MANILA -– President Benigno S. Aquino III’s submission to Congress of a draft law that will create a new and more powerful autonomous region in the Southern Philippines on Wednesday reaped praises from the international community.
The United Nations called it a “critical milestone” in the implementation of the peace agreement that was signed in March by the Philippine government and the former rebel group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
“The UN congratulates the representatives of the government of the Philippines and the MILF for their perseverance, the willingness to compromise ad make difficult choices for the wider public good, and for the extremely hard work of many that has produced this consensus law,” a statement Wednesday from the world body said.
Canada said the submission of the draft legislation is an “important step” in achieving lasting peace in war-ravaged Mindanao.
The Bangsamoro Basic Law, drafted after the signing of the 2014 accord, will expand Muslim autonomy in Mindanao and establish a political entity, called the Bangsamoro.
“Canada welcomes the submission of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law to Congress. This and the pending substantive debate on the bill are important steps in the process aimed at achieving lasting peace and long-term prosperity in Mindanao,” Ambassador Neil Reeder said in a statement.
Reeder also praised the “diligent efforts” of the government to“continue to bring new hope for an era of opportunity for the people of Mindanao, the people of the Philippines and partners in the surrounding region.”
“Together with the international community, Canada remains committed to being an active partner in continuing our support for the establishment and implementation of the Bangsamoro,” Reeder said.