PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is hopeful the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) will be ratified during the plebiscite set for January 21, 2019.
“May plebisito para sa BOL. Magdasal na lang tayo na makalusot. Kung hindi, ibang problema na naman ‘yan,” Duterte said in his native Cebuano during his visit to landslide victims in Naga City, Cebu.
According to the Commission on Elections, the plebiscite period will be from December 7, 2018 to February 5, 2019 while the campaign period will be from December 7, 2018 to January 19, 2019.
The poll body held last week a special registration in the proposed Bangsamoro core territory including the provinces and cities under the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, six towns in Lanao del Norte and 39 barangays in North Cotabato that voted for inclusion in the ARMM in 2001.
Enacted on July 27, the BOL aims to end decades of conflict in Mindanao by creating a political entity that would enjoy greater autonomy than the ARMM.
In his speech during the law’s presentation on August 6, Duterte asked the Moro people, the indigenous communities and Christian settlers living within the Bangsamoro areas, to actively participate in discussions about the law in their homes and communities.
He also encouraged them to take part in the upcoming plebiscite.
“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 and affirming the sovereignty of the indivisible Republic of the Philippines,” he said.