ARMM legislators: peace deal will be successful if …

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 Oct) – Legislators of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are hopeful that the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro will bring peace to Mindanao, but warned that every citizen of ARMM and the whole country should support the efforts towards peace.

ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly Speaker Rasol Mitmug Jr. said it is not only President Benigno Simeon Aquino III who has to work on the implementation of the FAB. “It is important that all of us, as citizens of the ARMM and of the entire country, should support and make ways to make this a reality,” he said in a text message.

He added that the RLA fully supports the FAB and will work on educating the people for them to understand and support the FAB.

RLA majority floor leader Romeo Sema also said that the peace efforts’ success will depend on the President’s political will and sincerity to implement FAB.

The FAB was signed last Monday by the GPH and MILF at the Malacañang.

It stipulates that a new autonomous political entity called the Bangsamoro will replace the ARMM by 2016 after a basic law will be enacted by Congress and ratified by qualified voters within its territory.

Sema stressed that the basic law, for it to help improve the economic condition of the Bangsamoro, should provide full fiscal autonomy, control and supervision of natural resources particularly on the exploitation, exploration and development on the strategic minerals, and the proper collection of revenue that will be remitted to concerned agencies.

He pointed out that Republic Act (RA) 9054, an act that is supposedly to strengthen and expand the organic act of the ARMM, had some inconsistencies with the 1996 Final Peace Agreement (FPA) between the GPH and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and has thus become an obstacle in improving the lives of the Bangsamoro people.

Sema expressed hopes that history will not be repeated.

Mitmug said that the compass of peace talks should be better life and recognition of the Bangsamoro identity and better future for the region so that it can contribute to national development. (Lorie Ann A. Cascaro / MindaNews)