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Gusto ng power-sharing! BTA Parliament backs Charter change

The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament led by Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim has expressed support to amend the 1987 Constitution, to push among others power-sharing agreement with the national government.

The BTA passed Resolution No. 521 to underscore the need for a Charter change to resolve the constitutional issues to fully enforce the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), the peace deal between the then secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine government.

Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim, BTA Parliament Speaker Atty. Pangalian M. Balindong and Member of Parliament Mohagher Iqbal were the main proponents of the resolution, highlighting the concerns that cannot be catered to by the present constitutional regime. This was supported by 10 other Bangsamoro parliamentarians.

Balindong said the “best way” to resolve strife and bolster the economy of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is through genuine autonomy.

“What is therefore needed is to expand the scope of the powers of the regional government in the next constitution,” he said.

Among the revisions in the Constitution that the BTA wants to see are the following: power-sharing agreement, defining the powers reserved to the National Government, Bangsamoro Government, and both entities; Sharia Justice System; policing in the Bangsamoro; supervision and control of the regional government over its local government units (LGUs); delineation of powers of the Constitutional bodies vis-à-vis regional government; and the qualification of the Chief Minister.

“It is our duty to ensure that our gains in the peace process are cemented in the proposed changes, and not merely a subject of a legislative act,” Balindong said.

Meanwhile, Iqbal, who is also the implementing panel chair of the MILF, said that the Bangsamoro leaders will assert the full implementation of the CAB.

He said while the relationship with the national government has been good, there are still issues that need to be discussed.

“As leaders, we are already part of the Government. But Being part of the government does not mean that we have to give up what has been agreed by the [national] government and the MILF through the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro,” Iqbal said.

He explained it is evident that the Bangsamoro Organic Law did not fully capture the CAB, and that only about 85 percent has been implemented.

“We will assert that. Kailangang maisakatuparan iyan,” Iqbal said.

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