DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday, vowed to walk an extra mile to work on a ‘one republic’ for all Filipinos inclusive of Chirstians, Muslims and Lumad.
In his speech during the Bangsamoro Assembly in Old Provincial Capitol, Barangay Crossing Simuay in Sultan Kudarat, the President reiterated the need to correct the historical injustices committed against the Moro and indigenous people.
“The imperialism created a monster by giving away the lands and adopting I said, iyong mga homestead, iyong mga cadastral land – and sadly to the exclusion of many. And most of them, who were left behind or left out, were really the Lumads here and most of the Moro people,” Duterte said.
He said that these injustices started long time ago and if not solved, wars will continue. Duterte sees peace talks as a good solution for this issue.
“Yan ang problema kaya interesado ako ng areglo! Kung maari lang sana, let’s talk about peace, peace and peace as we build and build and build our country – nothing [sic] wrong with that. It is a matter of talking,” Duterte said.
Duterte talked about his plan for an inclusive peace talks where he will ask the Congress to hold a special session to hear the issues of Moro and Lumad.
“So ang proposal ko ganito, I will ask Congress, I said, one day, one session, Nur, Kagi and all should be there to present their platform. And then we will work out if it—can if—if it’s not in consonance with each other, then we work out but at least Congress and the Filipino people should be given a day to hear you out on what we intend to do. Me, I support you,” said Duterte.
Duterte has been very vocal in supporting the establishment of a more independent and powerful Bangsamoro government, if approved by Congress.
The Bangsamoro Assembly held on November 26-27, gathered stakeholders of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
While upbeat with the acceleration of peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Duterte slammed doors for peace talks with the communists.
“We tried another war and we have to deal with another war. But we are willing to talk peace. But for the communist, let me be very clear, “One republic, no coalition!” Government must be the sole authority and we decide it all, we’ll have the election,” said Duterte.
Last week, Duterte signed Proclamation No. 360 declaring the termination of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines’ (GRP) peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
This, despite the unprecedented advances of the talks including the initial draft documents reflecting substantial agreements on socio-economic reforms, which includes the land distribution program.
A day before his talk at the Bangsamoro Assembly, NDFP chief political consultant Prof. Jose Maria Sison called Duterte a big liar on the question of coalition government citing two separate statements made by Duterte in the past.
In December 2014, Duterte said he is open to forge a coalition government with the communists when elected as President. However, in November 2017, he said that coalition government with the communists is a ‘pure nonsense’.
“He [Duterte] thinks that he can move on from success to success at political swindling. Now, he is being carried away by his obsession to establish a fascist dictatorship through charter change under the pretext of adopting a pseudo-federal system under his overcentralized despotism and terrorism,” said Sison.(davaotoday.com)