MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he is confident the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) will pass the upcoming plebiscite.
Duterte signed the law late July, paving the way for wider self-rule to the Muslim minority in the south.
"I hope and I pray that something good will come out of the BOL. Though the plebiscite is forthcoming, we have every reason to believe that it would pass the people’s will at sana magkaroon tayo ng kapayapaan because if not mahirapan tayo nito," Duterte said in a speech in Tagaytay City.
"There could be a serious issue there in the Supreme Court but I just hope that it would be resolved in favor of what is really right and just to everybody. Because kung hindi mo i-address ‘to, we will be fighting an insurgency that would never end."
The plebiscite will be held first in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Cotabato City, and Isabela City in Basilan on Jan. 21.
The rest of the core territories, including contiguous areas that asked to be included in the new Bangsamoro area, will get to vote on Feb. 6.
The Bangsamoro Organic Law is one of the requirements under a 2014 peace agreement between Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the country's largest Muslim rebel group.
It will install a Bangsamoro political entity in place of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and is envisioned to grant wider self-rule to predominantly Muslim provinces and cities.
Duterte is banking on the bill's passage to heal "historical injustices" suffered by the Moros. --Report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News