Mindanao’s Bangsamoro State would be patterned in Navarra Region Kingdom of Spain

GPH to study police setup in Spain's Navarra region

An October 23, 2012, press release from the Office of the Presidential Adviser of the Peace Process

The Government of the Philippines (GPH) is set to visit Spain in an effort to learn about governance mechanisms in the "chartered community" setup in Navarra, including a study on its Policia Foral, its local autonomous police force.

Led by Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles, the GPH delegation is composed of Secretary of Budget and Management Butch Abad, GPH peace panel chair for talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Marvic Leonen; panel members Prof. Miriam Coronel Ferrer, Dr. Hamid Barra, former Secretary of Agriculture Senen Bacani, Undersecretary Yasmin Busran Lao, and Mayor Ramon Piang of Upi, Maguindanao.

Also joining are Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor in-charge Mujiv Hataman, the five ARMM provincial governors, representatives from the Senate, Congress, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Philippine Army.

The GPH delegation hopes to gain insights on how Navarra's police works in an autonomous setup, by which said insights can be useful in the implementation of Article 8 of the recently signed Framework Agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Article 8 provides for the creation of an independent commission to recommend appropriate policing within Bangsamoro communities as part of the process of normalization.

In an interview with Rappler, Dean Marvic Leonen, chief negotiator for the peace talks with the MILF, defined normalization as "(bringing) into the areas a normal situation of peace where it is not dominated by guns or the old politics but rather by a democratic inclusive setting which will include a process of MILF's decommissioning as well as the transfer of law enforcement activities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in that area to a reformed police force."

Deles said that the study visit aims to provide participants first-hand experiences on the organizational and territorial government of Spain. "It also hopes to draw lessons and insights relevant as reference in drafting the Basic Law of the Bangsamoro, particularly in how states and regions work with the national government," she said.

The Bangsamoro Basic Law will be drafted by a 15-member Transition Commission, which will be formed through an Executive Order issued by the President. The law provides for a transitory period for the creation of the Bangsamoro region, which will replace the current ARMM.

"We also hope that we can get inspiration from the Navarra model as our government panel begins to work on the annexes of the Framework Agreement with their counterparts in the MILF next month," she said.

The delegation will leave for Madrid on October 23 and from there will travel to Navarra on October 24. They will return to Manila on November 2.

Unlike most other communities of Spain, Navarra is the only region that does not have a Statute of Autonomy per se. Its autonomy is instead granted by the reinstitution and improvement of its medieval charter (fuero), dating back and in recognition of its history as Kingdom of Navarre. This was completed in 1982 when the Parliament of Navarra passed the Law for the Reintegration and Improvement of the Régimen Foral (Regional System).

Spain is known as the State of Autonomies whereby power is highly devolved into its 17 autonomous communities and two autonomous cities. As part of Spain's transition to democracy, its 1978 Constitution "recognizes and guarantees the right to self-government of the nationalities and regions of which it is composed," (Preliminary Title, Section 2).

It can be recalled that representatives of the MILF undertook a similar study visit in March of this year. MILF visited Spain's autonomous region of Catalan and observed the autonomous community's experiences.

Official Gazette PH

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