President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte urges Moros to take advantage of BARMM

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday urged Moros to exploit their resources and take advantage of the transition from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) as mandated by the ratified Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

During the Independence Day rites in Lanao del Sur, Duterte reminded the Moros of the ratification of the BOL as part of his commitment to addressing historical injustices against them.

“Now that you have the BOL, I guarantee you exploit your resources,” Duterte said in his speech.

“You don’t have the money, look for partners, exploit your territory of the riches. That was really reserved for our children. Exploit it. Exploit the natural resources and make the Moro rich,” he added.

Duterte said if Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman and former ARMM Governor Nur Misuari is willing to help exploit the BARMM’s resources, he would give him the chance to do so.

“At ‘yung inyong BOL kung palakihan pa ninyo 'yan, 'di palakihan pa ninyo (If you want to expand the BOL, expand it). And if Misuari is willing, same. I'll give it to him para lang makaabot natin ‘yung kapayapaan (so that we can achieve peace),” Duterte said.

Duterte also reminded the Moros that the Liguasan Marsh in Maguindanao, which reportedly contains oil resolves, belongs to them.

“Ang sabi ninyong Liguasan Marsh walang makialam niyan, inyo ‘yan (I said nobody will interfere with the Liguasan Marsh, that’s yours) That was my commitment to you,” Duterte said.

“You have the place already. It was surrendered to you, it was given to you as a brotherly act of all Filipinos. Take advantage of it and hurry up the progress of the place,” he added.

The President also allayed fears that “other Christians” would benefit from the Liguasan Marsh, noting that they could have the oil there all to themselves.

“'Yang (The) Liguasan Marsh, if there's oil, you can have it. We will not allow other Christians to benefit from it. Kayo muna (You first),” Duterte said but quipped that they could share if they have extra resources.

Duterte, meanwhile, vowed to work on the salaries of BARMM government officials.

“For the BARMM guys, ‘yung wala pang sweldo (those who have no salaries yet), I will work on it when I come back,” Duterte said. (PNA)