Autonomy framework in the House Ad Hoc Committee’s BBL: a critical analysis

Atty. Naguib G. Sinarimbo
Bangsamoro Study Group

[Powerpoint presentation of Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo, co-convenor of the Bangsamoro Study Group, at the Experts’ Forum on Autonomy Framework in the House Ad Hoc Committee’s BBL of the Cotabato City-based Institute of Autonomy and Governance (IAG) held at the Asian Institute of Management on May 29, 2015.
Sinarimbo was ARMM Executive Secretary from December 2009 to December 2011. He also served as a lawyer and member of the technical working group of the MILF peace panel.
MindaNews transfered the text of the Powerpoint presentation into this wordfile]

PREAMBLE

AMENDMENTS

Makes reference to the phrase within the framework of the Constitution, national sovereignty, territorial integrity

COMMENTS:

  • Inclusion of the phrase “within the framework of the Constitution and national sovereignty as well as the territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines” goes against the spirit of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and disregards the agreement with the Panel and the Office of the President (OP) Team
  • More importantly, it violates the agreement in principle that the negotiation shall not bring up or mention the Constitution and independence
  • Its continuous assertion and explicit inclusion in the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) reinforces the centrist unitary set-up of the Philippines
  • Reinforces the outdated concept of indivisibility of sovereignty and destroys the foundation of power sharing

AMENDMENTS

“Parity of esteem” is deleted

COMMENTS:

Destroys the foundation of the agreement which is the recognition of the distinct identity of the Bangsamoro as well as the legitimacy and justness of their cause. This in turn should result in a new relationship founded on mutual respect and parity of esteem.

ARTICLE II. BANGSAMORO IDENTITY

AMENDMENTS

Uses “emblem,” “hymn”, instead of “flag,” “anthem”

COMMENTS :

Using the terms “flag” and “anthem” bear no legal consequence that is prejudicial to the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.

Belittles the Bangsamoro and disregards the agreement on parity of esteem

ARTICLE III. TERRITORY

AMENDMENTS :

Title: Used “Geographical area” instead of “territory”

COMMENTS :

  1. Violation of agreement
  • Language re: territory has been settled during the negotiations (with OP and Panel)
  • FAB/CAB language
  1. LGUs use “territory”
  • Local Government Code (LGC) – Sec. 15, Chapter 2, Title I, Book I (General Powers and Attributes of Local Government Units); Sec. 386, Chapter I, Title I, Book III (Barangay); Sec. 450, Chapter I, Title III, Book III (City); Sec. 461, Chapter I, Title IV, Book III (Province);

AMENDMENTS :

Section 1: deleted “maritime, fluvial, alluvial and aerial domain”

COMMENTS :

  1. Bangsamoro territory has been defined in the FAB as follows, “…the land mass as well as the maritime, terrestrial, fluvial and alluvial domains, and the aerial domain and the atmospheric space above it.”
  2. Defining territory to cover solely land mass will substantially limit the potential scope of the Bangsamoro territory as this will necessarily exclude waters in the determination of contiguity.

AMENDMENTS :

Section 2

  • Letter (d): Only contiguous “cities and provinces” can petition to be included in the ratification of the Basic Law

COMMENTS :

  1. Would not address the historical injustice committed against the Bangsamoro thru the creeping intrusion of government settlements into Moroland.
  2. This will effectively limit the Bangsamoro territory to the ARMM, as the municipalities, barangays, and geographical areas can no longer be part of the Bangsamoro under said proposal.
  1. Violation of the agreement.
    • Definition of the Bangsamoro territory is already contained in the FAB.

This will automatically exclude other Moro municipalities and barangays to be part of  the Bangsamoro.

4. Even the Constitution allows municipalities, barangays, and geographical areas, and not just provinces and cities, to be part of the autonomous regions.

AMENDMENTS :

Section 3:

  • Voting will be based on votes of the “political units directly affected”, not the petitioning LGU/ geographical area
  • “areas outside of the territorial jurisdiction” instead of “contiguous to the core territory”

COMMENTS :

  • “political units directly affected” – not consistent with the requirement of the constitution for creating autonomous region under Sec. 15 Article X
  • Reduces the base area for inclusion to just “areas outside of the territorial jurisdiction” instead of “contiguous to the core territory”

AMENDMENTS :

Petitions for inclusion can only be conducted two (2) times: on the 5th and 10th year

COMMENTS :

  1. Violates the CAB. The language is “at anytime”.
  2. Reasonable time should be allowed to give effect to the agreement, including the 1976 Tripoli agreement.

ARTICLE IV. GENERAL PRINCIPLES

AMENDMENTS :

Section 1:

  • “Genuine autonomy”
  • Bangsamoro people, and not the Bangsamoro political entity can exercise right to self-determination

COMMENTS :

  • The language is a product of agreement with both the Panel and the OP
  • NO qualification should be made as to self-determination
  • Right to self-determination is an internationally recognized right.
  • NO such qualification can be found in the Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA). Recognition of the right to self-determination of indigenous peoples under Section 13 of RA 8371 makes no explicit reference to internal self-determination.

AMENDMENTS :

Section 1:

  • “Genuine autonomy”
  • Bangsamoro people, and not the Bangsamoro political entity can exercise right to self-determination

COMMENTS :

  • language of which is a product of agreement with both the Panel and the OP
  • Reference to autonomy carries with it the negative connotation it has acquired as a result of the failed experiment. This will also frame the issue on the Bangsamoro under the existing jurisprudence developed by the Supreme Court which is not very ideal instead of creating an opportunity for the SC to evolve new jurisdiction on RSD in the light of the agreement of the parties.

AMENDMENTS :

Section 1: Reserved powers

  • Section 1: “national security” (would include internal security)

COMMENTS :

  • Violates the CAB
  • In the Annex on Power Sharing, external security is a reserved power, while internal security, as part of public order and safety, is a concurrent power. Transferring or including internal security in the enumeration of reserved powers would dismantle the foundation for establishing the Bangsamoro police .
  • Removing the qualifier EXTERNAL would further weaken and create further confusion on the subsequent provisions on the Bangsamoro Police as the Central Government would now claim that all issues on security would be the RESERVED power of the Central Government

ARTICLE V. POWERS OF GOVERNMENT

COMMENTS :

  • This is a return to the old confused role of the Armed Forces and it kills totally the idea of community policing enunciated in the FAB and the CAB.
  • While ARTICLE IV (Powers of Government), Section 3 (b) of RA 9054 speaks of “National defense and security” as a reserved power, the intention of specifying “external security” as a reserved power of the Central Government during the GPH-MILF negotiations was to distinguish it from “internal security”, over which the Bangsamoro Government shall have power and authority.
  • It may likewise be inferred that from RA 9054, ART XIII, Section 1, the regional government has power and authority over internal security:
  • Section 1. Law and Order. – The Regional Government shall give priority to the maintenance and preservation of law and order for the establishment of peace and the protection of life, liberty, and property of the people in the autonomous region, in consonance with the provisions of the Constitution and this Organic Act.

COMMENTS :

NOTES:

  • Note distinction between Internal and External Security (Internal Security pertains to preservation of public security of persons and property, prevention and suppression of rebellion, mutiny, violence, intimidation, disorder, crime, attempts to overthrow the government, maintenance of the administration of justice, provision of sufficient supplies and services and provision of administration and remedial measures during periods of national danger and calamity. External security is security against external aggression.)
  • For the United States, external security is its national security and therefore its national security strategy identifies, defines and prioritizes these threats, identifies the constraints placed upon national security policy, and finally articulates policy recommendations on how to deal with these documented threats and constraints
  • Internal and External Security and National Borders By Lt Col (rtd) JAN Kamenju Director, Security Research and Information Centre (SRIC)

AMENDMENTS:

  • Section 1(7) Ombudsman
  • Section 11: all other powers not given under the Basic Law

COMMENTS:

  • Violates CAB enumeration of reserved powers. Plays no other purpose save to undermine the power already granted the ARMM re primacy in the discipline of its employees
  • Negates the plenary power provision of the CAB granted the Bangsamoro. Reduces the ARMM power which is plenary under the Organic Law as reflected in the general welfare provision.

AMENDMENTS :

Section 2

Section 2(7): reduced auditing powers

COMMENTS :

Language provided in the FAB and Annex on Power Sharing

  • Deletion violates the CAB. Further, the proposal of the Commission on Audit (COA) to give the Bangsamoro only “internal” auditing authority is the height of tokenism as all offices of government already have this function. We did not negotiate in Kuala Lumpur to be given only the functions that all government agencies already perform. Internal audit is currently exercised by all offices in the government, which is referred to as the ICU or the Internal Control Unit in every office. The audit contemplated in the FAB and CAB is a power granted the Bangsamoro to account for its own spending, an expression of self-determination and a radical transfer of accountability to our own people and not the people of the Central Government.
  • This is also a mechanism for effective exercise of self-determination. The ARMM experience has clearly shown us that audit is used by the central government to force the leadership in the autonomous region to follow the dictates of the central government.
  • RA 9054, ARTICLE VI (Legislative Department), Section 13, last par:

AMENDMENTS :

Section 2

Section 2(7): reduced auditing powers

COMMENTS :

  • The Commission on Audit of the Regional Government shall publish an annual report of the itemized list of expenditures incurred by the members of the Regional Assembly within sixty (60) days from the end of every regular session.
  • This is a product of agreement with the Panel and the OP and is reflective of the agreement of the Parties as contained in the CAB.
  • When you enact a law, it does not negate the power to create an office to implement the law.
  • RA 9054 already allows for creation of Regional Auditor and allows concurrent audit.

AMENDMENTS :

Section 2 (6): reduce powers over civil service

Section 2(14): reduced power over public order and safety

COMMENTS :

  1. This is a product of agreement with the Panel and the OP and is reflective of the agreement of the Parties as contained in the CAB.

When you enact a law, it carries with it the power to create an office to implement the law.

Section 2. Disciplinary Authority Over Officials and Employees. – The Regional Government shall have primary disciplinary authority over officials and employees of the Regional Government. In the exercise of that authority, the Regional Government shall apply the Civil Service Law, rules and regulations of the Central Government or national government until the Regional Assembly shall have enacted a Regional Civil Service Law.

AMENDMENTS :

Section 2 (6): reduce powers over civil service

Section 2(14): reduced power over public order and safety

COMMENTS :

The Regional Civil Service Law shall govern the conduct of the civil servants, the qualifications for non-elective positions, and the protection of civil service eligible in various government positions in the autonomous region. The Regional Civil Service Law shall be consistent with the provisions of Article IX (B) of the Constitution.

RA 9054, ART VI (Legislative Department), Section 13, par. 3

For a period not exceeding six (6) years from the date of the approval of this Organic Act, appointments to the various positions in the Regional Government shall be subject to the Civil Service law, rules, and regulations of the Central Government or national government. Thereafter, the Civil Service law, rules and regulations adopted by the Regional Government shall apply to all such appointments. If no Civil Service law, rules or regulations are adopted by the Regional Government, appointments to positions in the Regional Government shall continue to be governed by the Civil Service law, rules, and regulations of the Central Government or national government

AMENDMENTS :

Section 3: Exclusive powers

Section 3(3): protection of rights of IPsà moved to concurrent

COMMENTS :

  • Language adopted in the Annex on Power Sharing
    • Transfer of this provision would take it out of the list of exclusive powers

AMENDMENTS :

  • Section 3(55): limited to “non-Moro”

COMMENTS :

  • May result into undue deprivation of Bangsamoro of their just share in the resources found in their areas.

AMENDMENTS :

  • Section 3(56): excludes cities and provinces

COMMENTS :

  • This is an exclusive power of the Bangsamoro, as provided in the Annex on Power Sharing [Part Three, III (57)]
  • Reduces the power already granted to the ARMM
  • RA 9054, ART. VI, Section 19 provides:
  • Section 19. Creation, Division or Abolition of Provinces, Cities, Municipalities or Barangay. – The Regional Assembly may create, divide, merge, abolish, or substantially alter boundaries of provinces, cities, municipalities, or barangay in accordance with the criteria laid down by Republic Act No. 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991, subject to the approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected. The Regional Assembly may prescribe standards lower than those mandated by Republic Act No. 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991, in the creation, division, merger, abolition, or alteration of the boundaries of provinces, cities, municipalities, or barangay. Provinces, cities, municipalities, or barangay created, divided, merged, or whose boundaries are altered without observing the standards prescribed by Republic Act No. 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991, shall not be entitled to any share of the taxes that are allotted to the local government units under the provisions of the Code.

AMENDMENTS :

Section 4(k): member of SUCs

COMMENTS :

Product of agreement with the Panel and the OP

Reduces the power already granted the ARMM

  • This is based on Section 8, Article XIV of RA 9054. It provides that the ARMM Regional Government shall be represented in the board of state universities and colleges in the region by the Chair of the Committee on Education, Culture and Sports of the Regional Assembly either as co-chair or co-vice chair. Including “member” in the proposed amendment will lessen the level of participation of the Bangsamoro Government in these SUCs.

ARTICLE VI. INTER-GOVERNMENTAML RELEATIONS

AMENDMENTS :

Section 1: Definition of asymmetric makes reference to Section 15, Article X, which in turn uses the frame of “within the framework of the Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity”

COMMENTS :

Reinforces the unitary centrist Philippine Government and which status quo is sought to be changed by the agreement

AMENDMENTS :

Section 1: Definition of asymmetric makes reference to Section 15, Article X, which in turn uses the frame of “within the framework of the Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity”

COMMENTS :

Reinforces the unitary centrist Philippine Government and which status quo is sought to be changed by the agreement

AMENDMENTS :

Section 2: “Parity of esteem” changed to “respect for competence”; deletion of 1st sentence

COMMENTS :

Dismantles the foundation of the peace agreement which is the recognition of the distinct identity of the Bangsamoro as well as the justness and legitimacy of their cause. A new relationship of mutual respect is sought, hence the parity of esteem.

ARTICLE V. POWERS OF GOVERNMENT

AMENDMENTS :

Section 5: added Assistant Solicitor General for the Bangsamoro

COMMENTS :

Dismantles the “independence” of the Bangsamoro government from the dictates of the legal opinions of the central government and places the Bangsamoro Government and its Parliament in the category only of Sanggunian Panlalawigan or an LGU.

Destroys the foundation for the creation of an Inter-Governmental Relations mechanism.

AMENDMENTS :

Section 9: “as far as practicable” re participation in national government

COMMENTS :

Violates the CAB

Violates the consensus point in the Tripartite Review of the GRP-MNLF Peace Agreement.

AMENDMENTS :

Section 9: Bangsamoro Electoral Office is treated as any other regional office;

COMMENTS :

Violates the CAB

Renders inoperative the concept of Parliamentary Election and of shielding it (Bangsamoro) from the influence of national politics that has produced only surrogate leaders in the Bangsamoro

ARTICLE VII. THE BANGSAMORO GOVERNMENT

AMENDMENTS :

Section 11: Term of office: took out the qualification “unless otherwise provided”

COMMENTS :

Renders inoperative the essential feature of Parliamentary system of elections.

AMENDMENTS :

Section 13: salaries—Salary grade is applied to the Bangsamoro Parliament

COMMENTS :

Degrades the Bangsamoro Parliament such that even its pay scale is determined by another body.

AMENDMENTS :

Section 14: Reference to RA 6713

COMMENTS :

Would result in indirect amendment of the BBL.

AMENDMENTS :

Section 31: Oath of Chief minister—with the youngest member of the Parliament

COMMENTS :

No logical basis and the result of the deletion of the Wali and removes the sanctity of the oath.

AMENDMENTS :

Section 33: 2 Deputies, instead of 1

COMMENTS :

No logical basis and only bloats the membership of the Cabinet

AMENDMENTS :

Section 34: within X hours/ days ; Wali is taken out, President calls for election

COMMENTS :

Reinforces the status quo of patronage politics

ARTICLE VIII. WALI

AMENDMENTS :

Deleted

COMMENTS :

An important feature of the Parliamentary system

A disregard of the symbol of the Bangsamoro culture that can provide the moral compass for the Bangsamoro Government

ARTICLE IX. BASIC RIGHTS

AMENDMENTS :

Section 5:

  • Non-Moro
  • Reference to IPRA

COMMENTS :

Violates the CAB

Dismantles the power sharing agreement

AMENDMENTS :

Section 7:

  • BHRC- under supervision of CHR

COMMENTS :

Reduced the independence of the existing RHRC of the ARMM
Makes the HR body in the Bangsamoro independent of the Bangsamoro but dependent on the CHR

AMENDMENTS :

Section 9

  • Mention of Labor Code; and restricted discretion of the Parliament in enacting a law

COMMENTS :

Violates CAB

Removes the flexibility of the Parliament in enacting laws that would benefit its people.

ARTICLE X. JUSTICE SYSTEM
AMENDMENTS :

Section 9 (a), (b), and (c)m and Section 21: “subject of the Shari’a Court System” instead of “Muslim”

COMMENTS :

Can result in undue insult and mockery of Shariah Law

Equal protection clause can be surmounted there being substantial distinction

ARTICLE XI. PUBLIC ORDER AND SAFETY
AMENDMENTS :

Section 1: joint responsibility

Section 2: Bangsamoro Police as Integral part of PNP

Section 12: Constitution, national laws and NAPOLCOM issuances

COMMENTS :

Violates the CAB

Reduces the power already granted in RA 9054

AMENDMENTS :

Section 16

  • President shall call directly (no more request coming from the Chief Minister)

Section 17: coordination protocols deleted

COMMENTS :

Reduces the power already granted the ARMM

Violates the CAB

ARTICLE XIV. PLEBISCITE

AMENDMENTS :

Section 5:

Paragraph 1-2: limits the option to just transferring to nearest higher level of LGU; and are inconsistent with the 4th paragraph, which is the BTC/ MILF position

COMMENTS :

Limits the option of the Bangsamoro when in fact it has been granted the power to create LGUs

ARTICLE XVI. BTA

AMENDMENTS :

Section 2:

  • Participation of MNLF in the leadership
  • “Membership of the incumbent members of the ARMM”

COMMENTS :

May affect transition

Violates the CAB

AMENDMENTS :

Section 4

  • Section 4(a): should include Bangsamoro Electoral Code and Civil Service Code (entire 2nd paragraph was deleted)
  • Section 7(d): Propose change to “appropriate ministries for development, in charge of ….”

COMMENTS :

Violates the CAB

Reduces the power already granted the ARMM

AMENDMENTS :

Section 4

  • Section 9: transfer of properties of ARMM outside of the Bangsamoro should not be to Central Government but to Bangsamoro Government

COMMENTS :

Violates CAB

Violates the consensus in the (GPH-MNLF) Tripartite Review

ARTICLE XVI. AMENDMENTS AND REVISIONS

AMENDMENTS :

Section 1: process of amendment of Basic Law does not consider the participation of the Bangsamoro

COMMENTS :

Violates the CAB on entrenchment

Endangers the CAB and provides for unilateral action on amending the agreement of the parties

Less than the ARMM entrenchment provision

OMNIBUS COMMENTS.

AMENDMENTS :

  • Use of “area” instead of “territory”

COMMENTS :

  • RETAIN “territory”
  • Any change in reference to “territory” as “area” would be a violation of the agreement
    • Language re: territory has been settled during the negotiations (both with the Panel and OP)
    • Territory is the language used in FAB [V (1), V (3), V (5), I (3), VI (4), FAB]
  • LGUs use territory
    • LGC – Sec. 386, C1, T1, B3 (barangays); Sec. 450, C1, T3, B3(?) (city); Sec. 461, C1, T4, B__ (province); Sec. 15, C2, T1, B1 (gen attributes & powers of LGUs)

AMENDMENTS :

  • Use of “National Government” instead of “Central Government”

COMMENTS :

  • RETAIN “Central Government”
  • Any change in reference from “Central Government” to “National Government” is again a violation of agreement
    • Language settled during the negotiations (with OP and Panel)
    • Central Government is the language used in FAB and CAB
    • “Central Government” is also used in RA 9054 (85 times mentioned in RA 9054) – Sec. 3, Art II; Sec. 5, Art. III, Sec. 13, Art. III; Sec. 16, Art. III; Sec. 5, Art. IV; Sec. 1, Art. V; Sec. 3, Art V; Sec. 4, Art. V; Sec. 5, Art. V; Sec. 8, Art. VI; Sec. 11, Art VI; Sec. 13, Art VI; Sec. 14; Sec 20, Art VI; Sec. 9, Art. VII 10 Art VII; Sec. 2, Art VIII; Sec. 2, Art. IX; Sec. 7, Art. IX; Sec. 8, Art. IX; Sec. 15, Art. IX; Sec. 5, Art X; Sec. 1, Art XII; Sec. 3, Art. XII; sec. 5 Art. XII; Sec. 12 Art. XII; Sec. 34 Art. XII; Sec. 36 Art. XII; Sec. 11, Art XIII; Sec. 2, Art. XIV; Sec 4, Art. XIV; Sec. 7, Art. XIV; Sec. 21, Art. XIV; Sec. 22, Art. XIV; Sec 2, Art XVI; Sec 4, Art XVI; Sec 1, Art XVIII; Sec. 2, Art XVIII; Sec. 4, Art XVIII; Sec. 10, Art XVIII; 11 Art XVIII;

AMENDMENTS :

  • Use of “National Government” instead of “Central Government”

COMMENTS :

  • Any change in reference from “Central Government” to “National Government” is again a violation of agreement
    • Tripoli Agreement of 1976 also uses CG, Art. II, Sec. 1 – “Foreign policy shall be of the competence of the Central Government of the Philippines” – This goes to show that as early as 1976 CG has used and recognized as a term
    • use of CG is in keeping with the asymmetric relation and is consistent with decentralization of powers; it puts emphasis on the non unitary setup of government

ON THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

  • RETAIN Section 5.
  • Language and formulation is a product of agreement with both the Panel and the OP
  • Reflects agreement of the Parties as contained in the CAB

On the express mention of IPRA

  • Any explicit reference to IPRA and/or related national laws will limit the exercise by the Bangsamoro Government of its exclusive powers over indigenous peoples and as well as ancestral domain, as provided in the Philippine Constitution and as agreed upon by the GPH and the MILF.
  • There is no need for the express mention of the application and enforcement of RA 8371 or IPRA, as the BBL, as drafted and proposed, provides for all the rights guaranteed under IPRA and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

On the right of IPs to ancestral domains

  • The right of IPs to their native titles and/or fusaka inged is recognized under Section 5. “Fusaka inged” is a Teduray term, which means ancestral domain.
  • There are other provisions in the BBL which recognize the rights of IPs in relation to native titles and their ancestral lands, such as those pertaining to the right to free and prior informed consent and right related with the exploration, development and utilization of natural resources, among others.

On the right of IPs to internal self-determination

  • All the rights under self-governance and empowerment, which is the second bundle of rights under IPRA related to self-determination, are already enumerated and included in the BBL.
  • IPRA does not qualify the right to self-determination; No explicit reference to the same being limited to internal self-determination. If “internal self-determination” is used in the BBL for IPs in general, or even for non-Moro IPs, it will be interpreted as less than that already recognized by IPRA. This will also provide an opening for the same qualification to be imposed on the (RSD) Right to Self Determination of the Bangsamoro people.
  • Explicit mention of either “internal self-determination” or “self-determination” whether for IPs in general or for non-Moro IPs, that is separate from the recognition of this right for the Bangsamoro as a collective whole would weaken the very concept of an autonomous Bangsamoro. Even under IPRA, exercise of this right by indigenous peoples and communities is limited vis-à-vis the autonomous regions.

Sec. 14. Support for Autonomous Regions.- The State shall continue to strengthen and support the autonomous regions created under the Constitution as they may require or need. The State shall likewise encourage other ICCs/IPs not included or outside Muslim Mindanao and the Cordillera to use the form and content of their ways of life as may be compatible with the fundamental rights defined in the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and other internationally recognized human rights. {Section 14, RA 8371 of IPRA)

On the guarantee for IP representation

  • The BBL guarantees IP representation not only in the Bangsamoro Parliament but also in other structures of governance provided in the BBL.
  • As regards IP representation and participation in local legislative councils, the same is to be addressed in the Local Government Code to be enacted by the Bangsamoro Parliament.
  • Local administration, municipal corporations and other local authorities is an exclusive power of the Bangsamoro Government, and as such, matters pertaining to the same is best left to the wisdom of the Bangsamoro Parliament.

On allocation of a fixed percentage of the Bangsamoro budget for benefit of IPs

This proposal is discriminatory and is a class legislation.

NOTE implication of the use of “non-Moro IPs” in the proposed revisions.

  • There is an omnibus motion to change “indigenous peoples/indigenous cultural communities/indigenous communities” to “non-Moro indigenous peoples”. The same is not acceptable.
  • While the distinction between Moro and non-Moro IPs should be made in certain instances, to maintain this distinction in all provisions relating to IPs in the BBL would be discriminatory to the Moro IPs. Such would result to the denial of these rights vis-à-vis Moro communities.
  • As IPs, the Bangsamoro People are entitled to the rights guaranteed in the UNDRIP, and most certainly, under the BBL in the same manner that these are enjoyed by the non-Moro IPs.
  • Whenever merited, distinction between Moro and non-Moro IPs is made in specific provisions in the BBL, such as those concerning IP representation.
  • NOTE FURTHER the following IP rights guaranteed in the BBL:
  • II Section 2. Freedom of Choice. – The freedom of choice of other indigenous peoples shall be respected.
  • Article V, Section 30 Protection of the rights of the indigenous people in the Bangsamoro in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous, and taking into account in addition to economic and geographical criteria, their individual and communal property rights, cultural integrity, customary beliefs, historical and community traditions. The Bangsamoro Parliament may create an appropriate office or ministry for the Indigenous Peoples, which shall be part of the Bangsamoro Cabinet to develop and implement the Bangsamoro programs for the indigenous peoples in accordance with a law passed by the Parliament.
  • Article VI, Section 5. Council of Leaders. – The Bangsamoro Council of Leaders shall consist of the Chief Minister, provincial governors, mayors of chartered cities, and representatives from the non-Moro indigenous communities, women, settler communities, and other sectors. The Bangsamoro Council of Leaders shall be chaired by the Chief Minister. The Council shall advise the Chief Minister on matters of governance in the Bangsamoro. The representation of the non-Moro indigenous communities shall be pursuant to their customary laws and indigenous processes.
  • Article VII, Sec. 5 Reserved Seats; Sectoral Representatives. – Sectoral representatives, constituting ten percent (10%) of the Members of Parliament, including two (2) reserved seats each for non-Moro indigenous communities and settler communities. Women shall also have a reserved seat. The Parliament shall determine other sectors entitled for reserved seats.

Article VII Sec. 6 Election for Reserved Seats for Non-Moro Indigenous Peoples. – Notwithstanding the immediately preceding sections, reserved seats for the non-Moro indigenous peoples, such as, Teduray, Lambangian, Dulangan Manobo, B’laan and Higaonon, shall be pursuant to their customary laws and indigenous processes based on the following:

  • Primacy of customary laws and practices;
  • Primacy of consensus building;
  • Acceptability of the community;
  • Inclusivity and full participation;
  • Representation of the collective interests and aspirations of Tribal Peoples;
  • Sustainability and strengthening of Indigenous Political Structures;
  • Track record and capability; and
  • Gender equity.
  • Article IX, Sec 5. Indigenous People’s Rights. – The Bangsamoro Government recognizes the rights of the indigenous peoples, and shall adopt measures for the promotion and protection of their rights, the right to their native titles and/or fusaka inged, indigenous customs and traditions, justice systems and indigenous political structures, the right to an equitable share in revenues from utilization of resources in their ancestral lands, the right to free and prior informed consent, right to political participation in the Bangsamoro Government including reserved seats for the indigenous peoples in the Bangsamoro Parliament, the right to basic services and the right to freedom of choice as to their identity.
  • Section 14. Tribal University System. – The Bangsamoro Parliament shall create a tribal university system within the Bangsamoro to address the higher educational needs of the indigenous cultural communities in the region.
  • Section 18. Sports Programs. – The Bangsamoro education system shall encourage and support sports programs, league competitions, indigenous games, martial arts, and amateur sports including training for regional, national and international competitions.
  • Section 19. Preservation of Bangsamoro Cultural Heritage. – To preserve the history, culture, arts, tradition and the rich cultural heritage of the Sultanates, such as the Sultanates of Sulu, Maguindanao, and Buayan, and the Royal Houses of the Maranaos and the indigenous peoples of the Bangsamoro, there shall be created a Bangsamoro commission for the preservation of cultural heritage.
  • Article X, Sec 1. Justice System in the Bangsamoro. — The justice system in the Bangsamoro shall consist of Shari’ah law which shall have supremacy and application over Muslims only; the traditional or tribal justice system, for the indigenous peoples in the Bangsamoro; the local courts; and alternative dispute resolution systems.
  • For Muslims, the justice system in the Bangsamoro shall give primary consideration to Shari’ah, and customary rights and traditions of the indigenous peoples in the Bangsamoro.
  • Nothing herein shall be construed to operate to the prejudice of non-Muslims and non-indigenous peoples.
  • Section 23. Traditional/Tribal Justice Systems. – The Bangsamoro Parliament shall enact laws to promote and support the traditional/tribal justice systems that are appropriate for the indigenous peoples, as defined by them. The traditional justice systems are the mechanisms to determine, settle, and decide controversies and enforce decisions involving disputes between members of the indigenous peoples concerned in accordance with the tribal codes of these communities.
  • Section 24. Office for Traditional/Tribal Justice System. – There is hereby created an Office for Tribal Justice System responsible in overseeing the study, preservation and development of the tribal justice system within the Bangsamoro. The powers and functions of the Office shall be defined by the Bangsamoro Parliament.
  • The Office shall ensure the full participation of indigenous peoples in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of policies related to the strengthening of tribal justice system; ensuring further that such systems maintain their indigenous character in accordance with the respective practices of each tribe.
  • Article XI, Sec 18. Indigenous Structure. – The Bangsamoro Government shall recognize indigenous structures or systems which promote peace, and law and order. The Bangsamoro Parliament shall provide institutional support to these structures and systems to enhance peace and security in the Bangsamoro
  • Article XII, Sec 34. Share of Indigenous Communities. – Indigenous peoples shall have an equitable share from the revenues generated from the exploration, development and utilization of natural resources that are found within the territories covered by a native title in their favor. The share shall be provided for in a law to be passed by the Bangsamoro Parliament.
  • The Bangsamoro Parliament shall enact a law that shall provide in detail said sharing system, including the percentage of the shares of the indigenous peoples and communities, and the mechanisms therefor.
  • Article XIII, Sec 12. Rights of Indigenous Peoples Over Natural Resources. – The Bangsamoro parliament shall enact a law recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples in the Bangsamoro in relation to natural resources within the territories covered by a native title, including their share in revenues, as provided in this Basic Law, and preferential rights in the exploration, development and utilization of such natural resources within their area.
  • The right of indigenous peoples to free and prior informed consent in relation to development initiatives shall be respected.
  • Article XVI, Sec. 2 The BTA shall be composed of fifty (50) members, all of whom shall be appointed by the President; Provided that, non-Moro indigenous communities, women, settler communities and other sectors shall have representative in the BTA, Nominations may be submitted to the office of the President for this purpose
  • Section 7. Interim Cabinet. The interim Cabinet shall be composed of ten (10) primary offices with sub-offices for matters covered and priority ministries, namely: xxx
  • Indigenous Peoples Affairs; xxx

AMENDED FRAMEWORK

The proposed amendments change the framework of the agreement of the parties on changing the status quo and of redefining the relation between the Central government and the Bangsamoro to a point that the Bangsamoro has been reduced into the category of an LGU

  • Parity of esteem
  • Asymmetric relationship redefined
  • Deletion of Wali
  • Assistant Sol Gen for Bangsamoro
  • Deletion of entrenchment provision

REDUCTION OF THE POWERS GRANTED THE ARMM
Many of the amendments have reduced the powers of ARMM

RESOLVING THE BANGSAMORO QUESTION

The amendments would not help resolve the Bangsamoro Question, i.e. territory, Sha’riah law, political exclusion, patronage politics. (END)