By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte said he has a duty to promote peace, not wage war against fellow Filipinos, amid hopes for the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
The President said he has already certified as urgent the bill creating the Bangsamoro region to hasten its approval in Congress.
“It’s now in Congress. I think they’re about to adjourn. I certified the BBL law as urgent sana lumusot (I hope it will be passed). Ako kasi my job is not to go to war. My job cannot be killing our own countrymen. My job, my task, my mandate is to give peace to everybody,” Duterte said during the Presidential Security Group change of command ceremony at the Malacañang Park in Manila.
Duterte maintained that he would strive to carry out his duty to protect the people and preserve nation. “Preserving the nation is avoiding war. Preserving a nation is not to go into so much trouble,” he added.
Last Tuesday, the President issued the urgent certification of Senate Bill No. 1717 and House Bill No. 6475, both bills related to the proposed BBL.
In his letters sent to Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Duterte called for the “immediate enactment” of the proposed BBL “to advance the creation of a new autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao.”
“The passage of this measure is a manifestation of the government’s commitment to address the diverse needs of the people in Bangsamoro, and all communities and constituents of Mindanao, towards a just and lasting peace in Mindanao and in the Philippines as a whole,” he said.