President Rodrigo Duterte is set to personally campaign or the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) by going to Cotabato City later this week.
A plebiscite will be held for the ratification of Republic Act No. 11054, otherwise known as the "Organic Law or the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao" on January 21 in ARMM, Cotabato City and Isabela City.
On February 6 a plebiscite will be held in Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato and other areas, which petitioned for the BARMM inclusion.
Duterte will attend the "peace assembly" for BOL ratification on January 18 at ARMM Office of the
Regional Governor Compound in Cotabato City.
"The President's voice is a powerful influencing voice," said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a regular press briefing Tuesday.
The local government of Cotabato City led by Mayor Frances Cynthia Sayadi has been opposing the inclusion of the city in the BARMM.
Panelo said Duterte supports the ratification of the BOL as the President believes that this would solve the decades-old problem in Mindanao.
"From the point of view of the President, the BOL will solve the age-old problem of the Muslim rebellion," he said.
While Duterte is hopeful for the ratification of the BOL, Panelo assured that whatever would be the result of the plebiscite, the President would respect it.
"If despite the support and the campaign, the overwhelming majority or even the slight majority say
they rejected it, the President cannot do anything but to comply of the sovereign voice of the people in
Mindanao," he added.
At the same time, Panelo said that Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. could be misinformed about the
supposed lack of budget for the holding of the plebiscite or the BOL.
"His statement is misplaced and without basis. There are funds for the plebiscite," he said.
Andaya, in a privilege speech on Monday, said that Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno failed to earmark
funds for the plebiscite. Celerina Monte/DMS