Aquino, Murad hold one-on-one meeting in Japan

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

MALACANANG confirmed on Thursday that President Benigno Aquino III and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim had a one-on-one meeting in Hiroshima, Japan at the sidelines of a peace conference there.

Both Aquino and Murad were speakers in the Japan International Cooperation Agency-initiated conference on June 24.

"The President and MILF Chairman Murad met in Hiroshima the other day. It was a one-on-one meeting with no Cabinet members present," said Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. in a news briefing.

As in their previous meetings, Coloma said it was "reasonable to infer that they discussed the progress of the peace process and how this may be brought to full fruition in accordance with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB)."

Aquino and Murad had their first meeting in Tokyo in August 2011.

Coloma could not say if the delay on the review of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) was also discussed during the meeting.

But he explained that the Office of the President (OP) only wants to make sure that the provisions of the draft BBL would be in accordance with the Constitution.

The OP has been reviewing the draft BBL prepared by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) led by MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal.

"Sa kasalukuyang pag-aaral sa binalangkas na Bangsamoro --- draft Bangsamoro Basic Law, ang pangunahin at pinakamahalagang konsiderasyon ay iyong pagtitiyak na ito ay naaayon sa Saligang Batas ng Pilipinas at ang pagtitiyak na ito ay mainam na maidedepensa at maipapasa sa dalawang Kamara ng Kongreso," Coloma said.

"Dalawa kasing panig ang mahalagang stakeholders dito: iyong pamahalaan ng Pilipinas, kumakatawan sa buong sambayanang Pilipino; at ang MILF panel," he added.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process earlier said that the OP hopes to forward the draft bill to Congress when it resumes session in July. (SDR/Sunnex)

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