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Quezon politiko: NPC has no official stand on Bangsamoro bill

Dec 25, 2015 @ 9:49

Quezon 1st District Rep. Mark Enverga has clarified that the National People’s Coalition (NPC) has no official stand on the Bangsamoro issue.

Enverga, the NPC spokesman, said party members are free to express their opinion on the matter.

“Each party member is free to support it or oppose it,” he said in a Philippine Star report, referring to the bill seeking to create an autonomous Bangsamoro region in Muslim Mindanao.

Enverga admitted that there are many members of the party who are against the bill, which has yet to be voted upon in the House of Representatives.

The vote on the bill could go either way, “depending on the final language of the measure, particularly the opt-in provision,” the Quezon lawmaker said.

“If that provision is kept, many congressmen, including those from Mindanao, will vote against the BBL,” he pointed out.

The provision allows the envisioned Bangsamoro regional government to expand through a petition of 10 percent of the voters or the town councils of the neighboring areas.

The Commission on Elections would have to hold a plebiscite for the approval of the adjoining areas’ inclusion in the region.

Mindanao lawmakers fear that they would lose their districts to the Bangsamoro government through threats, harassment and intimidation, since the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which would dominate the region, would remain armed.

The Bangsamoro Bill aims to implement the 2014 peace agreement between the government and the MILF.

It also seeks to create a Bangsamoro parliamentary government, a Bangsamoro auditing body, civil service commission, electoral office, police, human rights commission and regional police board.

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