by Lilian C. Mellejor, Philippine News Agency | Saturday, 09 July 2016
President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday he is ready to concede to the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) if a Federal government is not possible during his term.
But the President assured the Moro people that his administration is working on a framework acceptable to both the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
Speaking to more than 500 Moro people from different regions in Mindanao, including MILF vice chair for political affairs Ghazali Jaafar and MNLF Chair Bong Parcasio during the First Mindanao Hariraya Eid’l Fit’r at SMX Convention Center on Friday evening, Mr. Duterte revealed that part of the plan is a reconfiguration of a territory for Nur Misuari-led MNLF.
The President, however, said the reconfiguration is not intended to separate or delineate territories. “It should not keep us apart being Mindanaoans,” he stressed.
But he noted that most Christians are supporting Federalism and BBL.
“Let us build a nation that is founded on peace,” he emphasized.
Duterte, however, reminded everybody that the task is not easy but assured he would be able to do it under his administration.
“It will not come overnight…not next year. It will be something in two to three years. I assure something will change before the end of my term,” he said.
He said he is set to travel to Jolo to meet with Misuari and probably ask the military to allow the MNLF leader to move around Mindanao for simultaneous talks with the Moro people.
Mr. Duterte revealed that his team is working overtime on plans for the MILF and MNLF.
For the MILF, the President said he values word of honor. “A promise is a promise,” he said. He, however, did not elaborate what he had promised to the MILF.
“What you give to MILF you give to MNLF. I hope there will be peace in our land,” he said.
He also asked all groups including the communist movement to refrain from activities that will derail peace plans. He cited the MILF for not taking moves despite the failed BBL while Misuari is in a stand-down position.
“Give me a chance to perfect (everything),” said Duterte, urging everybody to respect each other and to talk before doing anything that will spin trouble in Mindanao. (PNA)