals for many years, even as I accompanied my fellow Christians in their own journey through ongoing history.”

Quevedo said the answer to the injustices in Muslim Mindanao is to give justice to the Moro identity.

He said religious leaders from all sides have a major role in allowing Mindanao’s population to overcome their prejudices and biases.

Leaders from the Catholic community, the Muslim community and the indigenous community – Bishop Colin Bagaforo, Sammy Maulana and Valentin Juan, respectively – took turns to thank and give homage to the Cardinal.

Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao and Auxiliary Bishop Collin Bagaforo of Cotabato concelebrate with Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato at Immaculate Conception Cathedral in thanksgiving for the cardinal's 75th birthday on March 11, 2014 and his induction into the College of Cardinals in Rome on Feb. 22. NJ Viehland Photos

Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao and Auxiliary Bishop Collin Bagaforo of Cotabato concelebrate with Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato at Immaculate Conception Cathedral in thanksgiving for the cardinal’s 75th birthday on March 11, 2014 and his induction into the College of Cardinals in Rome on Feb. 22. NJ Viehland Photos

 

Lucman said the Cardinal’s “words as a man of peace will not end here” and will once again be called upon with the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) this Thursday.

“Your voice will once again be the resounding voice of peace and unity,” he said.

(ORVRivera-PIA12/Bureau of Public Information-ARMM)
– media release from government’s Philippine News Agency  http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=2411395805914#sthash.SCyIJdyg.dpu