'Bangsamoro' OK'd as gov't, MILF forge landmark deal

(UPDATE) The "Bangsamoro" will be a new autonomous political entity in the Philippines, President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III on Sunday said, as he announced that the government has forged a deal ending the decades-old insurgency of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

"The ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao) is a failed experiment. Many of the people continue to feel alienated by the system, and those who feel that there is no way out will continue to articulate their grievances through the barrel of a gun," the President said.

"And now, we have forged an agreement that seeks to correct these problems," Aquino said.

"This agreement creates a new political entity, it deserves a name that symbolizes and honors the struggles of our forebears in Mindanao. That name will be Bangsamoro," Aquino said.

He added that the new deal is seen to pave the way for "final, enduring peace in Mindanao."

"It brings all former secessionist groups into the fold; no longer does the Moro Islamic Liberation Front aspire for a separate state," Aquino noted.

The announcement came after the latest round of protracted peace talks between the government and the Muslim rebels ended in Malaysia Saturday.

There have been 32 rounds of negotiations since 2003, with 13 rounds under the Aquino incumbency.

The President, however, noted, that "the Philippines remains one nation and one people," adding that "the Constitution and lawful processes shall govern the transition to the Bangsamoro."

"National government will continue to exercise exclusive powers of defense and security, foreign policy, monetary policy and coinage, citizenship, and naturalization," Aquino said.

"The Filipinos of Bangsamoro, on the other hand, will be assured a fair and equitable share of taxation, revenues, and the fruits of national patrimony," he added.

The new autonomous political entity, Aquino said, will also "enjoy equal protection of laws and access to impartial justice."

What areas will Bangsamoro cover?

Pagination

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