AFTER decades of violence, uncertainty, hunger and poverty, President Duterte’s signing of the historic Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) is seen to transform Mindanao into a flourishing region.
But despite the signing of the landmark legislation, various quarters, including government officials and even the ordinary citizens across the country, concede that more hard work still lies ahead.
Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza, a former newspaperman, said last Monday’s ceremonial signing of the law at Malacañang “marks a major milestone” in the peace process.
By signing the BOL last July 26, President Duterte fulfilled one of his electoral campaign promises to bring lasting peace to Mindanao before he leaves the presidency on June 30, 2022.
What is important is that the long-awaited socio-economic development in the so-called “Land of Promise” has finally gotten off the ground with the signing of Republic Act (RA) No. 11054 or BOL.
“We cannot underplay the significance of this signing as we take comfort in this momentous step towards building the foundation of a lasting peace in Mindanao,” said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque.
Roque, a lawyer and a former member of the House of Representatives, said “we look forward to working with our countrymen in Mindanao in bringing the much needed development to the island.”
On the other hand, Ghazali Jaafar, head of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), said that the signing of the BOL “is a beginning of a new chapter in the history of the Moro people.”
For his part, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) implementing panel chair Mohagher Iqbal said Duterte’s signing of RA No. 11054 “is just the beginning,” adding that the real challenge lies ahead.
People see dire prospects of more problems if the two sides fail to implement commitments stipulated in the peace accords, from the creation of the transition government to the normalization process.