MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte will help Bangsamoro authorities seek an extension of the transition period for the region, which has won new political and economic powers in a push for peace, his spokesman said Thursday.
Duterte has noted that the extension needs the approval of Congress because a law set the transition period's end in 2022, when the Bangsamoro people will elect new leaders, said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
"Ang sabi niya, tutulong siya para maamyendahan ang batas na 'yan," Roque told reporters, referring to Republic Act 11054, or the Bangsamoro Organic Law. "Pero ang kinakailangan talaga, makipag-ugnayan ang mga taga-BARMM sa ating mga kongresista at senador."
(He said that he will help so that the law can be amended. But the BARMM officials really need to coordinate with our congressmen and senators.)
Duterte, the first President from Mindanao, had promised the creation of the Bangsamoro region in the lead-up to the 2016 elections. Halfway through his 6-year term, Duterte delivered on this vow that is hoped to end the decades of violence in the south.
Watch more in iWantTFC Video courtesy of PTV
The Bangsamoro Parliament recently said the coronavirus pandemic deprived them of time to carry out the transition, including programs, projects, and services.
Leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) last year took their oaths as members of the transition government of the Bangsamoro.
The interim period is supposed to allow the MILF to "transform from a revolutionary organization to governance and bureaucracy," said the region's interim chief minister Murad Ebrahim.
"Ito iyung panahon namin na mag-transform, itong transition, kaya kailangan bigyan kami ng chance," he said last year.
(This is the time for us to transform, this transition, so we should be given a chance.)
The law, signed in July 2018, was the product of a 2014 peace deal between the government and the MILF.