MANILA: The Philippine government said on Saturday that failure was not an option in the peace process with the largest Muslim rebel group in the country. Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte made this declaration in an interview at a state-run radio station amid continuous delay in coming up with a final version of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panels.
She said the Aquino administration was not entertaining skepticism and it was eyeing for success in the peace process.
"If you ask us, failure should not be on the horizon because this (peace process) is not for us. This is not for the President (Benigno Aquino III) personally but it's for our brothers and sisters in the Bangsamoro," Valte said.
"We will continue to push for this. Because as we know the President, when he says he wants to do this, he will really put his weight on it, as the phrase goes."
Peace panels working on the agreed version of the BBL clarified that they were making "good progress" in their work and have already completed over 70 percent of the draft bill, Valte noted, adding they said they are tackling the "hard issues" left.
MILF commanders reportedly have expressed disappointment over the delay in crafting a final version of the proposed Bangsamoro bill that will be submitted to Congress for its action.
The government and the MILF were eyeing that Congress would pass the law by December of this year. The BBL will serve as the organic law for the envisioned Bangsamoro entity that will replace the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and will end the four-decade armed struggle in southern Philippines.
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