The draft Bangsamoro Basic Law will not be submitted to Congress before President Benigno Aquino III's fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) as earlier envisioned by Malacañang, the chief government peace negotiator said.


In an interview with reporters Monday night, Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said the draft law is still to be "finetuned."


"May mga parts na naayos, may mga parts na hindi pa naaayos kaya medyo marami pa talagang pag-uusapan," she said.


Coronel-Ferrer added that a delayed submission of the draft law "is better than trying to rush the submission in time for the opening of Congress because we feel that there are issues we need to discuss."


She further said both the peace panels of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) had "to consult with their principals" after engaging in "workshops" during the past days to try to settle contentious issues in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.


"A lot of issues remain pending that they wish, of course, to consult with their principals. Sa amin din, ganoon din, things we need to consult in order to make good resolution. At this point, hindi pa talaga namin masasabi that we have come up with a mutually acceptable draft na we can jointly endorse to the President, together with the Bangsamoro Transition Commission," she said.


Malacañang earlier committed to submit the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law to Congress before sessions resume on July 28 in time with the President's SONA, and to enact the law before yearend.


On Monday, the MILF said its chairman, Murad Ebrahim, will meet again with Aquino in the coming days to tackle the proposed law to create the Bangsamoro political entity, which will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.


Last March, the Philippine government and the MILF signed a comprehensive peace agreement stipulating arrangements on wealth-sharing and power-sharing between the two parties, aiming to end the decades-long armed conflict in Mindanao. -- Andreo Calonzo / GMA News



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