Thousands join Bangsamoro assembly asking Duterte to endorse quick passage of BBL

November 27, 2017 - 7:06 PM
Part of the crowd that attended the Bangsamoro assembly graced by President Duterte. PHOTO BY DENNIS ARCON

COTABATO CITY – Thousands were estimated to have joined the Bangsamoro General Assembly at the Old Capitol Ground in Brgy. Simuay in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao Monday, in what is seen as a show of support for the stalled basic law that President Rodrigo Duterte is now being asked to endorse.

Duterte was the guest of honor at the assembly attended by officials of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moro National Liberation Front and various Bangsamoro organizations, as well as of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, governors, congressmen and mayors.

Also in attendance were leaders of various faith groups and 81 diplomats from various parts of the globe.

The activity was meant to signal the unity of the Bangsamoro, and to appeal to Duterte to have the Congress dominated by his allies to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

The Bangsamoro leaders said only the BBL — arising from a transition process triggered by the landmark peace agreement forged between then-President Benigno Aquino III’s government and the MILF in 2013 — could respond to the festering issues that have kept the Bangsamoro homeland in conflict the past four decades. The BBL will define the basic structure of a proposed Bangsamoro state in Mindanao.

Duterte had recently urged Congress to fast-track passage of the BBL. “If we do not act on it expeditiously, I think that we are headed for trouble. We must continue to talk and I will urge Congress to fast-track it because they are getting impatient,” Duterte said in a news conference. – with a report by Dennis Arcon