By Antonio Colina IV
Davao City – President Rodrigo Duterte urged Congress to expedite the passage of the new draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that was drafted by the 21-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), as he warned “we are headed for a trouble” if they fail to act on its expeditiously.
“If we do not act on it expeditiously, I think that we are headed for a trouble. We must continue to talk and I will urge Congress to fast-track it because they are getting impatient. Sabi ko, “Sandali lang but we will comply on our side to what we have promised,” Duterte said in a media briefing shortly before leaving for Japan in Davao City Sunday evening.
Duterte assured that he would fulfill his commitments with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Moro Naitonal Liberation Front and said they vowed to work for a transition to a new federal set-up from a unitary form of government.
“Eh, that is a commitment eh. Not even a promise but a commitment to the Moro people,” he said.
The President reiterated he will give the Moro people “the territories that they want and the kind of framework and governance that they expect with a reformation of all the things in the Philippines.”
The BTC, which comprises 11 members from the MILF and 10 from the government, submitted the draft of the new BBL on July 17 and on August 14, it was transmitted in Congress.
During the turnover ceremony at the Malacañan Palace on July 17, BTC chair Ghazali Jaafar said the new draft BBL is the “best antidote to the violent extremism” in the light of the armed clashes between government troops and Maute troop that started on May 23.
“We humbly submit this new proposed BBL… is the best antidote to violent extremism that has wrought havoc in many parts of the Bangsamoro,” Jaafar said.
Jaafar, who is also 1st vice chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), said that if the draft BBL gets legislated in Congress, “it will erase the doubt on the peace process” and address the mistaken ideology of the extremists that feed into the frustration of the Moro people.
He added that new draft BBL reflects the “diversity of interest of the Bangsamoro people, non-Bangsamoro indigenous people, and secular communities, and is the new formula for a very elusive peace in Mindanao. ”
“The recent tragedy in Marawi City can only lead to isolation and public hatred for the extremists; we believe that what they have done to people of Marawi City, they did it out of frustration; what our people need is a just and dignified peace. They need the promises of peace that the BBL offers,” he said.
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