Makati City, July 30, 2018 — “There is a bigger work to be done with the passage of the BOL.”

This was reiterated by Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza on Monday, days after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) into law.

“Milestones have been reached, pero marami pa tayong gagawin (there is still much to do) in our work for peace,” Dureza said in his message at the first Stakeholders’ Conference of the United Nations Association of the Philippines on Monday at the University of Makati.

He said in spite of this, he remains optimistic the landmark measure will address the grievances of the Bangsamoro people.

“Hopefully, the Bangsamoro Organic Law will address the grievances of the Bangsamoro (people). Will everything be well and OK? No, sir. We may have reached a milestone but it still has to be worked out,” he said.

Dureza said he has confidence in the leadership of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim over the Bangsamoro people.

“I trust that this mechanism will bring a better Bangsamoro area. Dahil I know the leader of the MILF – and I trust that knowing him as a person – he will be up to the requirement of how we could move the Bangsamoro Law for the benefit of everyone,” he said.

Dureza also extended his gratitude to the United Nations (UN) and its agencies for being “one of the strong allies in the work for peace.”

“The UN agencies have been very helpful in our work to where we are today. May mga problema tayo during the course of negotiations, pero hindi sila natinag (There have been problems during the course of negotiations, but they did not falter.)  They continue to work for peace,” he said.

Dureza also urged the UN to stay the course in moving peace forward.

“We need your support, assistance, knowledge, and continuous faith that we can work together on this,” he said.

Joining Dureza in the conference were Education Secretary Leonor Briones, Higher Education Commissioner Ronald Aldamat, and United Nations (UN) Rapporteur Ambassador Rosario Manalo.

The activity was attended by more than 100 representatives from various sectors.