At least 2 Lumads, 2 women in 15-member GPH-MILF Transition Commission

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/27 October) —  There are no names yet as both panels are still shortlisting nominees to the Transition Commission (TransCom) that will be set up when President Benigno Simeon Aquino III issues an Executive Order, but what is certain is there will be at least two women and two representatives of  Lumads (indigenous peoples) in the 15-member TransCom.

The government (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are naming at least one woman and one Lumad representative each to the TransCom which will draft, among others, the Bangsamoro Basic Law in preparation for the “Bangsamoro,” the new autonomous political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) by 2016.

The recently signed Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) provides that the TransCom shall be composed of “15 members all of whom are Bangsamoro,” seven of them selected by the GPH and eight, including the chair, by the MILF.

Quoting Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process,  GPH panel member Senen Bacani told a forum here on October 11, that their seven members will “definitely”  include representatives from the Lumad, women and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

MILF peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal told MindaNews in a text message Friday that their list of eight has not been finalized but “IP and woman will be included.”

The FAB cites indigenous peoples’ rights thrice.

It provides under Article I Section 5 on the Establishment of the Bangsamoro, that that “freedom of choice of other indigenous peoples shall be respected.”

Artcile III, Section 6 on Powers, provides that the “customary rights and traditions of indigenous peoples shall be taken into consideration in the formation of the Bangsamoro’s justice system” and that “this may include the recognition of indigenous processes as alternative modes of dispute resolution.”

Article VI, Section 3 on Basic Rights, provides that “indigenous peoples’ rights shall be respected.”

The GPH panel has a Lumad in the panel – Teduray Ramon Piang, mayor of Upi, Maguindanao, who was a regular member while he was vice mayor but later served as consultant whenhe assumed the mayoralty post from the elected mayor who was appointed to a national post.

The MILF, on the other hand, has an alternate member in the panel, Blaan Datu Antonio Kinoc.

The TransCom will be created through an Executive Order “and supported by Congressional resolutions.”

Aside from drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law, the TransCom is also tasked to work on proposals to amend the Constitution “for purposes of accommodating and entrenching in the Constitution the agreements of the Parties whenever necessary without derogating from any prior peace agreements” and to coordinate, when necessary, development programs in the Bangsamoro communities in conjunction with the MILF’s Bangsamoro Development Agency and the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute and other agencies.

According to the FAB, the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law, which will include the creation of the Bangsamoro Transition  Authority (BTA), will be certified as an urgent bill by the President and upon promulgation and ratification, “the ARMM is deemed abolished” and the BTA takes over until it is replaced in 2016 “upon the election and assumption of the members of the Bangsamoro legislative assembly and the formation of the Bangsamoro goverment.”  (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)

Comments

comments