Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo on Sunday urged voters to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law in the upcoming plebiscites to be conducted this week.
In her weekly radio show, Robredo expressed her support for the proposed law which will create the autonomous Bangsamoro region in place of the current system.
“Hinihikayat natin ang lahat na suportahan iyong pagpasa ng Bangsamoro Basic Law dahil ito nga iyong unang hakbang para makamit natin iyong tunay na kapayapaan sa rehiyon at para [itong] signal na hindi tayo magkaka-away at pagtulung-tulungan natin iyong pagbabago,” she said.
According to Robredo, the BOL would pave the way for lasting peace in Mindanao, adding that the measure is one of the government’s efforts to correct the “historical injustice” that had sparked several conflicts in the region.
“Parating sinasabi na iyong historical injustice noong nakaraan na siya iyong pinaka-ugat ng away-away. Pero ito, ito iyong attempt na talaga na para i-correct iyon. Pero dapat alam ng lahat na hindi ito iyong solusyon, hindi ito iyong kasagutan para sa lahat ng tanong pero ito ay unang hakbang pa lang,” she explained.
The BOL replaces the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region governed by the Bangsamoro Parliament elected by the Bangsamoro Region’s inhabitants.
In addition, the BOL also grants the Bangsamoro Region five percent of the net national internal revenue collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs as block grant, on top of at least P5 billion worth of Special Development Fund for the Bangsamoro Region every year for the next 10 years, starting 2019.
At least 2.8 million voters are expected to cast their votes in the plebiscite based on Comelec records.
The BOL plebiscite will be held on January 21, 2019 for the voters within ARMM areas, Isabela City in Basilan and Cotabato City. Those residing in Lanao del Norte except Iligan City and six North Cotabato municipalities, on the other hand, will vote on February 6, 2019.
“Sana tingnan ito na pagkakataon para maririnig iyong boses nila. [Iyong] pinakamahalaga sa lahat, sumali—sumali sa plebisito para marinig iyong boses. Suportahan ito kasi ito iyong magiging platform para lalong mabigyan ng pagkakataon na mapakinggan sila,” said Robredo. — Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/BM, GMA News