By Raymund Antonio
Like President Duterte, the country’s second highest official made a pitch for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, saying that it is a “first step” bringing Filipinos closer to peace.
“Dapat alam ng lahat hindi ito ang solusyon. Hindi ito kasagutan sa lahat ng tanong, pero ito unang hakbang pa lang,” Vice President Leni Robredo said on her Sunday radio program aired on RMN dzXL.
(Everyone should know, this is not the solution. This is not the answer to all the questions, but this is just the first step.)
Robredo, the leader of the opposition, expressed support for the BOL ratification a day before the January 21 plebiscite that will be held in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and cities of Cotabato and Isabela.
The second voting day is set on February 6 in Lanao Del Norte and North Cotabato.
The proposed BOL seeks to replace the ARMM with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Duterte signed the BOL in July last year.
The law is part of his campaign promise to heed the Moro people’s clamor for genuine autonomy as the nation needs to address the “historical injustices committed against the Moro people” in Mindanao.
In her radio show, Robredo encouraged the people of ARMM, Cotabato City and Isabela City to take part in the plebiscite on Monday and vote in favor of the BOL.
“Nangangampanya tayo na sana maipasa ito dahil hindi naman ito solusyon ng lahat pero unang hakbang para iwanan na ‘yung hindi pagkakaintindihan noong nakaraan at pagtulong-tulungan paano mapapabuti ‘yung Muslim Mindanao,” she said.
(We are campaigning for it to be passed not because this is the solution, but it is the first step for us to leave the disagreement in the past and help each other for the betterment of Muslim Mindanao.)
The plebiscite to ratify the BOL is expected to have a voter turnout of 2.8 million people.
Robredo hoped the historic Bangsamoro plebiscite will be peaceful and successful.
The Vice President said it is important for the public to cast their vote to make their voices be heard.
“Sana tingnan ito na pagkakataon na maririning‘yung boses nila. Kaya ‘yung pinakamahalaga sa lahat sumali, sumali sa plebisito para madinig ‘yung boses,” she said.
(I hope they will look at it as an opportunity for them to be heard. That’s why it is very important they take part in the plebiscite so their voices will be heard.)