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JPE: Bangsamoro Deal Good Experiment For Parliamentary Gov't
Source: http://www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationsubcategoryid=200&articleid=857657
Source Date: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Philippines
Created: Oct 10, 2012

MANILA, Philippines - Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said Tuesday that the Bangsamoro framework agreement would be a good experiment for a parliamentary form of government.

"This will be a good experiment to find out how a parliamentary system of government will operate,” Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile said, referring to the agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) which espouses the establishment of a ministerial form of government for the Bangsamoro territory, replacing the structure of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Enrile said that there are no provisions in the Constitution that prohibits the shift to a parliamentary form of government.

“I don’t think that it was provided in the Constitutional that we are a unitary system. In fact, we have the features of a parliamentary because were are now multi-party system,” he said.

He added: “There is in fact in the psyche of this country to adopt a parliamentary system."

Meanwhile, the senator countered Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago's opinion that the Bangsamoro agreement would require constitutional amendments.

He said that the establishment of a Bangsamoro territory is "already a provision in the Constitution establishing autonomous regions."

"So as a matter of interpretation, you provide for the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). This is specific, for the ARMM and Cordillera, a formula similar to what was provide in the summary that I got,” Enrile said.

Meanwhile, the veteran senator said that Congress may “adhere to the agreement as closely as possible.”

Enrile said the move of the MILF to agree that the basic law for Bangsamoro and the transition government will have to undergo the processes of the Senate and the House of Representatives, is an indication that the rebel group recognizes the authority of the national government.

“In fact, I have take a position that we can solve this problem in Mindanao, provided we only give them land but not airspace and seas,” he said.

Sen. Loren Legarda said that the framework agreement needs to be closely scrutinized by Congress and should undergo an extensive consultation.

"As a legislator, I will carefully study the Framework Agreement and its subsequent companion documents to determine how this Agreement conforms to the spirit and intent of our Constitution. There are provisions in the Framework Agreement that invite closer scrutiny and I trust that questions that may arise would be answered through a process of extensive consultations," Legarda said.

Legarda said that while the peace panels have yet to formulate the important details of the agreement, Filipinos should welcome the prospect for peace in the restive regions in Mindanao.
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