Aquino vows not to allow peace 'spoilers' from harming people

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III vowed Wednesday not to allow "spoilers" of the peace process to inflict harm to the people in Mindanao.

The Chief Executive said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will continue to go after the members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) who were allegedly engaged in harassment activities in Maguindanao province.

"So the AFP, in its role to protect our people, is going on these operations to prevent these lawless activities from inflicting harm on our populace and to seriously degrade their abilities to again act as spoilers," he told reporters in Muntinlupa City.

The President said he expects increased cooperation between the government troops and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in going after the lawless elements, such as the BIFF, following the completion of the four annexes of the framework agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB).

Sporadic skirmishes have been taking place between the government troops and the BIFF, a splinter group of the MILF, since Saturday.

More than 40 BIFF members were reported killed from the encounters.

Aquino also said that the FAB and its annexes are consistent with the 1987 Constitution.

"Pinipilit po natin mula nung umpisa na maging very transparent sa lahat ng pinag-uusapan para walang kagulatan," he said.

The President said he believes that there is no need to amend the Constitution to pave the way for the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

"Hindi naman ibig sabihin na ikinomit (commit) natin na babaguhin ang Saligang Batas. Pero iyong Saligang Batas mismo ay nakasaad doon ang mga paraan kung paano pwedeng ameyendahin at pwede itong imungkahi nga ng sinumang mamamayan," the President said.

The Bangsamoro Transition Commission is now drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law that will be submitted to Congress for enactment.

A "timetable" agreed upon by the government and the MILF panels in Kuala Lumpur was for the transitory commission to submit the draft laws by May 5.

Last Saturday, the government and the MILF panels signed the Annex on Normalization and Addendum on Bangsamoro Waters. The Annex on Normalization is the last of the four Annexes to the GPH-MILF Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

The FAB, signed on October 15, 2012, serves as a roadmap for the creation of a Bangsamoro entity that will replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and lays down the groundwork to achieve lasting and genuine peace in Mindanao. (SDR/Sunnex)

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