COTABATO CITY, Philippines – The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are set to introduce to the public on April 3 the 15 members of the Transition Commission (Transcom) that would draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law.


“We welcome the holding of the first en banc meeting of the Transition Commission on April 3,” said Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, government panel chair, in a statement issued last Saturday.


“The government panel will work closely with the Transcom in continuing to reach out to the public and coming up with a draft law that will embody the just aspirations of the peace negotiations,” she said.


Eight of the 15 members of the Transcom are from the MILF, while the rest represent the government.


Created by President Aquino through Executive Order 120, the Transcom is tasked to draft the law to enable the setting up of a Bangsamoro region to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).


The ARMM is to hold its “last” elections in May 2013.


In its website, the MILF said the supposed three-year term of office of the ARMM officials elected next month would be shortened as soon as the Basic Law is enacted by Congress and subsequently ratified through a plebiscite in the proposed areas to be covered by the Bangsamoro region.


The MILF is optimistic that a final agreement would be signed with the Aquino government before 2016.


Chaired by MILF peace panel chair Mohaqher Iqbal, the Transcom will meet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.


Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles had also confirmed that the Transcom would convene on April 3.


The government and MILF panels agreed on the first en banc session of the Transcom during an executive meeting in Malaysia last week.


The two panels were supposed to hold the 37th exploratory talks last March 25-27 in Malaysia, but they instead held an executive meeting after President Aquino requested for its postponement to enable Malacañang to study the remaining topics of the negotiations.