2012 Framework Agreement On The Bangsamoro

It is a commitment of the government and milF to create a new autonomous political entity in muslim Mindanao. It will replace the ARMM with a more powerful and just system called Bangsamoro. This agreement implies that the MILF abandons the goal of creating its own state and commits to finally making its armed forces “beyond use”. Despite the 1996 peace agreement with the MNLF, ARMM remains one of the poorest and least developed regions of the country. In 2009, the poverty rate in the region was 38.1%. All provinces in the region also exceeded the national poverty rate by 20.9%. It was not because of a lack of money. According to the special audit of the jury, of the 850 million pesos allocated to infrastructure projects in the 2010 budget, no budget was closed. 90% of ARMM`s funds have been allocated to “human resources services” and so far this money has not been accounted for. Poverty, corruption and impunity in the region cannot be overcome without structural change. First, this framework agreement does not require the government to amend the Constitution. Second, the agreement was concluded in a transparent manner, as noted in its online publication prior to its signing.

Third, the document does not mention any ancestral domains. Fourth, while the MOA-AD [2008] was written in such a way that the government could have acted without a referendum. This framework agreement [2012] is very clear when it requires a democratic mandate. First, the organic law that must be heard by the transition committee must be passed by Congress. Then the municipalities concerned must approve it by referendum. Assuming the law is passed and the referendum adopted, the MILF will have to obtain an elected mandate from the people. Both sides are moving closer to the vision of a just and peaceful solution, as outlined in the October 2012 Bangsamoro Framework Agreement. On 15 October, the Philippine government and the Moro Front for Islamic Liberation (MILF) signed a landmark agreement that hopes for the end of decades of armed conflict in the southern Philippines.

The Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro (FAB) will eventually lead to the creation of a new autonomous political entity, Bangsamoro (Bangsa is a word meaning “nation,” meaning “Moro Nation”). A cursory reading of the 2012 framework seems to indicate either the continuation of a “failed experiment” – the current Muslim Autonomous Region of Mindanao (ARMM) – or a reissue of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) published in 2008. But there are big differences between the MOA-AD and the framework agreement, which is a good sign of peace in Mindanao. This implicit reliance on basic consultation has been largely made possible by the high degree of internationalization of negotiations – as evidenced by the creation of the International Contact Group (ICG) in 2009 and the continuation of the International Monitoring Team (IMT), which contributed to zero incidents of violence between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and MILF for 2012.