Susan “Toots” Ople is the youngest daughter of the late Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople. She has a Sunday column in Manila Bulletin’s Panorama Magazine and Tempo and two public service radio programs, “Bantay OFW” at DZXL RMN 558 every Monday to Friday, 12.30-2 pm and “Global Pinoy” at DWIZ 882 every Saturday from 5.30-6.30 pm.
After the hoopla, the hard work begins
Susan V. Ople
Published in Arabnews — Tuesday 1 April 2014
There is absolutely no doubt that the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was a historic milestone, not just for the Philippines, but also for Southeast Asia, if not the world.
It took 17 years of on-again and off-again talks for a final peace agreement between the two parties to be signed, and so the hoopla that greeted the formal signing ceremony at the Palace grounds was justified, and expected.
What happens next? The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) chaired by MILF leader and chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal is expected to submit the formal draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law to President Aquino this week.
Within the BTC, the government representatives are actually the minority, with seven designated members compared to the eight members handpicked by the MILF. The BTC is a government body that operates on a regular budget subject to the usual liquidation procedures. One can say that the BTC is the MILF’s first taste of actual governance, under the “daang matuwid” (straight path) leadership approach of the president.