EO on Bangsamoro Transition Commission now with Executive Secretary

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/12 Nov) – The Executive Order creating the15-member Transition Commission (TransCom) for the Bangsamoro poltical entity is now with the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) and should be out soon,  Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, said.

Deles on October 19 told MindaNews the EO would be out “in two to three weeks in light of  Undas holiday.”  On November 10, she said the OES is “proposing some reformulations – so we need a little more time to process.” Malacanang, she told MindaNews on November 10, wants to “ensure there are no legal infirmities.”

While the OES is working on the “reformulations,” the peace panels of the government (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)  resumed talks in Kuala Lumpur this week to finish the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro’s (FAB) annexes on power-sharing, wealth-sharing and normalization.

The panels’ technical working groups are working on the annexes. Both sides hope to finish the annexes by December.

Signed on October 15 in Malacanang, the FAB provides that the TransCom will have an all-Bansamoro membership of seven from the Philippine government (GPH) and eight from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), including the chair.

The TransCom, which will be created through an Executive Order “and supported by  Congressional Resolutions,” will prepare the groundwork for the Bangsamoro political entity by 2016 and would have three main tasks:

– to work on the drafting of the Bangsamoro  Basic Law with provisions consistent with all agreements entered and that may  be  entered  into by  the  Parties;
-to work on  proposals to amend the Philippine Constitution for the  purpose of accommodating  and entrenching in the constitution the agreements of the Parties whenever necessary without derogating from any prior peace  agreements; and
-to coordinate whenever necessary development programs in Bangsamoro Communities in conjunction with the MILF Bangsamoro Development  Agency (BDA), the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management  Institute (BLMI) another agencies.

Both panels have committed to ensure women and Lumad (indigenous peoples) representation in the TransCom. The government has seven members in the TransCom while the MILF has eight, one of them the chair.

The 15-person TransCom will have at least two women and two Lumad representatives, based on the panels’ commitment.

TransCom, Transition Authority and ARMM abolition 

As agreed, the TransCom will be “independent from the ARMM and  other government agencies” and once it submits the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law, the President will certify it as an urgent bill.

“Upon promulgation and ratification  of the Basic Law, which provides for the creation of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority(BTA),  the ARMM is deemed abolished”  and “all devolved authorities shall be vested in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority during the interim period.”

As soon as the BTA is in place, “the ministerial form and Cabinet system of government shall commence” and it  “may reorganize  the bureaucracy  into institutions of governance  appropriate  thereto.”

The BTA is tasked to “ensure that the continued functioning of government in the  area of  autonomy is exercised pursuant to its  mandate under the Basic Law.”

The BTA will be “immediately replaced in 2016 upon the election and assumption  of the members of the  Bangsamoro legislative  assembly and the formation of the  Bangsamoro government.”

The TransCom,’s creation through executive Order,” is to be “supported by Congressional resolutions.”

Congress resumed sessions on November 5 and will go on Christmas break from December 22 to January 20.  (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)