Duterte confident of people’s support for BOL ahead of plebiscite
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday expressed optimism that the people of Mindanao will support the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in the upcoming plebiscite, an important component of the government’s push for lasting peace in the south.
“I hope and I pray that something good will come out of the BOL. Though the plebiscite is forthcoming, we have every reason to believe that it would pass the people’s will at sana magkaroon tayo ng kapayapaan because if not mahirapan tayo nito (I hope we could have peace because if not it will be hard for us),” Duterte said in a speech in Mindanao.
If the plebiscite goes against the BOL, Duterte said he will just dedicate the remainder of his term in addressing violence in Mindanao.
Once ratified, the BOL will pave the way for the replacement of the ARMM with an MILF-led Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The Commission on Elections will administer the plebiscite on Jan. 21 in all ARMM provinces, in some parts of Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato, and in the cities of Cotabato and Isabela in Basilan.
Under the BOL, a 75-25 wealth sharing in favor of the new Bangsamoro region will be implemented to raise its share in tax revenues.
The government will also allocate P5 billion to the Bangsamoro annually for 10 years or P50 billion to rebuild areas ravaged by the armed conflict.
The European Union and the United Nations, among others, have lauded the enactment of the BOL and have promised to continue supporting peace efforts in Mindanao.
Duterte signed the law in July 2018. /ee
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