“Together, let us shatter the dark clouds that once loomed over our nation for generations-“Pres. Duterte

Cotabato City—During the ceremonial signing of the Bangsamoro Orgaanic Law (BOL) in Malacañang Palace yesterday, President Duterte urged the public to give the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) a chance to address the issues affecting Muslim Mindanao and continue the healing process, a Philstar online report said.

“Together, let us shatter the dark clouds that once loomed over our nation for generations and welcome the dawn of a brighter future not only for the Bangsamoro people, but for all peace-loving Filipinos,” Duterte said in his message.

In the same report by Philstar, Duterte also expressed hope that the measure, which he signed into law last July 26, would finally end the decades-old conflict rooted in the Bangsamoro’s fight for self-determination and the recognition of their unique identity.

“Let us give this law a chance to address the Bangsamoro people’s aspiration for genuine autonomy, while preserving our bond as a single nation and affirming the sovereignty of the indivisible Republic of the Philippines,” the President said at the presentation of the BOL at Malacañang.

“Let us work together as we continue the healing and reconciliation process,” he added.

The BOL will also grant the new region the right to manage its funds, income and resources. The national government will provide an annual block grant to the Bangsamoro government – drawn from the annual national budget – to enable it to efficiently perform its powers and functions.

Duterte urged the Bangsamoros, indigenous communities and Christian settlers living in Bangsamoro areas to actively participate in constructive discussions about the law.

“But more importantly, I encourage you to take part in the upcoming plebiscite so that you may express your sovereign will through the ballot,” he added.

MILF peace panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal said the decommissioning of his group’s combatants and weapons would take place after the BOL is ratified in the plebiscite.

“Immediately after the ratification... the second phase of decommissioning 30 percent of our combatants will take place,” Iqbal told reporters at Malacañang. The plebiscite is expected to be held between November and January next year.


Meanwhile, a report posted on the official website of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) on August 3, says that Deputy Presidential Peace Adviser Nabil Tan emphasized that the recently approved Organic Law on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is better than the ARMM Organic Law or RA 9054.

Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the Media Forum on the Bangsamoro Peace Process organized by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in partnership with Mindanews and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) 11, Tan said the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte last July 27, will grant the BARMM government more funds that would enable the region to chart the course of its economic development.

Now, there will be more funds,” he said.

Tan noted that for years, the ARMM government has practically “begged Congress” to release funds for its operations. The fresh resources will give the BARMM “greater fiscal autonomy,” which the ARMM government does not enjoy under the current setup.

He said under the BARMM, an annual block grant is automatically appropriated in the General Appropriation Act (GAA) to the Bangsamoro government specifically for the rehabilitation and development of conflict-affected areas.

Aside from the Block Grant, a Special Development Fund will also be provided to the BARMM government that will allow it to accelerate its economic progress.

He said together, the Block Grant and the Special Development Fund will give the Bangsamoro people “the wherewithal to move forward and achieve peace and development.”

 “Tan said that the BOL is one effective ‘vaccine’ against terrorism,” Tan said. (Source: Philstar, OPAPP)