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Joint GPH, MNLF legal panel drafts bill amending ARMM law

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The joint legal panel of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has drafted an amendatory bill for the proposed expansion of Republic Act (RA) 9054, otherwise known as the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), according to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

The panel is jointly led by Justice Undersecretary Leah Armamento and former MNLF chair Nur Misuari. The draft includes modifications that will make the ARMM law more reflective of the Moro sentiments.

The panel resolved most of the 32 issues, except for three remaining items regarding the area of autonomy; sharing of revenues between the central government and regional government in strategic minerals; and transitional mechanism.

The panel draft bill and report were initialed by the joint secretariat at the Indonesian Embassy in Manila last Saturday. The draft will be presented at the Fourth Tripartite Meeting.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles lauded the legal panel for sharing their effort and expertise in the implementation of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement.

Deles expressed her gratitude to the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), particularly the Peace Committee on Southern Philippines and its member-states, for their support to this endeavor.

“Such concern, attention and effort definitely and concretely contribute to the establishment and nourishment of an enabling environment for the sustained peace and development in Southern Philippines,” she said.

Deles likewise thanked the Indonesian Embassy for hosting the meetings of the legal panel.

The GPH-MNLF legal panel was formed based on the agreement during the Third Tripartite Meeting among the OIC, GPH and MNLF on March 13, 2009.

The panel has been tasked to transform the common proposals of the two parties into legal form and arrive at common grounds on the issues for further study.

The legal panel held a series of meetings to review proposed modifications to RA 9054, and discuss other items for further study, such as the implementation of the agreement to set up the Bangsamoro Development Assistance Fund (BDAF); and the tripartite monitoring of the implementation of the peace pact. (PNA/PIA9-BST)




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