Duterte signs Bangsamoro Organic Law

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 26) — In a historic move, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), creating the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

During a speech in Zamboanga City on July 26, the President said he had signed the new law.

"Napirmahan ko na ang BOL. I do not, I have no expectations. Baka hindi magustuhan ng lahat. O di tignan natin kung kayang i-modify, palitan," Duterte said.

[Translation: I have signed the BOL. I have no expectations, not everyone might like it. If so then we'll see if we can modify, change it.]

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed this in a message to reporters.

"This is to announce that the President has just signed the BOL into law," Roque said.

Officially called the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OLBARMM), the law abolishes the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) established in 1989 through Republic Act No. 6734. The ARMM groups the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

This comes days after the House of Representatives ratified the bill on Tuesday, after it was delayed due to the change in the chamber's leadership. The Senate ratified the proposed measure on Monday.

Duterte, the first Philippine President who hails from Mindanao, earlier certified the bill as urgent, prompting Congress to fast-track its passage. The bicameral conference committee approved the final version of the bill on July 18.

The historic law abolishes the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) established in 1989 through Republic Act 6734. The ARMM groups the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

The ARMM will be replaced by the the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The BOL, which is the result of decades-long peace talks, institutionalizes provisions of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro, the 2014 peace agreement signed by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The Bangsamoro government will be parliamentary-democratic in form, a first in the country's political history. It will be headed by the regional leader called Chief Minister, who will preside over an 80-member parliament.