COTABATO CITY – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Friday, January 18, urged the Moro community to vote “yes” to the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in the upcoming plebiscite.
“I am therefore issuing this call to my fellow Moros: Let us use this plebiscite as a peaceful means to finally correct the historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro — or the Moro people,” said President Duterte during the Peace Assembly for the Ratification of Republic Act No. 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex (SKCC), Office of the Regional Governor (ORG) Compound here.
“Your approval of this law will not just serve as an expression of your desire to end more than half a century of armed struggle in the region. It will also serve as a testament to your determination to bring genuine peace and development in Muslim Mindanao through an autonomous government that truly represents and understands the needs of its people,” he added.
“Magboto kayo ng yes,” he stressed.
The people of the present Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Cotabato City, Isabela City, some parts of Lanao del Norte, and North Cotabato are set to exercise their right to vote in a referendum to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law in three days.
The President said that ratifying the BOL would pave the way for fair and just distribution of land and resources in Mindanao and eventually achieve lasting peace.
Duterte also allayed fears that the BOL may not help resolve the decades-long conflict in Mindanao, citing the law as the product of a “long and rigorous process” involving “meaningful and exhaustive” consultations with Mindanao stakeholders particularly the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
“I am thus proud to say that the BOL has undergone comprehensive analysis and thorough review to ensure that once implemented, it will lead to better governance, inclusive political empowerment, and enhanced systems for transparency and accountability,” he said.
“I am very hopeful that with the ratification of the BOL, Mindanao can finally enjoy lasting peace and inclusive progress that will benefit you and I” he added.
Last year, the President signed into law the Bangsamoro Organic Law or RA No. 11054, “an act providing for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, replacing the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).”
Around 7,000 people from the Moro community convened to participate in the Peace Assembly event. ###PND