Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday promised that his presidency would address the root causes–poverty, inequality and injustice–of armed conflict that sank areas in Mindanao in deep and decades-old conflict.
In a statement, Binay said he would work with all organizations and sectoral groups in creating “a shared national agenda” that will address the core issues because “this is the road to lasting peace.”
“I intend to pursue peace negotiations that will lead to a meaningful and final resolution of the armed conflict, which persists in some areas,” his statement said.
“My presidency will be one that will heal the wounds of political and ideological differences and united the people under one flag,” he added.
In March, Binay said the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), a product of the signed peace deal between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that will create a new autonomous government with more teeth than the current one, should not be the only option toward establishing a lasting peace in Mindanao.
Back then, the Vice President is yet to resign from the official family of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, and had not outrightly called out the administration for what it now calls an inefficient and insensitive governance.
Binay voiced out his concerns against the unconstitutionality of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain, a provision of the BBL that would create the Bangsamoro Judicial Entity (BJE), giving special jurisdictional powers to the Muslim community in Mindanao.
He said the government must not rush the passage of the law just because it sees the peace deal as a legacy of the Aquino administration that must be passed before the President steps down from office in 2016.
Although the BBL was identified as one of the priority bills for the current 16th Congress to tackle, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. admitted that time is running out for the bill’s passage.
The month of September will be devoted to tackling the approval of the BBL, as well as other priority measures.
Belmonte earlier promised he will do all he can to have the BBL voted upon in the plenary.