Dean Marvic Leonen, chief negotiator of the government for talks with the MILF, has granted two major press briefings since the Framework Agreement was released on October 7, 2012. During these exchanges with the media, Dean Leonen entertained questions from reporters, which gave him the opportunity to further explain the agreement and the processes by which it will be implemented. One briefing was held in Kuala Lumpur, where the 32nd Formal Exploratory Talks between the Philippine government and the MILF were held. Access it here: Press briefing by the GPH Peace Panel on the Framework Agreement with the MILF, October 7, 2012 The next day, the Peace panel for talks with the MILF returned to Manila and paid a courtesy call on the President. Afterward, they granted a briefing with the Malacañang Press Corps. Access it here: Press briefing by Presidential Spokesperson Lacierda and GPH Peace Panel Chairman Leonen, October 8, 2012×
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Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles receives Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim at the grounds of Malacañan Palace before the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, a landmark in the peace process between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. (Photo by Malacañang Photo Bureau)
(From left) Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, MILF Peace Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal, Government of the Philippines Peace Panel Chair Marvic Leonen at Malacañan Palace. MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim met with President Benigno S. Aquino III before the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, a landmark in the peace process between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. (Photo by Malacañang Photo Bureau)
President Benigno S. Aquino III (right) receives the Gong of Peace from Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim (center) at the Palace Music Room. With the MILF Chairman was MILF Peace Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal. MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim met with President Aquino before the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro this afternoon, a landmark in the peace process between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. (Photo by Malacañang Photo Bureau)
(Front, from left) Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Peace Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal, Malaysian Facilitator to the GPH-MILF Talks Dato’ Tengku Abdul Ghafar Tengku Mohamed, and Government of the Philippines (GPH) Peace Panel Chair Marvic Leonen sign the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, a landmark in the peace process between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The ceremonies took place at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall, Malacañan Palace.
Witnessing the signing were (back, from left) Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, President Benigno S. Aquino III, and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quinots-Deles. (Photo by Malacañang Photo Bureau)×
The website of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, www.opapp.gov.ph, serves as the portal to information on the government’s efforts in overseeing, coordinating, and integrating the implementation of a comprehensive peace process in all fronts. Through it, and among many other things, you may access the following:×
[learn_more caption=”What is the framework agreement?”]
It is a commitment by the government and the MILF to establish a new autonomous political entity in Muslim Mindanao. It will replace the ARMM with a more empowered and more equitable system called the Bangsamoro. This agreement involves the MILF abandoning the goal of establishing a separate state, and committing to eventually render its armed forces “beyond use.” Despite the 1996 peace agreement with the MNLF, the ARMM continues to be among the poorest and least developed regions in the country. In 2009, poverty incidence in the region was at 38.1%. All provinces in the region were also recorded to be above the national poverty incidence of 20.9 percent. This did not happen for lack of funds. According to the Commission on Audit’s special audit, of the 850 million pesos allocated for infrastructure projects in ARMM’s 2010 budget, not one construction budget was completed. 90 percent of ARMM’s funding was allocated to “Personnel Services,” and until now, that money has not been accounted for. Poverty, corruption, and impunity in the region cannot be defeated without structural change.
[learn_more caption=”How is this different from the MOA-AD?”]
First, this framework agreement does not commit the government to constitutional change. Second, the agreement has been done in full transparency, as noted by its publication online prior to its signing. Third, there is no mention of ancestral domain in the document. Fourth, while the MOA-AD  was written in such a way that the government could have acted without a plebiscite. This Framework Agreement  is very clear in requiring a democratic mandate. First, the organic law, to be written by the Transition Committee, must be passed by Congress. Then the communities involved must approve it by plebiscite. Assuming the law is passed and the plebiscite is approved, then the MILF must seek an elected mandate from the people.
[learn_more caption=”Do we need to Revise the Constitution?”]
The framework agreement does not commit any of the parties to work for charter change. The major political commitments that were made in the Framework Agreement can be achieved within the flexibilities of the existing constitution. Nevertheless, Article 17 of the Constitution allows any citizen to recommend ideas to amend the constitution through proper legal processes.
[learn_more caption=”What will happen to the BIAF?”]
Under this agreement, the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces will be put “beyond use” through a gradual process of decommissioning.
[learn_more caption=”What is the scope of the territory?”]
The Framework Agreement states: “The core territory of the Bangsamoro shall be composed of: (a) the present geographical area of the ARMM; (b) the Municipalities of Baloi, Munai, Nunugan, Pantar, Tagoloan and Tangkal in the province of Lanao del Norte and all other barangays in the Municipalities of Kabacan, Carmen, Aleosan, Pigkawayan, Pikit, and Midsayap that voted for inclusion in the ARMM during the 2001 plebiscite; (c) the cities of Cotabato and Isabela; and (d) all other contiguous areas where there is a resolution of the local government unit or a petition of at least ten percent (10%) of the qualified voters in the area asking for their inclusion at least two months prior to the conduct of the ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law and the process of delimitation of the Bangsamoro….”
[learn_more caption=”What if we don’t want to be part of this?”]
All areas contemplated to be under the Bangasmoro will be asked through a plebiscite if they want to be included. This gives the community the choice to opt out of the Bangsamoro.
[learn_more caption=”What powers will they have? Are they going to be independent?”]
The Bangsamoro will have competence over Shari’ah courts that will try personal, non-criminal cases between Muslims. Moreover, according to the Framework Agreement: “Consistent with the Bangsamoro Basic Law will have the power to create its own sources of revenues and to levy taxes, fees, and charges, subject to limitations as may be mutually agreed upon by the Parties. This power shall include the power to determine tax bases and tax rates, guided by the principles of devolution of power, equity, accountability, administrative simplicity, harmonization, economic efficiency, and fiscal autonomy.” Nevertheless, the national government retains powers on:
a. Defense and external security
b. Foreign policy
c. Common market and global trade, provided that the power to enter into economic agreements already allowed under Republic Act No. 9054 shall be transferred to the Bangsamoro
d. Coinage and monetary policy
e. Citizenship and naturalization f. Postal service
[learn_more caption=”How do you have a parliamentary government under a presidential government?”]
There is nothing in the Constitution which prohibits an autonomous area from having a ministerial form of government. The Constitution also states that whatever government is in the autonomous region, it shall always be under the supervision of the President.
I ask the entire nation, and the entire world, to join me in imagining: A Mindanao finally free from strife, where people achieve their fullest potential. A child in Lamitan will be offered the same education as a child in Quezon City; the sick of Patikul will gain access to the same healthcare as those in Pasig. From constant displacement, there will be now a stable employment. Families who once cowered in fear of gunshots will now emerge from their homes to a bright new dawn of equity, justice, and peace. Continue reading →
One person in this room never gave up hope. From day one of his leadership he seized the peace, forged and hammered it and polished it to its sterling radiance. His mother, our beloved President Corazon C. Aquino, was known throughout the world as an icon of democracy. President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, from this day forward, shall be known as the president who made the Bangsamoro possible.. So many challenges await us, but the bridge of trust that spans this room is strong enough to withstand the trials ahead, however difficult they may be. Never again shall we allow that bridge to be undermined, weakened, or destroyed by the forces of greed, avarice, and envy. Continue reading →
Today, we are here to celebrate a victory for the Bangsamoro people and the Filipino nation that is shared by the international community and the Muslim world, the victory earned not by war but by that collective desire tempered by the inner nobility of human nature to restore justice and peace to a troubled land. Today, we are here to put an end to the adversarial relationship between the Bangsamoro and the Philippine nation and what makes this more significant and quite touching on our part is that this is happening under the administration of President Noy-Noy Aquino whose martyred father, Senator Ninoy Aquino, and mother, the late President Cory Aquino fought on the same side of the fence with us against the dictatorship that devastated our homeland and the lives of thousands of our people. Continue reading →
Ladies and gentlemen, for decades, Malaysia has been home to those who sought refuge from this conflict. Thousands fled in search of safety. Generations have grown up on our shores. Far from the land of their ancestors. It is our abiding hope that the agreement gives them a homeland again. For Mindanao, there can be no more lost generations. So I give my assurance to all the people of the Philippines—we will stand with you to make this agreement work. Continue reading→
President Benigno S. Aquino III announced the landmark Framework Agreement between the Philippine Government and the MILF on October 7, 2012: Read the President’s speech.
The closing statement of Marvic Leonen, Panel Chair for talks with the MILF, during the 32nd GPH-MILF Formal Exploratory Talks on October 7, 2012: Read it.
Joint Communiqué of the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front during the 32nd Formal Exploratory Talks: Read it.
This is a map highlighting the areas included in the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Political Entity. However, these areas may opt not to join the Bangsamoro (see FAQs). For the sake of comparison, view this map highlighting the proposed territory under the 2008 MOA-AD.
Initially signed on July 27, 2008, it was scheduled to be formally signed on August 5, 2008. However, it was stopped by the Supreme Court on August 4, 2008 by virtue of a temporary retraining order. It was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on October 14, 2008.