DAVAO CITY—President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Saturday, June 16, joined the Filipino Muslims in celebrating Eid’l Fitr or the end of Ramadan, as he vowed anew for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and the need to shift to a federal type of government.
In his speech during the celebration of the 2018 Eid’l Fitr at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang here, President Duterte stressed that he wants the BBL passed during his term.
“We will try to pass the BBL. I hope Chairman Misuari can be convinced to join the talks so that if there are corrections or maybe additions, or provisions that would not sit well with Tausug and the rest of the southern part of Mindanao, then maybe we can realize altogether the friction of the MI, MN and the rest of Mindanao,” Duterte said.
The Chief Executive likewise urged Muslim Filipinos not to team up with the ISIS.
“More dangerous is the coming in of ISIS. Utang na loob po, huwag kayong pumatol diyan, or even the brutality of ISIS in the Middle East. It is something which nobody can stomach,” Duterte said.
“That is why it is very important that we get together. We will try to pass the BBL with no catch. I’m sure the Speaker would agree with me,” he said.
“If per chance, if nothing really works out dito sa BBL, then give us time because I do not want to fight. I do not wage a war against my own countrymen. Ayaw ko talaga eh,” he added.
The President said it is time for the nation to “move away” from the unitary type of government to ensure that the peace will be finally obtained in Mindanao.
“I am for federalism. I am for peace,” he said.
Duterte meanwhile allayed fears that he would want to remain President in a federal setup.
“Hindi na ako ‘yan. And that would come 17 years from now. We’re just trying to perfect everything. And if you want a new leader during the transition, you can provide it in the law itself, creating the parliament, the system of the distribution of the regional autonomous region, and I would be happy to step down,” he said.
“Transition gusto ninyo, and you want a new leader, I am telling you now. I will step down if that is the wish of the Filipino people,” he assured.
Duterte explained that the reason why he is fixing everything under his term is to keep the country away from trouble.
“The sole reason why I am holding out dito is because I do not want trouble. The singular reason why I’m trying to fix everything, back-channeling ako,” he said.
The President meanwhile underscored how the Islamic faith reveals the importance of sacrifice and charity.
“As we look to the future with hope and optimism, let these values guide us as we pursue real and lasting change through peace, unity, and prosperity for the sake of our nation,” he said. PND