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Duterte meets with Moro leaders about Bangsamoro concerns

By: - Correspondent / @inqmindanao
/ 10:01 PM March 27, 2018
Rodrigo Duterte - 26 March 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte delivered a speech during the presentation of firearms handed over by members of the Abu Sayyaf Group who surrendered at the Capitol Site in Patikul, Sulu on Monday, March 26, 2018. (Presidential Photographers Division)

DAVAO CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday evening met with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief Murad Ebrahim and some officials of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) here.

The President’s meeting with Murad, BTC Chairman Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF negotiator Mohagher Iqbal and others, came a day after he said in a speech in Sulu that he doubted if the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) would bring unity to the Moro people.

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“I am worried. Would it do well to mix it all in one pot? Meaning to say, are you Joloanos ready to be led by a Maranao?” the President said on Monday in a speech in Patikul, Jolo.

The BTC crafted the BBL, which was among proposed laws now pending in Congress seeking to establish a new Bangsamoro entity in lieu of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

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“That’s the problem now while the BBL is being processed in Congress. When the time comes, who heads what? Are we going separate ways or can we put a single governing authorities and who would it be?” he asked Tausugs during his Sulu visit.

The President said there were not many problems between the Maranaos, Maguindanaons and Iranuns (residents of border areas of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur) because their languages are more or less the same.

“But here and in Davao, we have Kagan, Sama, Tausug [who speak differently]. Would it also be good? Whether we do it by the regions of the tribe or a separate governing authority, I have to fathom it,” he added.

During his meeting with Murad and the other MILF officials – which was also attended by Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go, Peace Secretary Jesus Dureza and Legislative Affairs Secretary Adelino Sitoy – Duterte also reportedly discussed the same fear he spoke about in Sulu, according to some sources.

The other details of the meeting were not announced.

Jaafar told the Inquirer he could not discuss the details of the meeting either but admitted that Duterte mentioned what he said in Sulu “in passing.”

“But generally, it was about how to speed up the passage of the BBL,” Jaafar told the Inquirer in a phone interview.

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“I am not at liberty to discuss everything,” he added. /atm

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TAGS: BTC, Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF, Murad Ebrahim, Rodrigo Duterte
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