MANILA, August 6, 2018 – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte today urged the Bangsamoro people to participate in the upcoming plebiscite that will determine the territorial jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

In his message during the presentation of Republic Act Number 11054 or the “Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao” in Malacanang today, Duterte encouraged the stakeholders to campaign for the law in their own communities.

“I ask my Bangsamoro brothers and sisters as well as the indigenous communities and settlers living within the Bangsamoro area to actively participate in constructive discussions about the law in your homes, in your villages, and communities,” he said.

“But more importantly, I encourage you to take part in the upcoming plebiscite so that you may express your sovereign will through the ballot,” he added.

The territories that will be part of the BARMM will be determined in a plebiscite that will be held not earlier than 90 days or later than 150 days after the effectivity of the law.

Duterte signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) on July 27, days after the House of Representatives and the Senate ratified the measure.

According to the new law, the plebiscite will cover the provinces included under the present Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), six municipalities in the province of Lanao del Norte, 39 barangays in North Cotabato, the cities of Cotabato and Isabela in the province of Basilan, and those qualified for inclusion by way of petition or resolution.

A celebration of a milestone

In his speech, President Duterte also expressed his gratitude to those who contributed to the successful passage of the BOL.

“Let me also express my gratitude to the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the Moro National Liberation Front for their unwavering commitment, determination, and perseverance in pursuing the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL),” he said.

For his part, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza lauded the collective efforts of all stakeholders for the passage of the measure.

“We got the support of almost all sectors, especially support coming from the President kaya I always say that we have reached a milestone,” he said.

Dureza also emphasized that the passage of BOL is not the end of the journey towards peace in the region.

“Remember, we still have a lot of challenges to work on. The job will not be easy but if everybody will stay the course then maybe we can reach our ultimate dream– sustainable peace,” he said.

Government Panel Implementing Chair Nabil A. Tan said he is optimistic of the prospects that the law will bring to the region.

“The signing of the BOL is a significant contribution to peace. This will hopefully usher in the dawn of progress in Muslim Mindanao,” he said. ###