Terrorism resurgence feared over BOL challenge

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Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri yesterday warned Sulu may become the hotbed of terrorism in the country if its leaders will pursue their move to opt out of the areas under the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

At a forum, Zubiri branded the move by Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan II questioning the constitutionality of BOL before the Supreme Court as a “step backward” in the government’s goal to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao.

“We don’t want to step backward. We don’t want any recurrence of killings. This (BOL) is probably the best solution on the table to bring about long and just peace in Mindanao,” said Zubiri, author of the law.

“The extremists will take advantage and could make (Sulu) the hotbed of extremism or terrorism. They will become recruiting ground of terrorist fighters,” he cautioned.

President Duterte signed the BOL into law last August. It was the product of decades-long negotiations and agreements between the government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Only recently, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the MILF declared that war between the two sides is over.

Zubiri maintained the BOL can withstand any question of its constitutionality, citing the parliamentary set up is already being practiced in the current barangay system.

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