Duterte says there's
President Rodrigo Duterte said the national government and the newly created Bangsamoro government seemed to be "disconnected" with each other.
In an interview with reporters in Malacanang on Thursday night, Duterte urged the Moro Islamic Liberation Front-led Bangsamoro government to fast-track its organization, including the development of the Liguasan Marsh, believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits.
"There seems to be a disconnect between me and them. So I was looking for (Al Haj) Murad (Ebrahim). He was not there," Duterte said, recalling a certain occasion.
Murad is the interim chief minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and MILF chairman.
"I said, ‘Hurry up. Set up the government that you have long wanted for.’ Do it and one of fears of the Moro of Mindanao was that the Liguasan Marsh --- was they think --- and I believe them-- that is really full of resources including oil. I said, exploit it. It’s all yours," Duterte said.
"Nobody will ask for it except (Finance Secretary Carlos) Dominguez maybe for the taxes. And they are just minimal, taxation just for regulation. It’s not really for income," he added.
But he said if Moro brothers would feel generous, "they might also on the side probably share whatever wealth there is underneath those swathes of lands there."
Duterte has said he was considering Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol to be the new head of the Mindanao Development Authority to act as the national government's coordinator with the BARMM.
He said if Murad and the Bangsamoro people would agree to Pinol's appointment, his order to the DA chief would be, "Get them started hurry up, hurry them up so that they would have the first regular organized government that they have long wished for."
BARMM was established following the passage last year of its law and the ratification of its people through a plebiscite early this year. Celerina Monte/DMS