Pres. Duterte reiterates his desire to forge peace with Bangsamoro People

In a speech in Cagayan De Oro City Wednesday (October 31), Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, the “Father of Bangsamoro Organic Law” reiterated his desire to forge peace with Moros.

He also said that he wants the BOL to be ratified by the Bangsamoro people before he negotiates again with Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari.

“I hope the plebiscite would push through and the — for the yes votes to win so that I can deal again with the… And then Misuari, we will talk but we will no longer join that. When the time comes, let us talk,” he said as quoted by Politiko Mindanao in a report on November 1, 2018.

“So I pray that the BOL will push through. In shaa Allah (If Allah wills). And after that I will deal with Misuari,” Duterte added.

The BOL is the legal translation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) that will grant greater political power and fiscal autonomy to a new region called Bangsamoro.

Meanwhile, Senate leaders downplayed a petition by Sulu Governor Sakur Tan II challenging the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in the Supreme Court, saying they were confident that the measure had complied with the provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

In an article by Philippine Daily Inquirer on October 30, Senate Majority Floor Leader, said, “I truly believe that the organic law that we passed can stand the test of constitutionality after careful scrutiny done by the Senate’s best legal minds and with consultations done with eminent constitutionalists and former Chief Justices and justices of the Supreme Court.” 

In his petition on Oct. 11, Gov. Tan assailed the legality of the BOL (Republic Act No. 11054), arguing that Congress overstepped its bounds when it abolished the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to create a new self-governing region called the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Zubiri, main sponsor of BOL said the Sulu government’s move was “unfortunate” but it was within its rights to file the petition.

For his part, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said “Let’s say, I’m confident that we were able to address most, if not all, all of the constitutional issues.” 

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza expressed optimism that the BOL could withstand the constitutionality test, the PDI report also said.

“I am confident this petition will not stop on its tracks a new beginning for the Bangsamoro,” he said in a statement.

Dureza said the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, which drafted the BOL, followed Mr. Duterte’s directive to comply with all previously signed agreements in step with constitutional and legal reforms.