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President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III

Pres. Aquino calls on lawmakers to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law

President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III
President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III

SULTAN KUDARAT, Philippines – President Benigno S. Aquino III has affirmed that the laying down of arms by “our Moro brothers” is a testament to their unreserved and honest participation in the talks to find lasting peace in Mindanao.
“Panawagan ko po ay suklian naman natin ang pagtitiwalang ipinakita nila (Moro Islamic Liberation Front – MILF) sa atin. Sikapin nating umabot sa puntong masasabi nating: Talagang binigay natin ang lahat ng pagkakataon upang mabago nila ang kanilang buhay at maabot ang kanilang mga pangarap,” he said during the turnover of 75 firearms belonging to the MILF and the decommissioning of 145 combatants under the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, held at the Old Capitol, in Simuay here Tuesday.
The President however deemed as unfortunate some lawmakers’ move to halt the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which was crafted by the government and the MILF to end the decades-long conflict in Mindanao that has left more than 100,000 people dead and has stalled economic development in the region.
“Nakakalungkot nga po na ang gustong isagot ng ilan sa ating mambabatas sa imbitasyong ito ay itigil ang BBL. Imbis na itanong: ‘Paano ko ba mapapabuti pa ang BBL para matugunan ang hinaing ng mga kababayan natin?’ tila pinag-iisipan pa ng iba ay ‘Paano ko ba ito pipigilan o haharangin?’,” he said.
He noted that he has personally invested his time and effort to ensure that the BBL is passed, recalling that he had one meeting with members of Congress, where it took them until the following morning to discuss and resolve the concerns of legislators, in an effort to come up with a refined version of the law.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.