President Duterte to visit ARMM tomorrow

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COTABATO CITY  (January 17) — President Rodrigo Duterte will visit the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) tomorrow , January 18, to show support the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

In a Palace press briefing on Tuesday, Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the “President’s voice is a powerful influencing voice.”

Thousands of pro-BOL supporters and ARMM employees are expected to attend the peace rally to be held here jointly organized by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Operation in various ARMM agencies will be suspended on Friday from 11 a.m. in support of the event.

This will be the last ARMM visit of the President before the ratification of the new Bangsamoro government. ARMM will cease to exist after the expected ratification of the BOL. The law will create the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman is urging his constituents to support the Bangsamoro government and participate in the plebiscite. Gov. Hataman has already met his cabinet on plans for the final stretch of the present autonomous regional government.

Engr. Baintan Ampatuan, chief of the ARMM’s planning and development office, said they are “now writing the ARMM transition report.” It includes an inventory of ARMM officials and personnel since 1991, assets, liabilities, devolution documents, technical documents, executive issuances, and legislations.

MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim believes the visit of President Duterte will boost the morale of pro-BOL supporters. “The president himself has been persistent in the ratification of the BOL. His visit will boost the morale of our supporters,” Chairman Murad said.

Around 2.8 million voters are expected to participate in the plebiscite based on estimates of the Commission on Elections. The plebiscite will be held on January 21 in areas under the ARMM, Cotabato City, and Isabela City, and on February 6 in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato, which are both outside ARMM’s coverage. –ARMM/Bureau of Public Information

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