‘Neutral’ Duterte passes buck on Bangsamoro transition extension to Congress
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has taken a “neutral” stance and instead let Congress decide on whether to extend the Bangsamoro transition for three more years, Malacañang said Monday.
“The President po decided to become neutral and will let Congress to fully discuss the matter and to decide accordingly, respecting the plenary powers and wisdom of Congress,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing when asked about the President’s position on the matter.
Roque said Duterte recognized the views of opposing sides, hence leaving the matter for Congress to decide.
“Doon sa panig ng deferment o pagpapapahaba pa ng transition, mahirap nga daw magkaroon ng election po kasi wala pa silang Omnibus Election Code doon sa BARMM [Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao] at wala pa pong batas para sa redistricting,” Roque said.
(To the side that wants deferment of the elections and extends the transition, it’s hard to conduct an election because they don’t have an Omnibus Election Code at the BARMM yet and they don’t have a law for redistricting.)
“Pero sa panig naman ng dapat mag-eleksyon, importante na magkaroon ng mandato ang lahat ng mga political leaders natin para naman meron silang moral authority to lead,” he went on.
(But on the side of those who want to proceed with the election, it’s important for all political leaders to have a mandate for their moral authority to lead.)
While the BTA said it has taken significant steps in its service as an interim government, it said the three-year transition from 2019 to 2022 was not enough to accomplish its targets.
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