Duterte vows to pass BBL before May ends

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, April 25, has reiterated his promise to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) this year.

During a speech in Buluan, Maguindanao, Duterte assured the Moro people anew of his commitment to pass the BBL, hopefully by the end of May.

“So let us fast-track the BBL. I promised that before end of May, it will be passed. If not, I might resign as president. It’s now up to you, I cannot do it anymore,” the president said.

“Give me time, this year. I don’t want next year, next election. This year I will finish it, let’s finish first the BBL,” he added.

The BBL aims to end decades of conflict in Mindanao by granting a fiscal autonomy to a new Bangsamoro Region that will replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

In a briefing, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said that the Senate will “try” to pass the BBL this year, adding that the timeline follows the “game plan” of Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, chair of the Senate subcommittee on the BBL.

Pimentel also said that the measure’s counterpart in the House of Representatives was also being tackled.

Last month, Malacañang announced that House and Senate leaders made a commitment to pass the BBL by May.

Congress is currently on break and set to resume session on May 15.

Aside from the passage of the BBL, Duterte on Wednesday also vowed to declare the whole of Mindanao a land reform area and distribute the government lands to the people

“I’ll give it all to you. You find a public land, including those where military camps are situated, that’s yours,” Duterte said. “I will give it all, you plant rubber, you plant palm oil.”

The president also promised to “do everything” to achieve peace in the area.

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