President Rodrigo Duterte asked the new Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to clear all obstructions to peace in Mindanao.
“I am urging the BTC to navigate the hindrances and obstructions and find the way to peace. That is difficult,” the President told the expanded 21-member BTC during its launch in Davao City Friday night.
While there is a solution acceptable to everybody, the road to peace is a long journey, Duterte said, assuring the commission that he will always be there to support them.
“Maybe in front of the Filipino nation, I will ask every Filipino to vote for it because it will make us a great nation, so I leave it up to you,” he said.
The BTC will craft the new Bangsamoro enabling law for the implementation of the peace accords the government signed with Muslim groups.
The event was attended by more than a thousand people representing the Senate and House of Representatives committees on peace, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), government agencies and stakeholders. Among them were Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza, Irene Santiago, chairperson of the Government Panel Implementing the Bangsamoro Accords, MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim and MILF vice chairman for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar.
The BTC was formally created by virtue of an Executive Order signed by the President. Its members are Jose Lorena, Maisara Dandamun-Latiph, Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, Datu Mussolini Sinsuat Lidasan, Dr. Susana Salvador-Anayatin, Atty. Hussin Amin, Romeo Saliga, Hatimil Hassan, Firdausi Ismail Abbas, Omar Yasser Sema, Ghadzali Jaafar, Mohagher Iqbal, Abdulraof Abdul Macacua, Ibrahim Ali, Haron Abas, Atty. Raissa Jajurie, Said Shiek, Hussein Muñoz, Melanio Ulama, Gafur Kanain, and Ammal Solaiman.
The EO was one of the agreements reached during the August meeting between the implementing panels of the government and the MILF in Malaysia, where they discussed the new Peace and Development Roadmap for the implementation of all signed peace agreements.
Dureza said the signing of the agreement signals the start of efforts by both panels to come up with an inclusive Bangsamoro law that will truly reflect and address the clamor for genuine political autonomy.
He said it is another milestone under the Duterte administration that provides the golden opportunity of fulfilling a promise for peace in Mindanao.
Dureza urged all members and stakeholders to come together and support the BTC members, who have the competence to craft the law.
“There is a bigger table where stakeholders are waiting to be heard,” he said, encouraging everybody to “stay the course because the road to peace is not a smooth road.”