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Duterte to join MILF meet pushing for BBL

/ 07:19 AM November 26, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

DAVAO CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte will be in Maguindanao on Monday as a guest of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in its campaign to gather support for the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Mr. Duterte would be at the first Bangsamoro Assembly in Sultan Kudarat town in what could be a gesture of his personal backing for the proposed BBL.

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MILF leaders and members of Moro communities would join the President in the assembly, which would allow MILF to fully explain to its members and their families the proposed BBL and its effects on the Moro people.

The proposed BBL would establish a new autonomous government with more powers to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

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The proposed law remains pending in Congress despite Mr. Duterte’s support.

Shortly before he flew to Japan on Oct. 29, the President urged Congress to act swiftly on the proposed BBL.

“If we do not act on it expeditiously, I think that we are headed for trouble,” Mr. Duterte said.

“We must continue to talk and I will urge Congress to fast track it because (Moro rebels) are getting impatient,” he said.

But Mr. Duterte also pleaded for patience from the MILF and told its leaders to “just wait a bit” because he would deliver “what we have promised.”

“That is a commitment, not even a promise, but a commitment to the Moro people,” Duterte said.

Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF first vice chair, said at least 4,000 MILF members had been tapped to secure the venue of the assembly in Sultan Kudarat.

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He said the rebel group expected “very important personalities,” like Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, to attend.

“This is in support of the passage of the BBL,” Jaafar added.

He said MILF was also exploring partnership with other groups, like Sustainable Initiatives of Grassroots and Networks for BBL (SignNewBBL), to drum up support for the proposed BBL’s passage.

Together with SignNewBBL, Jaafar said MILF would launch a “Walk for BBL” event.

He said the Walk for BBL would show “unity and solidarity of the Bangsamoro people and other sectors” behind the proposed law. —Allan Nawal

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TAGS: Bangsamoro Basic Law, Bansamoro Assebly, BBL, Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF, Rodrigo Duterte
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