Duterte: I want BBL before the end of the year

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 26) — President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he wants the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) passed before the year ends.

"I want to finish it this year," Duterte said during his visit in Jolo, Sulu. "I want to have a result of this at the end of the year."

Duterte inspected loose firearms surrendered by the local government and witnessed the presentation of surrendered members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

The President has repeatedly stressed that the BBL will help satisfy the Moro people's aspirations for real autonomy.

Even as he pushes for the law's passage soon, Duterte admitted he has some concerns about its implementation specifically on governance issues among different groups.

He also expressed concern on who will lead the Moro region should the BBL pass.

"Yan ang problema ko ngayon while the BBL is being processed in Congress. Pagdating ng panahon, who heads what? Magkanya-kanya ba o ilagay mo sa isang governing authority and who would it be?" Duterte said.

[Translation: That’s my problem while the BBL is being processed in Congress. When the time comes, who heads what? Would they act on their own or assign a governing authority and who would it be?]

To help resolve the BBL-related concerns, the President said he will meet with stakeholders for a whole day next week.

He also expressed openness to working with the ASG.

"Wala akong galit sa inyo. Wala akong galit sa Abu Sayyaf. I understand the situation...If there's a way that I can help you help me make it through the night sa presidency ko, magpasalamat talga ako kasi wala ako ibang hangarin kundi bigyan ng kapayapaan ang Moro sa Mindanao,” Duterte said.

[Translation: I’m not mad at you. I’m not mad at the Abu Sayyaf. I understand the situation...If there's a way that I can help you help me make it through the night in my presidency, I would be really thankful because I want nothing but peace for the Moro in Mindanao.]

On February 28, the Senate Committees on Local Government, Ways and Means, and Finance, and the Subcommittee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law submitted Senate Bill No. 1717 or the "Bangsamoro Basic Law."

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Miguel Zubiri, was filed after 11 public hearings, and six days of technical working group meetings.

During his campaign, Duterte promised to bring peace in the south through the passage of the BBL.

Should it pass, the BBL will provide a basic structure of government focusing on the rights of the Bangsamoro people, described as "natives or original inhabitants of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago and its adjacent islands including Palawan."

The measure paves the way for the creation of the Bangsamoro, the successor to the ARMM established in 1989 through Republic Act 6734.

It also delineates authority in the region by assigning jurisdiction of reserved powers for the Central government, exclusive powers for the Bangsamoro government, and concurrent powers for both the Central and the Bangsamoro governments.