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President Duterte throws full support to proposed BBL

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte receives a draft of the newly proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in a turnover ceremony at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan Palace on July 17, 2017. Joining the President are (from left) Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Murad Ebrahim, Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Chair Ghazali Jaafar, and MILF Peace Implementing Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte received on Monday, July 17, the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) drafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) promising to personally oversee the bill until its passage in Congress.

In his speech during the turnover rites, President Duterte made an assurance that he will fully support the legislation until a truly autonomous Bangsamoro entity is created.

“May I say to you, my brother Moros — that I commit to support – in front of everybody – my covenant with you that I will support and husband this instrument as it goes in the legislature for consideration,” he said.

“And there will be no objections of the provisions of all that is consistent with the Constitution and the aspiration of the Moro people,” he added.

The President said the turnover of the BBL marks “a new milestone” in the country’s history that will stand as proof of everyone’s resolve to set aside differences and stand united to achieve a common goal of peace.

“This moment is a significant step forward in our quest to end centuries of hatred, mistrust and injustice that cost and affected the lives of millions of Filipinos,” he said.

He added that the draft BBL “embodies our shared aspirations of a peaceful, orderly and harmonious nation” following decades of armed struggle and violence.

“The proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law puts into life and spirit the constitutional mandate provided in the 1987 Constitution for the establishment of a truly autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao,” he said.

He likewise said that the BBL paves the way for meeting the just aspiration of the Bangsamoro people for self-determination that is consistent and reflective of the distinct historical and cultural heritage, and economic and social structures of Muslim Filipinos.

This will be realized while preserving and strengthening the territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines, the Chief Executive said.

Jointly written by Muslim, Christian and Lumads, Duterte said the draft law will give rise to a genuine autonomous region as well as bring healing and reconciliation to the historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro people.

He stressed that the entire country will benefit from the BBL as well as the Bangsamoro region.

“May this new entity be marked by good governance, equitable sharing of wealth and generation of revenue, and normalized, stable environment,” he said.

“Insha’Allah! We will achieve sustainable and inclusive peace and development in the Bangsamoro, Mindanao [and] the entire country,” he added.

Meanwhile, in a media interview following the turnover ceremony, Duterte said he would certify the proposed BBL as urgent.

“Yes, certify. And I have requested both the Senate President and the Speaker to consider it immediately,” he told reporters.

The proposed law will be the cornerstone of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) that was signed by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2014 and establish a Bangsamoro entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Also present were Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, MILF Chairman Haj Ebrahim Murad, and Bangsamoro Transition Committee Chairman Ghazali Jaafar.###PND

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