GPH panel member welcomes campaign to shift to federalism

A MEMBER of the government peace panel working on the creation of the Bangsamoro said that parallel calls for federalism is ‘coincidental’ to the peace process, but they welcome the new development.

Speaking to reporters at Monday’s Kapehan sa SM, Al-Amin Julkipli said the idea of creating a federalist government came from parties outside the negotiating table and not from within.

But an amendment to the constitution is necessary to pursue the campaign.

Julkipli is a member of the GPH peace panel legal team.

He said both houses of congress are being challenged to draft the law in the proper language so that the questions of constitutionality would be addressed pre-emptively.

Regarding ancestral domains by indigenous groups, Julkipli said the proposed law would mandate the parliament that would govern the core territories to ensure that there would be an equal sharing of resources gathered from any part of the region recognized as an ancestral domain.

The proposed Bangsamoro entity will ensure the equal sharing of resources for indigenous peoples, a member of the GPH peace panel said.

Julkipli added that there would also be a counterpart of the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in the Bangsamoro entity. “The agency would be among the first to be created after the law is passed,” he said.

“The word is not even ‘equilateral,’” the GPH panelist said. “It’s equal sharing.”

Asked about the updates to the proposed laws, Julkipli said both houses of congress were racing towards February, which has been identified as the time of the passage of both laws.

He said the senate will be holding two more public consultations regarding its version of the bill by January.

According to an initial copy of the timeline for the creation of the Bangsamoro, the original deadline for the passage of the BBL was December 2014, had President Benigno S. Aquino III certified the law urgent mid-2014 as originally scheduled.

Earlier this year, proponents of federalism said the creation of the Bangsamoro would pave the way to federalism.

These proponents include Reuben Canoy, former Senator Aquilino Pimentel and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Indigenous groups have also repeatedly wondered about how the outcome of the passing of the law would affect certificate of ancestral domain claims if it falls under the territory of the Bangsamoro.

Julkipli added that while IPs were reserved two seats in the parliament, there was also a possibility of converting identified ancestral domains as legislative districts in the ministerial body.

Posted in Latest News