Duterte banking heavily on BOL ratification: ‘Pag pumalpak pa ito, ewan ko na’
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he is banking heavily on the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) to finally bring lasting peace and inclusive development to the poverty-stricken areas of Mindanao.
“The highest incidence of hunger in the Philippines is in the ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao). Maawa ka talaga sa kanila, naawa din ako. Nakita ko sa highway talagang naka ano lang…(You would really pity them, I pity them. I see them in highways…),” Duterte said in a speech before tricycle drivers and operators in Pasay City.
“So time to really work it out. Kapag pumalpak pa ito ewan ko na (If this fails, I don’t know),” he added.
On Monday, residents of the ARMM, Isabela City in Basilan, and Cotabato City voted in a plebiscite, which turned out to be a resounding victory for the ratification of the BOL, at least according to initial tallies.
The BOL, a product of the peace agreement between the government and former separatist movement Moro Islamic Liberation Front, replaces the ARMM with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, which will have an expanded land and water jurisdiction, fiscal autonomy, increased share in national government resources, among others.
Another plebiscite is set to be held on Feb. 6 in Lanao del Norte (except Iligan City), the municipalities of Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pikit and Pigkayawan in North Cotabato, and all other areas adjacent to any of the Bagsamoro “core areas.” /ee
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