July 23, 2018 – Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza today lamented the Lower House’s non-ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) but said it had nothing to do with the law itself.
“It was due to some leadership issues internal to the House of Representatives,” Dureza said in an interview with Radio-Television Malacañang (RTVM) hours after the House adjourned abruptly without ratifying the BOL.
“Everybody was expecting BOL signing, but due to leadership issues, BOL became collateral damage,” he added.
The Senate had earlier in the day ratified the Bicameral Conference Committee version of the Bangsamoro law, known as the “Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.”
It was supposed to be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte before his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) but this was derailed when the Lower House failed to ratify it.
Despite the debacle, Dureza said he remains hopeful that the law will soon be ratified. “We expect that eventually, BOL will be ratified and signed by the President.”
The Bangsamoro Organic Law is part of the political track of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) – a peace deal that was signed between the government and the MILF in 2014.
The law will strengthen the current autonomy set-up for the Moros in Mindanao, giving them more control over their resources and political power over the new Bangsamoro region in Mindanao.