Ceremonial signing of Bangsamoro law on August 6

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 30 2018 08:52 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte will lead the ceremonial signing of the Bangsamoro Organic Law on August 6 in Malacañang, his top aide said.

Duterte announced last July 26 that he had signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which paves the way for wider self-rule to the Muslim minority in the south, but he said a ceremonial signing would still be held.

The Bangsamoro Organic Law is the product of years of negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Philippines’ largest Muslim separatist group.

Duterte's predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, forged the peace agreement with the MILF in 2014 but failed to get Congress to pass the law when he stepped down in 2016.

The 16th Congress halted debates due to public outrage over the deaths of 44 police commandos in a botched anti-terrorism raid in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in January 2015, where some MILF members were accused of involvement.

Some provisions in the Bangsamoro law's earlier versions also faced questions on constitutionality.

Duterte, the first Mindanaoan president, breathed new life into the Bangsamoro law, as he expanded the Bangsamoro Transition Commission which then went back to the drawing board and produced the proposed measure that the 17th Congress tackled and passed.

But challenges loom for the Bangsamoro law, as some groups might question its constitutionality. It will also need to get the approval of the people in a plebiscite.