MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday there is less fighting in central Mindanao following the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
"We've been able to strike a solution in central Mindanao. There is less fighting now because of the BOL and I would like to congratulate my brother Muslims, Moros of Mindanao," he said in a speech during the opening of dusitD2 Davao Hotel in Davao City.
The BOL, which grants greater fiscal and political autonomy to predominantly Muslim provinces and cities, was ratified in January.
It was created in 2014 as part of a peace deal between the government and the Philippines’ largest Muslim separatist group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
During his speech, Duterte said the New People's Army (NPA), which is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), remains a "big problem."
"I just hope that we'll be able to do something about it before my term ends," he said.
Duterte told investors it is unwise to set up shop in the western side of Mindanao, which has endured decades of conflict.
"I do not think that it would be prudent for you to consider it. Maybe in the fullness of God's time will be able to come up with something, a workable solution for all," he said.
The president instead recommended Visayas, particularly in Cebu and Bohol, as top investment destinations.
"Visayas would be a good place to look at and think of the things that you can do or invest your money in those places... 'yung Cebu and Bohol are really good places to consider," he said.—With reports from Chrislen Bulosan, ABS-CBN News