Gov’t, MILF peace panels to meet again next week to tackle the proposed Bangsamoro law

By Leslie D. Venzon

MANILA, July 11 (PNA) — The Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panels will meet again next week to continue resolving issues on the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) after modest progress had been achieved at their four-day meeting in Malaysia that ended Friday.

In a joint statement, the peace panels of both parties agreed to continue discussions in Manila on specific concerns within the next few days to “come up with a mutually acceptable BBL draft.”

“They recognize the importance of these discussions in order to ensure that the draft law would be submitted to Congress at the soonest possible time,” the joint statement said.

President Benigno S. Aquino III aims to submit the draft Bangsamoro law after his State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) on July 28.

Meanwhile, the meeting between the government and MILF peace panels in Malaysia provided both sides with the opportunity to clarify misperceptions and affirm the intent and sincerity of the parties to abide by the signed agreements.

The panels discussed the contents of the draft BBL submitted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and reviewed by the legal team of the Office of the President.

Members of the BTC, as well as the International Contact Group, were present to observe the discussions.

The meeting was hosted and facilitated by Malaysian facilitator for the peace negotiations Tengku Dato’ Ab Ghafar Tengku Mohamed.

The panels also thanked the Filipino people for their continued support towards the common objective of bringing a just resolution to the conflict in Mindanao. (PNA)