Bangsamoro shaping up to be 'above' ARMM, says MILF leader

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 10 2018 09:33 AM

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MANILA -- Provisions of a draft law that will grant wider autonomy to the Muslim minority in the south is "above" the political entity that it will replace, a rebel leader said Tuesday.

Representatives of the House of Representatives and the Senate are reconciling their versions of the Bangsamoro Basic Law or BBL, which is key to a 2014 peace agreement between Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

"I can say now without fear of contradiction that the BBL will come out as not watered-down because as of now, right now, at this moment, the BBL is above ARMM," said MILF vice chairman for political affairs Ghazali Jaafar.

The ARMM refers to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which former President Benigno Aquino said was a "failed experiment," as he pursued talks with the MILF. His successor, President Rodrigo Duterte continued negotiations with the group.

Jaafar said the BBL provisions in the emerging bicameral committee version were acceptable to the MILF. He said he was hopeful smaller bodies within the bicam could still approve the BBL version drafted by a transition commission which he chaired.

He said among the provisions approved by the bicameral conference committee was the 75-25 sharing of tax revenues, the 5 percent block grant to the Bangsamoro, the name of the Bangsamoro political entity, and the powers of parliament.