Solons want IPs appointed to Bangsamoro transition panel

LAWMAKERS urged President Benigno Aquino III to appoint representatives of indigenous peoples (IP) to the 15-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission.

“We are hoping that the President will consider including indigenous peoples, particularly IP women, to the Commission,” said Reps. Teddy Brawner Baguilat, Jr. and Nancy Catamco, chairman and vice chairperson, respectively, of the House Committee on National Cultural Communities.

Catamco and Brawner are authors of House Resolution 3008 urging the President of the Republic of the Philippines to include IPs, including IP women, among those who shall be appointed of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.

The 2012 Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) provides for the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law through the creation of the Transition Commission.

President Aquino has issued Executive Order No. 120 that provides for the creation of the Commission and designation of fifteen members to the transition panel.

Catamco and Baguilat said the empowerment of the peoples within the Bangsamoro entity is guaranteed by the FAB through their participation in the process of drafting and enacting the Bangsamoro Basic Law through the Transition Commission.

They stressed that a significant proportion of the population covered by the Bangsamoro belong to indigenous peoples.

“Our indigenous brothers and sisters within the Bangsamoro possess their distinct culture and history that must be uniquely addressed. Therefore, they must be given the appropriate representation and significant participation in the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law which will affect their lives,” Catamco and Baguilat said.

On January 21, 2013, the Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute (GZOPI), through its Executive Director Karen Tañada, hosted a roundtable discussion on IP women perspectives on the GPH-MILF with the support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy.

During the meeting, participants unanimously resolved to strongly assert that there should be a representation of IP women in the GPH-MILF peace process, particularly through membership in the transition panel that will draft the basic law.

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