Philippines: Bangsamoro assembly postponed

New dates ‘still being determined by authorities’

Philippines: Bangsamoro assembly postponed

World Bulletin / News Desk

A long-awaited assembly of the Bangsamoro people has been postponed, a top leader of the country's largest Muslim rebel group said Monday.

Moro Islamic Liberation Front vice chairman Ghazali Jaafar, who is also head of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, confirmed the postponement in a statement issued to reporters. 

No reason was provided, though Jaafar said it was "beyond their control" and that their standing working committees would continue preparatory work.

Jaafar said new dates were still being determined but they are looking at the third week of November.

The gathering was scheduled to be held from Nov. 3-4 in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao province in Central Mindanao.

The assembly aims to draw support for the immediate passage of the enhanced Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which will pave the way for the creation of a new political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The assembly is also expected to register participants including the Bangsamoro people, non-Moros settlers, indigenous people, government workers, NGOs, Sultanates, foreign dignitaries and all peace-loving citizens. 

According to MindaNews, President Rodrigo Duterte, the assembly’s guest of honor, will not be available until after Nov. 18, after he hosts the ASEAN summit.

On Sunday, before heading to Japan for his three-day working visit, Duterte vowed to push for the passage of the BBL, warning that not acting on it may cause trouble in the country. 

He said he will urge Congress to hasten its approval and reiterated his commitment to the MILF and Moro National Liberation Front that he would grant them territories after a federal of government has been set up.

Duterte also assured both Moro revolutionary organizations of a governance framework for the soon-to-be-established Bangsamoro entity.

The 21-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission submitted its draft BBL to Duterte on July 27 in the presence of Senate President Aquilino Pimentell III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

The Duterte administration’s Bangsamoro Peace and Development Roadmap targeted December this year for the passage of the BBL. 

The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro was signed by the government and MILF on March 27, 2014.

Last Mod: 31 Ekim 2017, 09:57
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