AFP chief: BBL passage directly linked to peace

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine military is counting on Congress to finally pass the law that will create the new Bangsamoro region in Mindanao and fulfill a peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Congress resumed session on Tuesday, May 15. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives made commitments to pass the measure before the Second Regular Session ends on June 1.

On Tuesday, the House joint committees on local government, Muslim affairs, and peace, reconciliation, and unity approved the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) without any amendments.

"The passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law has a direct correlation to peace. It has a positive and direct correlation," said Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief General Carlito Galvez Jr.

According to the AFP chief, the BBL's passage will help the military's fight against violent extremism.

"Everything that will espouse lasting peace in Mindanao will really affect our counterterrorism effort. I believe we can hasten the counterterrorism efforts, especially in Central Mindanao," Galvez said.

He pointed out that there has been an assurance that Congress will pass the measure.

"We cannot be pessimistic. I believe the President has spoken that he wants to settle the Bangsamoro issues during his term. I believe he is very, very much committed to this," Galvez said. (READ: Duterte warns of 'trouble' if BBL not passed swiftly) –