MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday asked the Moro people for more time to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), a proposed measure that grants greater autonomy to the Bangsamoro region.
“I am pleading to the Moro people to give government a chance to work out something. The last thing I would want to happen to my country, go again and wage war against their own people. It’s not my style because you are not criminals,” Duterte told reporters at the Davao International Airport after his arrival from India.
Duterte said Moro rebels are threatening to go to war if the measure is not passed.
“Ang sabi ni Murad, ‘We are tired of waiting for so long.’ This is not mine, actually, I’m having the beating..pero yung commitment to come up with a federal system was promised to Misuari, I do not want to make an issue about it, but it was the time when Cory Aquino went to Jolo to talk to Misuari and made some concessions about a federal setup. Yun ngayon ang sinisigil. And they are threatening to go to war,” he said.
“I do not want violence, I do not want war, I only want to talk.”
The President said there are still provisions in the BBL that may violate the 1987 Constitution, which may be remedied by shifting into a federal form of government.
“There are provisions, at this early, which Congress has been saying as unconstitutional. Let’s start to sort it out, let us show the Moro that we are trying our best. That those constitutional provisions that will be violated can be corrected if there is a federal setup,” he said.
Duterte earlier pledged to ask Congress to hold a special session for the passage of BBL and has also appointed 19 members of a consultative body on charter change.