Duterte warns of 'trouble' if BBL not passed swiftly
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday, October 29, called on Congress to expedite the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), warning that failure to do so could spell trouble.
The BBL is among the measures expected to be prioritized by Congress this year.
"I will urge Congress to fast-track it because they are getting impatient," Duterte told reporters at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City, before leaving for an official visit to Japan.
The President was referring to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), which have been pushing for the passage of the BBL, which would expand the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Duterte said he has promised both groups that he will be working for a federal system of government, where he could grant them "territories that they want and the kind of framework or governance that they expect with a reformation of all the things in the Philippines."
"If we do not act on it (the BBL) expeditiously, I think that we are headed for trouble," the President warned.
Duterte made the same warning last September in a gathering with Davao City journalists after he visited the headquarters of the 103rd Brigade in Marawi City.
On Sunday, the President said enacting the BBL is a commitment to the Moro people, and would help boost peace in Mindanao together with the government's efforts to rebuild the war-torn city of Marawi.
"The failure to rehabilitate Marawi could have grave consequences for Mindanao and for the entire country," he said. (READ: Transition commission postpones Bangsamoro Assembly) – Rappler.com