Duterte pledges enactment of Bangsamoro bill after House deferment

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Fulfilling his promise of a higher budget for Mindanao, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he will sign the proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law.

During his third State of the Nation Address, the president asked for two days to sign the landmark measure, which the House of Representatives failed to ratify before adjourning its session Monday morning.

"When the approved version is transmitted and received by my own office, the law has been passed actually, and I intend to give me 48 hours to sign it and ratify the law," Duterte said in his speech.

The passage of the BOL, originally called the Bangsamoro Basic Law, would make available funds which have always been allotted to "Imperial Manila," as he said Mindanaons refer to the capital.

The president lamented how national projects in Metro Manila have been funded, "leaving a pittance to Mindanao."

"Mindanao was dubbed as the land of promise and Mindanaoans say in the region that is so because what it got from the government through the years of promises, promises and more promises," he said.

Duterte made a commitment to the Filipino Muslim community that they will see the "promise of Mindanao" before his term ends.

"Despite all that has been said, or against the Bangsamoro Organic Law by all sectoral groups, I make this solemn commitment that this administration will never deny our Muslim brothers and sisters the basic legal tools to chart their own destiny within the constitutional framework of our country," the president said.

While the Senate ratified the proposed BOL, the House of Representatives failed to do so as it abruptly ended its session amid a looming change in leadership.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that the failure of the House to ratify the bill was a "temporary setback."

"We, however, remain confident that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will sign the Bangsamoro Organic Law as soon as both houses of Congress finally ratify the bill," Roque said.

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: March 9, 2022 - 2:37pm

Mujiv Hataman, regional governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said he is confident there will be no interruption of reforms and government services during a transition to a proposed Bangsamoro region that will replace the ARMM.

He added regional officials will meet on a potential transition that will happen if the Bangsamoro Basic Law is passed.

"I want them to know that I started from a problematic regional government. Ayaw ko maranasan nila (Bangsamoro Transition Authority) ) ang naranasan ko noong nag-transition ako," Hataman, who was caretaker governor from 2011 to 2013, said. He was elected regional governor in 2013 and again in 2016.

March 9, 2022 - 2:37pm

The military’s Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) commended and honored with medals the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team -16 (IMT) for ensuring compliance with the peace accord forged between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr., Westmincom chief, and his command staff gave the honor Tuesday as the IMT-16 led by Maj. Gen. Datuk Hamdan Bin Hj Ismail made their exit call at Westmincom headquarters after completing their tour of mission as peace observers in Central and parts of Western Mindanao areas.

Rosario handed over the plaque of recognition to the IMT-16 for its successful mission at ensuring the accord, especially the cessation of hostility that has followed since the formal signing of the agreement in 2014.

Rosario said since the deployment of IMT-6 covering the pandemic period of April 2020 to April 2021, no violation of the ceasefire accord was recorded on the ground. —The STAR/Roel Pareño

February 16, 2020 - 12:21pm

The first of 11 planned Joint Peace and Security Team barracks has been turned over to the Joint Peace and Security Committee, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process says.

The JPST will be tasked with safeguarding decommissioned weapones from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, OPAPP says.

The barracks will be put up in seven provinces in Mindanao and are being builty through the OPAPP, with funding support by the UN Development Programme.

Decommissioning of MILF weapons and combatants is part of the normalization tracks of the peace agreement with the former rebel group.

October 22, 2019 - 2:15pm
From 5,000 to 7,000 decommissioned combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and their families stand to benefit from P100 million in livelihood and employment assistance under a memorandum of agreement between the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the Department of Labor and Employment.
The assistance is among the programs under the normalization track of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and will cover MILF combatants who are decomissioned this year.
These programs aim to strengthen the government’s efforts to help the combatants make the transition to peaceful and productive civilian lives, OPAPP says.
October 21, 2019 - 2:15pm

A contingent of police and military personnel are in Parang, Maguindanao for deployment with Joint Peace and Security Teams that will be jointly staffed with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process says.

It says 77 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and 96 from the Philippine National Police will be joined by 152 from the  Moro Islamic Liberation Front - Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces for training with the JPSTs.

"The JPST training is a unique community policing training where contingents from the AFP, PNP and MILF-BIAF shall undergo a one-month training program to enable them to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes to make them a capable and dependable force to protect the gains of the peace process," Police Lt.Col.  Arnold Razote, training director, says in the OPAPP release.

August 28, 2019 - 10:20am
As part of the Normalization Track in the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, 219 former combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front completed their 26-day basic military training on Tuesday for their new role as peacekeepers.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process says in a press release that the BMT graduates can serve on composite Joint Peace and Security Teams.
"The graduates will now form the 6,000-strong JPST contingent that will be composed of 3,000 MILF, 1,600 Philippine National Police, and 1,400 Armed Forces of the Philippines members," OPAPP says.
The JPSTs will be tasked mainly with maintaning peace and security in Moro Islamic Liberation Front communities.
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