President Rodrigo Duterte’s top aide vowed to rally support for the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro once it is presented for ratification through a plebiscite.
“If it would help foster lasting peace in Mindanao, why not?” Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said when asked if he would help campaign for the law to get the support of Mindanaoans.
Go said the Moro people have been waiting “for so long” for the approval of the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro, more known to Mindanaoans as the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
He said the leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) earlier asked for his support for the law’s passage.
“Alam kong masaya sila ngayon (I know they are happy now),” he told reporters on the sidelines of the mass oath-taking of the new members of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) in Pantukan Municipality, Compostela Valley province on Thursday where he was invited by the party as guest.
“Personally masaya ako na officially napasa na ito matagal rin nilang hinintay ito (Personally, I am happy it was passed officially. They (Moro people) have been waiting for this,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Bicameral Conference Committee approved the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro after six days of deliberations by the Senate and House panels in reconciling their respective versions of the landmark measure.
Advocates of the law said it aims to address the historical injustices committed against the Moro people and to grant political and fiscal autonomy to the region.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) hailed the law’s landmark provisions, such as on 75-25 wealth sharing scheme in favor of the Bangsamoro.
This increases the share of the Bangsamoro in government tax revenues by 5 percent compared with the current 70 percent being received by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) from national internal revenue taxes, fees, and charges, as well as taxes imposed on natural resources, OPAPP said in a statement.
The law also calls for the automatic allocation of the annual block grant for the Bangsamoro region, as well as the Special Development Fund in which the national government will allocate PHP5 billion to the Bangsamoro annually for a period of 10 years. It also provides for the Shari’ah or Islamic Law justice system that complies with the Constitution.