President Rodrigo Duterte is not losing hope that the political organization Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding leader Nur Misuari would eventually join the deliberations in developing the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
But that would mean joining the discussions with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a splinter group of the MNLF.
“We will try to pass the BBL. I hope chairman Misuari can be convinced to join the talks so that if there are corrections or maybe additions or provisions that could not sit well with the Tausug and the rest of the southern part of Mindanao then maybe we can realize altogether the friction of MI (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), MN and the rest of Mindanao,” said President Duterte during the Eid’l Fitr celebration in Davao City.
Mr. President added that he would rather witness the conflict between the two rival groups resolved as Mindanao faces the threat of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).
Duterte appealed to the the two Mindanao-based groups to give the Philippine government time to work on another peace pact should the BBL does not work out for them. Duterte insisted that he does not want to engage in war against his fellow countrymen.
Duterte stressed out that he is intending to have BBL lined up with the proposed federalism government and the Constitution, claiming that the MILF edition of the BBL can now implemented. However, the president said he would rather wait for the final version of the law.
During his presidency campaign, Duterte guaranteed to bring peace in Mindanao through the passage of the BBL. The law aims to provide a basic structure of government focusing on the rights of the Bangsamoro citizens, described as “natives or original inhabitants of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago and its adjacent islands including Palawan.”
BBL outlines authority in the Bangsamoro region by commissioning jurisdiction of reserved powers for the national government, exclusive sovereignty for the Bangsamoro government, and simultaneous powers for both the national and the Bangsamoro governments.
BBL had been both given green light on third and final reading by both the Senate and the House of Congress. Lawmakers will reunite their BBL versions in assemblies slated on July 9 -13.
The House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas has said that President Duterte is expected to pass BBL on the day of his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) which will be held on July 23.