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President ready to implement BBL

In a bid to bring lasting peace to Mindanao, President Duterte is willing to implement the Bangsamoro Basic Law immediately.

But the President said that the BBL should be free from contentious issues. “I am willing to implement, bukas kaagad, ang BBL,” Duterte said in his speech Friday during an inspection of the six megawatt power plant of the Green Earth Corp. in Buluan, Maguindanao.

The BBL is a key component of Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, a peace pact signed by the previous administration with the MILF on March 2014.

However, the 16th Congress adjourned without passing the proposed law, which would have provided for the basic structure of government for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

In his speech, Duterte emphasized that while he is willing to implement the BBL, there are unconstitutional provisions contained in it that he cannot give.

He particularly cited the provision in the proposed law which lets the Bangsamoro government create its own regional armed forces and regional police.

“Tanggalin lang natin ’yung mga may issues about the Constitution. Wala akong problema doon sa area, configuration,” he said. But on the issue of having a regional armed forces, Duterte said: “Ano ba naman yan. Kaya nga tayo nag-uusap para wala nang kailangan ng armas eh.”

“If we can improve the lot of the average Filipino, malaking bagay na iyan. You know, I will repeat the statement because it will affect all, it will impact dito sa lahat ng puso ng tao na Pilipino: If we cannot stop fighting, then do not add hate everyday to the hate that is already there,” Duterte added.

The President further said the Bangsamoro government can develop the resources within their area if they want and they can invite investors.

But on the creation of its own armed forces and police, Duterte said this can be addressed when the country decides to have a federal government.

“Maybe someday, if we decide to go federal, eh iyon na idagdag, idagdag sa Constitution ng federal, ibalik na natin ’yung ayaw ninyo, ayaw ng gobyerno tapos ’yung gusto ninyo. Ganun, gusto ko ibigay na kaagad,” he said.
(ELENA L. ABEN)

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