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Duterte wants Bangsamoro Basic Law passed within 2018

The Philippine Star

DAVAO CITY – President Duterte is racing against time to get the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) passed this year, which he had promised to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“The MILF is in a hurry. I am working hard to meet the deadline for lasting peace. The burden of the deadline has been placed on us. It has to be this year because yon ang usapan (that’s our agreement),” the President said yesterday during the distribution of certificates of land ownership to farmer-beneficiaries in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

The President said this week he would meet with Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and other officials to ensure that the proposed BBL will be passed before the end of the year. 

“I will tell Koko (Pimentel) and Bebot (Alvarez) that it is a commitment to the MILF. We have to honor such commitment,” the President said. 

He said he would also visit and talk to Moro National Liberation Front chair Nur Misuari on the matter. 

“Let us talk. Let us not fight,” he said. 

MILF vice chair for political affairs Ghazali Jaafar earlier told The STAR the President assured them of the yearend deadline during a meeting at the Manila Enclaves Residences guesthouse.

“We discussed the BBL and the President assured us of the passage of the BBL in its proper time and that is before the end of the year,” Jaafar said.

The President said he does not think that a joint venture with the MILF and the MNLF such as the BBL could go wrong.

Duterte stressed that there is only one thing that he would want implemented to make sure that there would be no discord, especially on the issue of no establishment of separate army or police units for the proposed Bangsamoro area. 

“I told the MILF that there will be only one army or police for the entire country,” the President said. 

The Senate, on the other hand, vowed to take up the proposed BBL when it resumes session on May 15.

The proposed BBL is reportedly a priority in the Senate. – Alexis Romero

BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW

MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT

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