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President Aquino urges Bangsamoro Transition Commission to fast-track drafting of Bangsamoro Basic Law
Friday 31st of January 2014

MANILA, Jan. 31 -- President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday urged the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to draw up soonest the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law so it can be ratified and implemented in time for the 2016 elections.

The President met members of the BTC in Malacañan Palace Thursday, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles said.

"The President urged the BTC to fast-track the completion of the draft Bangsamoro basic law (BBL) to ensure its passage and ratification with enough time to complete the transition tasks in time for the 2016 elections," Deles said.

She added the President stressed the need for the BTC to be transparent and to reach out to all sectors concerned, including those initially resisting the new political entity.

Also, President Aquino assured the commission of the national government's full technical and political support, guidance and advice, as well as budget.

Deles said the President told them he would give as much of his own time as necessary.

She described the atmosphere of Thursday's meeting as "warm and relaxed," where the BTC updated the President on the work they have been doing and the concerns they are facing.

BTC was created in December 2012 to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law that will pave the way for the establishment of the Bangsamoro region in 2016.

It has 15 members appointed by the President, eight of whom were recommended by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and seven were recommended by the government.

Last weekend, negotiators from the government and the MILF signed an annex that would pave the way for a comprehensive peace pact.

A statement from Deles' office said the Bangsamoro basic law draft is likely to be certified as an urgent bill by the President.

It would then be submitted to Congress for passage, and subjected to a plebiscite in the areas envisioned to be the new political entity's core territory. PND (jl)

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