Palace welcomes UN, EU support for signed BOL

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DAVAO CITY (August 2) — Malacañang on Monday, July 30, welcomed the positive response of the international community to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s signing of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jr. in a Palace press briefing said the Philippine government acknowledges the praises it received from the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) on the enactment of the landmark measure.

“Of course, we are one with the whole world in praying that the Bangsamoro Organic Law would pave the way for lasting peace in Mindanao,” Roque stressed.

The BOL was signed into law by the President last week, following its ratification by both houses of Congress.

Meanwhile, the Palace official confirmed that President Duterte remains open to amending some provisions of the law to appease the worries of some sectors.

“I think the general sentiment of the President is, if there are those who want to object because of specific provisions, we’re open to reviewing the specific provisions,” Roque said, echoing a statement made by the President during his speech in an event in Jolo, Sulu.

The Spokesperson noted that while Sulu is traditionally a “bastion of opposition” for the Bangsamoro law, President Duterte would be willing to sit down with the local stakeholders there to discuss possible revisions to the measure.

“Traditionally, Sulu does not want to be part of it. But I think things have changed. I think this is already the fourth or fifth trip of the President to Jolo, Sulu. I don’t think any other President has made these many trips to Sulu,” Roque cited.

“And I think the message [of] the President is he really wants to reach out to the people of Sulu and he wants lasting peace to include Sulu,” he added.

The Secretary also refuted claims that the law’s enactment was rushed. He said substantial consultations were made with different sectors as well as with the members of Congress before BOL’s passage.

“It wasn’t really rushed. It’s been there. It’s been pending. It took us almost a year to discuss the BOL. There’ve been substantial consultations,” Roque said.-NewsLine.ph

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