All the President's men, women in BTC

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By Gingging Avellanosa-Valle

Bahin sang Bubay

Friday, May 2, 2014

WE WAITED for almost an hour, then Atty. Raisa Jajurie, the Commissioner representative of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), came in with an apologetic smile, even as she told of the reason for her undue delay as the event was supposed to start an hour earlier as scheduled.

Still, because many among the members of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) gathered wanted nothing less but get an update on the crafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), and hopefully, a copy of the draft law, they acquiesced and patiently kept their peace even as she was presenting a draft that is seemingly sketchy in details.

She then delivered in a power point presentation some points in the draft BBL. When asked if she can provide a copy of the draft, Atty. Raisa Jajurie, the BTC did not directly say it but she explained that the BTC cannot give away copies of the draft for reasons that they have no go-signal from the President.


After almost an hour of presentation, the body started to probe on some issues, starting with Mr. Nielo Tingzon of SUCCEED Global who was asking about particular provisions touching on the Economic concerns of the Bangsamoro. Atty. Jajurie was clearly unprepared by the first question as she was unable to directly answer satisfactorily.

With that, a follow-up questioned was raised another participant, particularly stressing on the recommendations that SUCCEED has submitted, pointing out the need of the NGO to know if any of the recommendations were considered by the BTC.

Asking a member of the local press not to quote her, Atty. Jajurie explained that much as she would have wanted to provide copies of the draft, she is constrained to do so. Instead, she suggested for the CSOs to pressure the president to allow the BTC to release the draft bill for the consideration of the CSOs.

Another member of the local media was reacting on the seeming reluctance from the BTC to give in to the CSO’s clamor for the draft copies. Asking why the BBL draft seems to be in “wraps” the lady also lashed out at some “CSOs” who prematurely announced the supposed signing of agreements (whatsoever) right after the holidays. She did not however elaborate on such issue.

Another CSO representative also announced that there will be some movements in the upcoming submission of the draft to the Office of the President in support of the BBL. However, some other participants were raising questions regarding such move as there is the question on what to support because in the first place, the BBL draft has still to see the light.

Finally, the meeting winded up without anything settled, as there was no clear pronouncements from the BTC representative except that she is expected to go around cities in Mindanao to echo the same things.

Why does it seem like the BTC is so eager to please the president such that it would not budge even an inch to the CSOs demands for a draft copy? Why do we have to beg these people for something that they are mandated to do, even if to their understanding they are answerable only to the president? Are citizens represented by CSOs not the ultimate “boss,” especially so that they have actively participated in the building of the BBL?

For the life of me, I could not understand their logic, honestly!

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 03, 2014.


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