MANILA – The administration has attained various notable achievements in terms of ensuring peace and order in the country and part of this is the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said on Friday.
He cited this as one of the legacies of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in terms of attaining lasting peace in Mindanao.
“Ilang administrasyon yan na ipinaglaban pero ngayon lang sa panahon ni Presidente Duterte naging batas [Many administrations have pushed for it, but it was only now during the term of President Duterte that it became a law],” he said.
Through Republic Act 11054 or the ‘Bangsamoro Organic Law, the Muslim community in Mindanao was given the autonomy to pursue its political, economic, social, and cultural development in its indicated jurisdiction.
The legislation culminates the peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that spanned for 17 years since its talks started in 1997.
Apart from this, the administration’s anti-criminality, and anti-illegal drugs campaigns have pushed back the number of crimes reported across the country. According to Secretary Andanar, the crime volume in the country during the administration of President Duterte dropped by at least 64 percent.
Along with this, more than P50 billion worth of illegal drugs have been seized; more than 700 drug dens have been dismantled; and more than 1.2 million drug dependents have voluntarily surrendered themselves to be rehabilitated, to date.
“Mas panatag na ang loob ng ating mga kababayan na maglakad pauwi dahil [sila] ay kumbinsido na hindi sila mabibiktima ng krimen. Mayroon na pong law and order [Our countrymen are more at ease, that they can walk home knowing they will not be victims of crime. There is law and order],” he said as he went on to mention other initiatives which defanged modus operandi in airports, such as the tanim-bala extortion scheme and the so-called pastillas scheme.
The government has reported significant strides in terms of its anti-insurgency bid in conflict-affected areas in the countryside through the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
Secretary Andanar cited that more than 18,000 rebels have surrendered to the authorities because of the whole-of-nation approach. This approach has been successful in convincing communist rebels to give up the armed struggle as there are readily available programs and projects that will help them reintegrate into their communities.
There is also the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, which was signed by President Duterte to give the country more teeth in curbing threats and acts of terrorism.