News Release

President Duterte signs Bangsamoro Organic Law

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte raises his fist as he exclaims, 'Mabuhay ang Ipil!' in his speech during the celebration of the ‘69th Araw ng Ipil’ at the Ipil Municipal Plaza in Zamboanga Sibugay Province on July 26, 2018. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), formerly known as the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

“Signed na ang BBL,” President Duterte said in his speech during the 69th Araw ng Ipil here on Thursday, July 26.

The President said he still has to meet with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chairman Murad Ebrahim and vice chairman for political affairs Ghazali Jaafar for a “ceremony” in relation to the signed proposed measure.

He likewise said that he would be willing to talk to Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari to “create an autonomy” for him pending the implementation of a federal system of government.

“I’m trying to talk to everybody. I talked to the enemies of the state. I’m talking to Nur. Nur, if you are my brother Nur, if you are listening, I would like to thank you for just — narerendahan mo ‘yung pwersa. Let us talk because we are old. Fighting is no longer an option for you and for me. Usap na lang tayo,” Duterte said.

“To my brother Muslims and Christians, I really plead for peace. I do not want war. I cannot fight my own people,” he added.

The President was supposed to sign the BOL during his third State of the Nation Address last Monday, but the House of Representatives failed to ratify the measure. The House ratified the reconciled version of the bill on Tuesday.

New Ombudsman

Also in his speech, the President announced that he has appointed Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Martires as the new Ombudsman, replacing Conchita Carpio-Morales, who is retiring Thursday.

“We have a new Ombudsman. I signed the appointment of Justice Martires,” he said.

“He is bright and he is a fair man,” Duterte said describing Martires, a fellow graduate from San Beda.

While noting that he has no power to dictate upon the Ombudsman, he said his marching order to Martires is to “do what is right.”

“I do not have the power to order you. You belong to a different department. Independent ho tayo. Ang sabihin ko lang sa iyo. And this is my statement: Do what is right. That’s all,” he said. ###PND