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About Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process or OPAPP is the office mandated to oversee, coordinate, and integrate the implementation of the comprehensive peace process. The agency was created through executive order no. 125, s. 1993 which was later amended in 2001 with the signing of executive order no. 3, s. 2001 as a reaffirmation of the government’s commitment to achieving just and lasting peace through a comprehensive peace process.

Galvez to BARMM police: Help in the transformation of Moro combatants

PARANG, MAGUINDANAO, April 17 2019 – Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. urged top police officials of the newly-established Bangsamoro autonomous region to help create a more conducive environment for the smooth implementation of the Normalization track of the Bangsamoro peace agreement.

This track, Galvez said, will primarily focus on the decommissioning of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants, and assist them and their families as they make the transition to becoming peaceful and productive members of society.

“With the successful ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) and the smooth transition of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), there is a need to understand the critical role of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the effective implementation of the normalization program in the Bangsamoro,” Galvez said, as he explained the content of the proposed Executive Order (EO) on the Normalization Process to police officers here at the BARMM Police Regional Office on Tuesday.

The Normalization Process is one of the annexes of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2014.

The CAB has two tracks: the Political Track, which pushed for the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), and the Normalization Track, which covers the decommissioning of MILF fighters and their weapons, as well as the transformation of several camps into progressive and resilient communities.

The EO on Normalization is a comprehensive plan of the national government that is designed to aid former combatants as they undergo the delicate transition process.

In particular, the EO includes socio-economic interventions to be carried out specifically in conflict-affected areas, as well as guidelines for the implementation of a transitional justice system that aims to promote healing and reconciliation among the people.

The national government and the MILF are now drafting the implementing rules and regulations of the said EO.

According to Galvez, it is very important for the police, in particular, and the security sector, in general, to fully understand the intricacies of the Bangsamoro peace process.

He warned that a single miscalculation on their part could have a major impact on the region’s peace and security situation.

For this initiative to succeed, the chief peace adviser emphasized the importance of fostering stronger relationships with the MILF, especially with the ex-fighters.

“We should start to communicate and establish confidence–building measures, and good relationships with them,” Galvez said, adding that this process is very important in the successful mainstreaming of former combatants.

Galvez stressed that the Bangsamoro police will play a critical role in maintaining the peace and order in the region, especially in communities that will undergo the decommissioning process.

Under the EO, the PNP will be part of several transitional bodies. These include the Joint Peace and Security Teams, which will need at least 1,600 police personnel.

The teams will be tasked, among others, to clear unexploded ordnance and landmines.

Galvez said the police will also be part of the soon-to-be reactivated National Task Force for the Disbandment of the Private Armed Groups.

The BARMM regional police office, which is currently undergoing a transition, will soon cover the city of Cotabato, and the 63 barangays in North Cotabato that voted for their inclusion in the BARMM.

The conference attended by Galvez is among a series of strategic information campaigns intended for members of the security sector based in the Bangsamoro area.

Galvez was welcomed by BARMM Police regional director Brigadier General Graciano J. Mijares.

Also present in the activity were ASEC David Diciano, chief-of-staff of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU), OPAPRU Assistant Secretary Dickson Hermoso, and OPAPRU Director Wendell Orbeso, head of the Joint Normalization Committee Secretariat. ###

Statement of Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. on the occasion of Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) April 09, 2019

Today, we pay tribute to our brave Filipino soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Fall of Bataan 77 years ago.

We also recognize the martyrdom of all of those who gave up their lives during one of the darkest chapters of our nation’s history.

Let us remember the gallantry of these heroes who even in the face of death, demonstrated to our nation and the whole world their immeasurable love for our motherland.

Several decades have passed since that fateful day but its lessons still resonate among all of us today.

We should draw inspiration from our fallen brothers who have displayed extraordinary courage during those trying times.

As we commemorate the ultimate sacrifice of our heroes today, I would like to call on my fellow countrymen to work hand in hand as we pursue our collective goal of achieving enduring peace.

I encourage everyone to do their part in strengthening the bond of unity and cooperation among us, particularly in pushing forward the Philippine peace process.

I believe that it is only through our concerted efforts and deep love for country that we can make our dreams for our nation a reality.

These aspirations are best reflected in the successful implementation of peace agreements with our Moro brothers and sisters in Mindanao.

We are also making major strides in our initiatives to address the communist insurgency problem through the national government’s whole-of-nation approach.

Times may have changed but the indomitable spirit of our heroes continues to live within our hearts and minds.

May they continue to serve as an inspiration to us all as we face the challenges of nation-building.

OPAPP delivers road projects in Agusan del Norte

Brgy. Bangayan, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte, March 30, 2019 — Where the road begins, conflict ends.

This is how Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. described two newly-built road projects in the province that are helping to transform once conflict-affected areas into show windows of peace and development.

Galvez, together with Agusan del Norte Governor Maria Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba and local officials, recently led the official turn-over of the Bangayan-Zapanta Valley Road and Tagbongabong-Kaularan-San Antonio Farm-to-Market Road to the beneficiary communities.

The two road projects, built under the national government’s PAMANA (PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn) initiative, aim to connect production areas to communities and market centers, and help spur economic development in the municipalities of Remedios T. Rumualdez (RTR) and Kitcharao, as well as surrounding communities in Agusan del Norte.

Boosting development in the countryside

In his remarks, Galvez emphasized OPAPP’s determined efforts to implement programs and projects that aim to address the needs of war-torn communities in the countryside and consequently, bring long-lasting peace and sustainable development in these areas.

“Ang mga okasyong tulad nito ay mahalaga para sa aming ahensya. Dito namin nakikita kung paano nakakatulong ang aming mga proyekto sa mga komunidad,” said Galvez, while emphasizing the need for local governments and residents to work hand in hand to improve the well-being of their communities.

(Occasions such as this are very important for our agency. This is where we see how our projects are helping communities.)

“Ito rin ang pagkakataon upang malaman namin kung paano pa mas mapag-iibayo ang paghahatid ng serbisyo sa mga lugar na higit na nangagailangan ng serbisyo ng gobyerno,” he added.

(This is also an opportunity for us to find out how we will be able to improve the delivery of services to areas that need government services.)

From battle zones to centers of trade

For many years, the town of Bangayan had been the sight of numerous armed confrontations between government troops and rebel forces. Residents referred to the barangay as a “battlefield” wherein scores of innocent lives had been lost.

Due to the community’s mountainous terrain, residents had to walk for almost six hours just reach the town center. Farmers found it very difficult to bring their produce to markets and had to pay for very high transport costs.

This was the same situation in Brgy. Tagbongabong where people had limited access to much-needed health, education and social services. Many felt they had been left out by government as they were unable to participate in community and livelihood activities.

With the completion of the two road projects, residents in the beneficiary communities which are mostly composed of the indigenous tribe Mamanwas, are starting to experience the dividends of development.  

The incomes of village folk have risen by around 30 to 40 percent because of greater mobility. Travel time which took hours before has now been reduced to 30 minutes. The number of student enrollees has also risen by 20 percent.

Moreover, residents are now able to take part in various livelihood programs offered by the government and private organizations. There has also been a noticeable increase in the number of sari-sari stores in the area, a sign of residents’ improved purchasing power.

Galvez underscored the positive impacts of these projects on beneficiary communities, particularly how they are contributing to development and peace-building efforts in conflict-affected areas across the country.

“Kami po ay magpapatuloy sa pagbuhos ng tulong at suporta dito sa Agusan del Norte,” he said.  

(We will continue to pour in assistance to Agusan del Norte.)

Galvez expressed his gratitude to the provincial and local governments of Agusan de Norte for fully supporting the projects, and the Armed forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police for securing the project and ensuring that they are completed in the soonest possible time. He also thanked the 402nd Infantry Brigade led by Col. Maurito Licudine and the 29th Infantry Battalion for participating in the projects’ planning phase and ensuring safety in the area during project implementation.

The peace adviser also gave his commitment that all PAMANA projects will be implemented with utmost transparency and accountability as directed by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

“These projects are a testament that genuine peace and development can be achieved if we unite and work together,” Galvez said.

PAMANA: A multi-pronged approach to peace and development

The two road projects are part of PAMANA’s multi-year implementation for 2017. In particular, they will benefit the communities of barangays Bangayan, San Antonio and Tagbongabong which have a combined population of 5,422.

These projects are designed to boost the trading of farm produce, facilitate the faster movement of people and goods, and provide increased access to basic services that will usher sustainable economic growth in remote, underdeveloped areas.

The second phase of the Tagbongabong-Kaularan-San Antonio farm-to-market road has a total project cost of Php 70 million, while the third phase of the Bangayan-Zapanta- Valley Road was built at a cost of Php60 million.

Both road projects boast of very high quality standards. They are equipped with slope protection, cross drainage and concrete line canals. The provincial government of Agusan del Norte was the PAMANA implementing partner for the projects.

Empowering communities

For her part, Amante-Matba reiterated that “government work is not an easy task” but with the help of residents and through the leadership of tribal leaders, “we can implement projects such as these that will help empower families, barangays and communities”.

“Nandito kami kasi hindi kami mga kalaban. Gusto naming lahat na tayo ay sama-sama sa kapayapaan at kaunlaran,” the governor said, adding these projects will benefit both the provincial government and its constituents.

(We are here because we are not enemies. We want you to be to our partners in peace and development.)

During earlier community-based consultations, stakeholders in Agusan Del Norte identified several factors which restrained the province from achieving its full economic potential such as poor roads and the insufficient delivery of basic government services.

PAMANA, which is under the oversight of OPAPP, is a peace and development program that aims to bring the government closer to the people through the provision of much-needed socio-economic projects and services in far-flung, conflict-affected areas.

These include the construction of farm-to-market roads, potable water systems, power lines, as well as basic health and school facilities.

PAMANA also implements other support programs for indigenous peoples (IP) such as the delineation of Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADTs), formulation of Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plans (ADSPP), and the provision of scholarships and other social security guarantees.

From 2012 to 2018, the PAMANA program has benefitted 11 municipalities in Agusan del Norte by reducing vulnerabilities, improving local governance practices, and empowering communities.###

Peace stakeholders jumpstart Bangsamoro normalization trust fund

QUEZON CITY, July 25, 2018 – Shortly after the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) by both the Senate and House of Representatives, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Implementing Panels underwent a workshop to jumpstart the Bangsamoro Normalization Trust Fund (BNTF).

In his speech, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza expressed his gratitude to all those who helped in the passage of the organic law. “All of us brought this milestone here,” he said.

MILF Implementing Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal said while the organic law is “not a perfect law,” it is “more than enough to start with.”

He said the MILF and the government have become “partners” for peace and the fulfillment of Bangsamoro aspirations.

“After the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), the situation between the two partners have improved very much,” Iqbal said.

For his part, GPH Implementing Panel Nabil A. Tan said the bigger work now looming is the implementation of the CAB.

He said the Normalization program under the CAB “will be in full swing as all of us strive to accomplish the noble task towards just and lasting peace.”

Signed in 2014, the CAB is the final peace agreement between the GPH and MILF. It is the culmination of 17 years of negotiations between the two parties and will pave the way for genuine and meaningful autonomy for the Bangsamoro.

Normalization is a process whereby communities in the Bangsamoro can achieve their desired quality of life in a peaceful manner.

Included in the Annex on Normalization is the need to establish a Trust Fund to create an avenue for international donors and their partners to efficiently release urgent support for the Bangsamoro.

The BNTF Terms of Reference was signed by both GPH and MILF on May 30, 2016, reaffirming their steadfast commitment in moving the peace forward in the Bangsamoro.

Aside from the aim of supporting the normalization, the BNTF will also assist in the development of six previously acknowledged MILF camps, with the end in view of transforming these areas into peaceful and productive communities.

As outlined in its terms of reference, the purpose of the BNTF is to finance, coordinate, and oversee the delivery of assistance from international partners and other donors in the implementation of the normalization process.

Representatives of peace mechanisms on the ground as well as international donors are also present at the ongoing workshop. They are expected to share their expertise and insights to come up with a program design and activities reflective of a peaceful future of the Bangsamoro.

These programs and activities can potentially be funded by the BNTF.

Peace mechanisms present include Task Force Decommissioned Combatants and their Communities, Joint Task Force Camps Transformation, Joint Normalization Committee, Joint Peace and Security Committee, Independent Decommissioning Body, and Transitional Justice and Reconciliation.

Representatives from the World Bank, and United Nations Development Programme are also present to facilitate during the workshop. ###


Celebration greets BOL ratification

QUEZON CITY, July 24, 2018 – After an unexpected delay, the House of Representatives under new House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ratified the Bangsamoro Organic Law today.

This is a momentous celebration not only for our Muslim brothers and sisters but also to us Filipinos. We hope that this is the key towards just and lasting peace,” Deputy Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Nabil Tan said.

Tan, who also chairs the Government Implementing Panel, said despite their differences, “the members of the committee have united to reconcile a Bangsamoro law that promotes the aspirations of the Bangsamoro people.”

“This is one big step in pursuing genuine and lasting peace in the Bangsamoro,” he said.

The BOL was supposed to have been ratified by the House of Representatives on Monday, in time for President Rodrigo Duterte to sign it before his third State of the Nation Address (SONA).

A leadership change, however, prevented the ratification from happening.

Still, Duterte gave assurance during his SONA that he would sign the organic law within two days,

When the approved version is transmitted and received by my office… Give me 48 hours to sign it and ratify the law. Babasahin ko pa bago ko pipirmahan (I have to read it first before I sign it),” Duterte had said.

Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chair Ebrahim Murad expressed gratitude for the ratification of the BOL. “We thank the new leadership of the House and we hope that this is the key in moving forward,” he said.

International ambassadors supporting the country’s peace process also joined in the celebration.

“It is wonderful to witness Philippine history as the Senate adopts the bicameral report on the BOL – the dawn of new beginning for Mindanao,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely said.

Different sectors also expressed joy at the realization of the Bangsamoro people’s aspirations at the legislative level.

“This is truly a historic day for our Bangsamoro brothers and sisters. With the approval of the BOL and the President’s assurance of signing it immediately, the dream for peace, justice and progress is at last becoming a reality. We rejoice with the Bangsamoro people on this momentous occasion,” said Rev. Dr. Aldrin Peñamora, Co-Convenor of Joint Working Group of Religious Leaders for Peace and Executive Director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches.

In a statement, the Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Identities and Dialogues in Southeast Asia said: “The milestone in our Bangsamoro history is also a sign of unity and progress. It is an antidote to the years of conflict and strife, and hopefully will usher in a new era of healing between all Filipino peoples.”

President Duterte is expected to sign the BOL within 48 hours. ###

PRRD vows to sign BOL within 48 hours

QUEZON CITY, July 23, 2018 – “Give me 48 hours to sign it.”

This was President Rodrigo Duterte’s assurance to the people after the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) suffered a debacle when the House of Representatives failed to ratify the law when its session was abruptly adjourned earlier today.

“When the approved version is transmitted and received by my office… The law has been passed actually and I intend to… Give me 48 hours to sign it and ratify the law. Babasahin ko pa bago ko pipirmahan (I have to read it first before I sign it),” Duterte said in his third State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“I make the solemn commitment that this administration will never deny our Muslim brothers and sisters the basic legal tools to chart their own destiny within this constitutional framework of our country,” the President added.

Duterte had been expected to sign the “Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao” before delivering his SONA. Earlier in the day, the Senate adopted and ratified the bicameral conference committee version of the Bangsamoro Organic Law during its third regular session.

At the House of Representatives, however, a sudden and unexpected adjournment kept members from ratifying it.

Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said the failure to ratify was unfortunate “but it had nothing to do with the BOL itself. It was due to some leadership issues internal to the House of Representatives.”

“The BOL suffered this temporary setback, as a ‘collateral damage’ to an internal leadership issue in the House, but I trust and expect that in due time, the ratification which it deserves will take place as a matter of course,” he added.

The President’s assurance gave hope it would not take long before the law is signed.

In his SONA, Duterte said the country would need “loads of understanding and patience to endure and overcome the birth pangs or pains of the new beginning.”

“Mindanao was dubbed as The Land of Promise… (and) we are now in the process of fulfilling that promise through significant increases in the budget for Mindanao. At the end of my term, I hope to see the promise of Mindanao fulfilled, or at the very least, approaching fulfilment,” he said.

In an earlier statement, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said the passage of the law will usher in a new chapter of peace and prosperity in Mindanao.

“I believe that is the dawn of the new beginning for Mindanao. A dawn of peace followed by unhampered prosperity for our region,” he said. ###

Dureza: Gov’t still open to peace talks with NDFP

HAGONOY, DAVAO DEL SUR (JULY 5, 2018) — “The doors for peace negotiations with the communist rebels are still open.”

This was the announcement made by Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G.  Dureza during the celebration of the 65th Araw ng Hagonoy at the municipal capitol here.

Dureza bared that during a command conference held in Malacañang last night, President Rodrigo Duterte laid down his four “wishes” that would make the peace talks possible between the national government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

The command conference was attended by top officials of the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“First, there will be no coalition government. Second, there will be a stop in the collection of the so-called revolutionary tax,” he said.

“Third, the venue of the talks will be local. And fourth, there will be a ceasefire agreement in which armed NPA members are encamped in designated areas,” Dureza added.

He, however, said that in case these “wishes” are not adhered to by the NDFP, local government units can still proceed with “localized peace engagements.”

Dureza pointed out that this move could be a viable option because LGUs “can find a way to connect to the rebels.”

“Because you (LGUs) know them, you can help them,” he said.

According to the peace adviser, those who are fighting government are doing so not because of ideology but due to a more basic reason.

“They are going against government because of need,” Dureza said.

“That’s why they burn equipment, do extortion activities. Government doesn’t want this to happen,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dureza said he is optimistic President Duterte will sign the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on July 23, the day he will deliver his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Both houses of Congress are set to hold bicameral sessions from July 9 to 13 in order to come up with a unified version of the BBL based on the respective substitute bills approved in the Lower House and Senate.

Dureza said that with the passage of the BBL, areas that have been left behind will be prioritized and given the attention they truly deserve.

“I believe that better things are ahead of us,” he said. ###

Locals execs express gratitude for PAMANA projects

DIPOLOG CITY, July 04 2018 – Local government units of Zamboanga del Norte thanked the national government for implementing projects in their communities that are focused on livelihood and poverty alleviation.
Sibuco Mayor Norbideiri Edding affirmed this during the Midterm Assessment of PAMANA (PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn) projects conducted by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) with its stakeholders in the province of Zamboanga del Norte last July 3, 2018.
Malaking bagay talaga ang naitutulong nito [PAMANA] sa communities — sa’min sa grassroots level – kasi more on poverty alleviation programs and livelihood siya (PAMANA has a huge impact on our communities – on us who are at the grassroots level – because its projects are more on poverty alleviation and livelihood),” Edding said.
Nagpapasalamat kami sa (We thank) OPAPP that we were included because we need all the help we can get as far as developing our communities is concerned,” he added.
Edding also thanked the government’s initiative to include all stakeholders in the assessment because it gave them the opportunity to discuss their issues regarding the project implementation.
“Our objective is to provide alleviating programs para sa mga conflict-affected na constituents natin (Our objective is to provide alleviating programs for our conflict-affected constituents),” he said.
“So these programs are really helping our communities. And ‘yong mga insurgents natin na nando’n sa kabilang side, they were given the chance to change and be reintegrated with the communities,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mayor Gamar Janihim from the municipality of Sirawai cited an example of how the PAMANA projects had positive impacts in his communities.
Ipalagay mo na lang ‘yong communal irrigation, imbis na ‘yong ani ng mga farmers ay isa sa isang taon, dahil sa irrigation magiging apat na sa isang taon. So malaki talaga ang nadudulot ng PAMANA projects sa community (Let’s cite communal irrigation as an example: our farmers can harvest four times in one year instead of their usual one harvest per year. That’s why PAMANA projects really bring big changes in our community),” he said.
Janihim also conveyed his gratitude both on the projects implemented in his municipality and the assessment conducted in the city.
Masaya ako na naimbitahan dito para malahad ko rin ‘yong problema sa community. Ang kagandahan nito kasi makikita natin kung papaano ‘yong implementations, kailan, kung nade-delay ba ang proyekto, at naa-update ba kami (I am happy to be invited here in the midterm assessment because I can share our problems in the community. Another good thing from this assessment is that we can know the process of implementation, its timeline, status, and regular updates to us),” he said.
During his closing remarks, OPAPP Director Sherwin Vizconde thanked the province’s LGUs for taking the time to discuss their respective projects to them.
“We in OPAPP are very hopeful that the much coveted just and lasting peace will become a reality. Kung hindi man sa ating lifetime, then to the next generation. We are here to plant the seeds of hope, of peace,” he said.
The Zamboanga del Norte forum was the second to the last of assessments conducted by OPAPP aimed to determine the status of PAMANA projects’ physical and financial progress as well as the ways to move forward in order to enhance the project’s implementation. ###

Australia shares PH desire to end conflict, push development

MAKATI CITY, 03 May 2018 – The Australian government today affirmed its commitment to assisting the Philippines in its peace and development initiatives, saying it shares the Filipinos’ desire to end conflict and achieve just and lasting peace.

Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Senator for New South Wales and Minister for International Development and the Pacific, gave the statement during a breakfast forum spearheaded by the Australian Embassy and the Albert Del Rosario Research Institute earlier today in this city.

Noting Australia’s more than 20 years of partnership with the Philippines in peacebuilding and development, Fierravanti-Wells said her country is “committed to support peace and development in Mindanao.”

“We recognize the ongoing challenges in the peace process, and we share with the Filipinos your basic desire to end this conflict and have just and lasting peace,” she said.

Fierravanti-Wells highlighted the importance of the participation of women in the peace process and their role in curbing the rise of violent extremism. She also recognized the role of youth, indigenous peoples, and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the peace process.

In his remarks, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza expressed the Philippines’ gratitude to Australia in supporting the country in development and peacebuilding.

“We have seen your work not only in trying to address the present challenges in the peace process, but I also think that your assistance in the Philippines, especially in Mindanao through capacity building, is just as important,” Dureza said.

He said the peace process must go hand-in-hand with development in order to improve the lives of the Filipinos.

Australia currently supports multilateral and bilateral programs in Mindanao such as the Mindanao Trust Fund, PRIME Bangsamoro, and the Facility for Advisory Support for Transition Capacities.

Barangay leaders key to BBL passage — Roque

PASAY CITY, April 24, 2018 — Kayong mga barangay leaders – nasa inyong mga kamay ang pagpapanalo ng BBL.”(Barangay leaders, the passage of BBL is all in your hands.)

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. made this pitch in his keynote message at the forum for Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) with the Liga ng mga Barangay – Mindanao Chapter held yesterday at SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

Malinaw po na kaya tayo nandito ay para masigurado na pagdating ng plebisito, overwhelming na ‘oo’ ang iboboto ng ating mga kababayan (It is clear that the reason we are here is we want to make sure that during the plebiscite, there would be an overwhelming ‘yes’ from our countrymen),” he said.

Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte has given full support to the law, believing that it will solve the problem of armed conflict in Mindanao. He also said the Senate and the House of Representatives have already promised to pass the BBL.

Tingin ko naman ang ating mga botante ay maniniwala na kapag sinabi ng Presidente na ang solusyon sa problema ng labanan sa Mindanao ay BBL, lahat po sila [voters] ay boboto ng oo sa plebisito (I think the voters will believe that when the President says the BBL is the solution to the problem of armed conflict in Mindanao, all of them will vote yes in the plebiscite),” Roque said.

The forum with barangay leaders aimed to provide a brief background of the historical injustices committed against the Moro people. It also gave an overview of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the salient points of the BBL.

Lawmakers have committed to pass the BBL by the end of May this year. ###


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