By Kathleen Mae Bulquerin
President Rodrigo Duterte signed yesterday the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) and the PH Identification or national ID Act which he called public order measures that will guarantee peace and a good future for Filipinos.
Both measures “not only impact peace and order, but also chart a future where every Filipino, regardless of ethnicity, culture, or religious affiliation, can enjoy the freedom this nation proudly stands for,” Duterte said.
The Palace held a ceremonial reenactment of the signing of the BOL along with the actual signing of the national ID law in Malacañang.
On the BOL, Duterte appealed for Filipinos to give the new Bangsamoro region a chance.
“Let us give this law a chance to address the Bangsamoro people’s aspiration for genuine autonomy while preserving our bond as a single nation,” the President said.
He added that the single national identification system law will enhance governmental transactions and encourage the environment for trade and commerce to thrive.
“Together, let us shatter the clouds that once loomed over our nation, and welcome our brighter future not only for the Bangsamoro people, but also for peace-loving Filipinos,” he said.
The President added that there should be no apprehensions about the ID Act since it will provide data privacy and security.
The ID law “will not only enhance governance, but will also reduce corruption and avoid fraudulent transactions,” Duterte assured.
“I ask my Bangsamoro brothers and sisters, as well as the indigenous communities and Christian settlers living within the Bangsamoro areas, to actively participate in constructive discussions about the law in your homes, in your villages, and communities,” Duterte said.
“More importantly, I encourage you to take part in the upcoming plebiscite so that you may express your sovereign will through the ballot,” he added.
Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Jesus Dureza said the plebiscite on the BOL could take place by late November or early December.
Duterte thanked lawmakers responsible for supporting his administration’s legislative agenda, including Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Partisan politics hurdled
“Indeed, the passage of these laws speak well of their able leadership and firm resolve to rise above divisive partisan politics,” Duterte said.
The Chief Executive also expressed gratitude to the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) for their unwavering commitment in pursuing the passage of the BOL.
Last 26 July, Duterte signed the BOL, or Republic Act 11054, a law that will establish a new Bangsamoro political entity to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), but did not hold any ceremony.
The Philippine National Police (PNP), meanwhile, said the Duterte administration is already reaping peace dividends from the President’s strong resolve against crime and drugs.
“The index crime rate went down in the country by 46.98 percent for the past two years since Duterte became the President,” PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde told media.
“The crimes against person went down by 30.42 percent, while the crimes against properties went down by 56.16 percent. So this is all covered by statistics and record,” Albayalde said.
He added majority of the criminal cases percentage went down, except the murder cases which went up by 1.5 percent.
“Murder cases went up slightly by 1.5 percent, it covered the July 2014 to June 2018, all the rest went down including homicide, it went down by 10.8 percent. The physical injuries cases went down by 39.79 percent, even the rape cases went down by 19.88 percent,” Albayalde also added.
“I am pleased to announce that of the 9,866 High Value Targets (HVT) in the list of drug personalities subject to interdiction operations only 918 or 9.3 percent remain unaccounted as of 30 June 2018.