Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday reiterated the government's strong support for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which will pave the way for the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
"We in the national government, most especially in your Department of National Defense (DND), fully support the BOL and the BARMM. For all we know, only unity and love of country can propel us to greater heights as one nation," Lorenzana said in his speech at the "BOL Meeting de Avance" at the Mindanao State University (MSU) campus municipality of Jolo, Sulu, which was forwarded to reporters in Manila.
Lorenzana noted that the measure will help the Bangsamoro people attain social justice, equality, peace and prosperity.
"Through the BARMM, the socio-economic potentials of Muslim Mindanao will be realized and strengthened. Our 1987 Philippine Constitution guarantees an equal opportunity for every Filipino," the defense chief added.
The BOL plebiscite is slated to be held on January 21.
"The ideal Mindanao we are all aspiring is now coming into a reality. Yes, our vision for the land of Mindanao is now gaining a very positive momentum. This is our national aspiration: A sustainable peace, enduring political stability and socio-economic advancement towards our dream for a world-class Philippines," he added.
Lorenzana also stressed that the "BOL Meeting de Avance" is a clear testament that the Bangsamoro People of Mindanao are lovers of peace and are all eager to contribute to national prosperity.
"Let me therefore state that with the eventual ratification of the BOL, the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or the ARMM will be supplanted by a better and bolder Bangsamoro (Autonomous) Region in Muslim Mindanao or BARMM. This is our dream, this is our national aspiration. Together we will succeed," he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the BOL on July 27, 2018.
The law is part of his campaign promise to heed the Moro people’s clamor for genuine autonomy, saying the nation needs to address the “historical injustices committed against the Moro people” in Mindanao.
Photo from PCI