Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, November 28, 2017 — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he will ask Congress to hold a special session to discuss the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
The President issued the statement during the first Bangsamoro Assembly held at the Old Provincial Capitol here attended by government peace process officials and leaders of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and other concerned stakeholders.
“I will work very hard for it. I will ask Congress to a special session just to hear you talk about this in Congress,” he said.
“Ang akin, it must be inclusive. Lahat. Walang maiwan dito sa peace talks na ito. The MILF, the MNLF, lahat na, Lumad, kailangan kasali,” he added.
Duterte vowed to support the BBL, adding he will try to work out the disagreements in the proposals that will be discussed in Congress.
Meanwhile, he, asked the public for more patience as the passage of the proposed BBL could encounter some delays due to the complexity of the issue.
“Of course it entails delays. Alam niyo, it takes forever to move. Somebody has to push it because there are thousands of concerns. But I will impress upon them that you have to devote even one day or two days. Hear them out, hear us from Mindanao,” he said.
The President said the discussions must be geared towards correcting the social injustice suffered by the Moro people and then crafting something that would preserve the Republic.
“I will only work with one thing in mind: There must be one nation for all and one republic for all. A Republic of the Philippines for all of us, Moro and Christians alike,” he said.
“I am doing everything to avoid a breakage or a fissure somehow in Mindanao. I’m going to walk the hundreds of miles, not the mile, as a first step, but there has to be a condition that is for all,” he added.
He said any agreement must contain the basics of a truly autonomous region, with the Mindanaoans enjoying all their natural resources but still sharing a portion to the national government.
Finding a solution to the Mindanao problem is crucial, he said, noting that failing to do so may lead to a renewed eruption of a worse regional conflict.
“The Republic of the Philippines must be one and the preservation of all Filipinos, Christian, Muslims, and all, must be there to unite us,” he said. (PND)