By Genalyn D. Kabiling
President Duterte is apparently pulling out all the stops to make the Moro community happy.
The President has renewed his commitment to pursue federalism and the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, warning that violence might erupt in Mindanao if these initiatives fail.
“We avoid trouble in Mindanao, we go for a federal system, and we’ll try to craft something that could fit the BBL or whatever is convenient that could make the Moro happy,” Duterte said during his visit to Marawi City last Tuesday.
The President has advocated the shift to a federal form of government to decentralize power from Manila and spur development in the countryside especially in Mindanao that has been plagued by poverty and insurgency.
A 19-man consultative committee has been organized to review the Charter and submit recommendations within the year.
Duterte also believes the passage of the BBL would help correct historical injustices against the Moros and promote peace and development in the south.
He recently appealed for more time to pass the BBL, saying some provisions that may violate the Constitution may be corrected with the federal system.
In a press conference in Marawi last Tuesday, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said both federalism and BBL proposals remain priorities of the President.
Roque, however, noted that the President wants Congress to pass the BBL before pursuing Charter change to pave the way for a federal government system.
“Kasi kung hindi mauna ang BBL baka hindi na mangyari yung nais mangyari sa BBL kapag nagkaroon na ng Charter change to federalism so I heard him say that three times,” Roque said.