Duterte presents BBL ‘game plan’ to MILF

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 14 2017 08:54 PM

 

President Duterte greets Moro Islamic Libertaion Front (MILF) Peace Implementing Panel Chair Mohaqher Iqbal during a meeting at the Malacañan Palace on Thursday. Albert Alcain, Malacanang Photo

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday presented a “game plan” to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on how to ensure that the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will pass Congress, after the Moro rebel group expressed dissatisfaction over recent developments on realizing its peace accord with the government.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said Duterte met with MILF officials and members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, the MILF-led group which drafted the BBL in Malacañang.

Dureza said that in the meeting, the President reiterated his promise to the MILF that the BBL will pass Congress and will have a “smooth implementation.”

“There was a discussion on both sides, and the President reiterated his commitment using his own language: ‘I will continue to husband the approval of the BBL until it’s implementation,’” Dureza told reporters in a chance interview.

“All the other details of course I cannot disclose, but it was a warm meeting where the President expressed a game plan that is still being worked out by the Office of the President, in coordination with leadership of Congress, on how to see to it that the BBL will see its implementation.”

According to Dureza, the President’s “game plan” seeks to ensure that the BBL will not suffer what happened to the bill during the time of former President Benigno Aquino III, where it failed to hurdle Congress amid questions on the constitutionality of some of its provisions.

Dureza said Duterte and the MILF will again meet to discuss more details about the President’s plan.

“The President wants to be sure the BBL that will be discussed in Congress will really be assured of passage and implementation. There are still many things that will have to be attended to. It’s not that simple,” he said.

Aside from the MILF officials, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III were present during the meeting.

The high-level meeting took place after the MILF expressed dismay that the BBL has not been sponsored by any lawmaker in Congress.

Also adding to the group’s frustration was the sprouting of several Bangsamoro law versions in Congress, one of which was proposed by former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

MILF officials are hoping that the BBL will be passed under Duterte, which they say will help correct historical injustices committed against the Moros.

The MILF also believes that the passage of the BBL and the creation of a more independent Bangsamoro entity will stem the rise of Islamist extremists in Mindanao.

Analysts and supporters of the Bangsamoro cause have said the siege laid by Islamist State-inspired terrorists on Marawi City in a bid to establish an ISIS province in the country, should give the government and Congress more reason to pass the BBL.

Meanwhile, Duterte graced the 24th anniversary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), where he lauded its efforts in achieving long and lasting peace in the country.

“Your perseverance has convinced us that regardless of our diversity and differences, all Filipinos will stand together as one towards attaining our aspirations of peace and prosperity,” he said in his speech.

“To our various partners in the peace process, the government extends and continues to extend to you the hand of friendship and peace.I have high hopes that we will continue to build our gains to find common support and to work together despite setbacks and disagreements.”

 

This news is originally posted at: http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/09/14/17/duterte-presents-bbl-game-plan-to-milf

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