President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Friday urged the Moro community to vote “yes” to the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in the plebiscite to be held on January 21 and February 6.
“Your approval of this law will not only serve as an expression of your desire to end more than half a century of armed struggle in the region. It will also serve as a testament to your determination to bring genuine peace and development in Muslim Mindanao through an autonomous government that truly represents and understands the needs of the people,” Duterte said in a speech at the Peace Assembly for the ratification of Republic Act No. 11054 or the BOL in Cotabato City.
The President said the power to craft their own destiny now lies in the voters’ hands.
“I am proud to say that the BOL has undergone comprehensive analysis and thorough review to ensure that once implemented, it will lead to better governance, inclusive political empowerment, and enhanced systems (for) transparency and accountability,” he said. The BOL version under his administration has undergone multiple consultations with various stakeholders, Duterte added.
“As the centerpiece legislation of my administration, the BOL has been the product of a long and rigorous process that involved meaningful and exhaustive consultations by one another and for all of us here. We listened to the indispensable sentiments and concerns of Muslims, Christians, Lumads, and other indigenous peoples and various stakeholders who also call Mindanao their home and rightly so,” he said.
Duterte also expressed hope that with the ratification of the BOL, peace and inclusive growth in Mindanao would benefit the entire Philippines.
“Together, let us take this opportunity to begin the process of healing, reconciliation so that one day, we can embrace each other as really brother and sister Filipino, with a view of — in tolerance in all, understanding and take the new world on its totality,” he said.
The BOL, previously known as the Bangsamoro Basic Law, and considered as one of Duterte’s biggest legislative achievements, seeks to give the Moro people basic legal tools to chart their own destiny within the country’s constitutional framework. (PNA)