PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte led Friday the formal launching of the renewed effort of the current administration to implement the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) in Davao City.
In his keynote speech, Duterte asked the 21-member Bangsamoro Transition Committee (BTC) to fast track the crafting of the enabling law for the Bangsamoro people.
"I'm urging the BTC to navigate the hindrances and obstruction ad search for the road to peace. It’s difficult. It’s a long journey but this is a product that is acceptable to all," the President said.
"I will ask every Filipino to go for it because it will make us a great nation. So I leave it up to you. You know the history, you know the equation here, you know the composition of the people here, you know the religions here, you know the idiosyncrasy of the tribes," he added.
The CAB, a peace deal aimed at ending the long years of armed conflict in the Mindanao, was signed by the Aquino administration and the MILF on March 28, 2014.
The draft Bangsamoro Basic Law, however, was stalled in the 16th Congress due to the failure of the proponents to involve other stakeholders, apart from the MILF, in the consultations.
When Duterte became president, he vowed to end the insurgency in the embattled region.
He then signed in November 2016 an executive order reconstituting the 21-member the BTC, which is composed of 11 members from the MILF, seven from the government, and three from the MNLF.
The BTC is expected to submit the draft law to Congress by July for deliberation and ratification.
Duterte said the passage of the proposed Moro law that will be drafted by the BTC because of the looming threat that extreme terrorism might enter the country.
He noted that there will be a “blood bath,” if terrorist groups, including the Jihadist militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have been to enter the Philippine territory.
“The problem now is the extreme terrorism. I am a man in a hurry because I am telling you, let us avoid extremism,” the Chief Executive said.
“If they will enter here, because they are now attempting to inject the IS[IS], that’s difficult. That is why also, we must avoid extremism or even entertaining or accommodating them because it will destroy all of us. They will not pity us,” he added.
The President also appealed for the cooperation of the Moro people to end the conflict in the beleaguered region.
“We must have peace at all costs but I’d like to tell you now as president, I want to have peace. It must be one country, one nation, and one flag,” he said.
“I promised the Moro people of Mindanao that you will have it during my time. I warning them [to stop the insurgency and they listen because if they do not follow, those in Mindanao, after good faith, there will be chaos and it will never solve the problem.” (SunStar Philippines)