Duterte ‘Racing against Ttime’ for Bangsamoro Basic Law Enactment

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte walks with MNLF founer Nur Misuari (L).

Manila, Philippines. MINA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he is “racing against time” to have the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law passed in Congress owing to his commitment to Moro leaders, GMA News reported.

Speaking at an event for land reform beneficiaries in Sultan Kudarat, the President said the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), whose leaders had a meeting with him last week, “has placed on us the burden of a timeline.”

“And I have agreed to that period. I gave my solemn promise and I assure you I am working hard to meet the deadline,” he said.

Duterte met with leaders of the MILF, members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and the government peace negotiating panel on March 27 in Davao City, a day after he called for a dialogue with Moro leaders over the BBL.

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During the meeting, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said Duterte vowed to relay to the Senate and House of Representatives his desire for the passage of the BBL that is compliant with the Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro and “as close as possible” to the new draft law submitted by the BTC.

The President may also turn to executive action should Congress fail to pass the proposed BBL, a measure seen by several quarters as key to addressing the decades-long strife in Mindanao, according to Dureza.

The BBL aims to end decades of conflict in Mindanao by creating a political entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

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“It has to be [passed] this year dahil ‘yun ang usapan,” Duterte said.

Duterte also said that he will ensure that “justice is applied everyday and fairness is observed” once the BBL is in place.

He then repeated his stand against the formation of separate military and police units for the proposed Bangsamoro region, saying the nation should only have one armed forces. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)