CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: Newly elected officials of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have vowed to support the proposed federal government of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
Lawyer Ras Mitmug, the Chief of Staff of ARMM Governor-elect Mujib Hataman, said the governor has expressed pessimism that the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) would not prosper anymore.
However, in the absence of the BBL, the Hataman administration is willing to support Duterte’s call for federalism so the movement would bring lasting peace and development in the provinces under ARMM, Mitmug said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency.
Mitmug said the leaders of the various sectors in the Muslim-dominated region must first mutually agree on the details and mechanics of the proposed federal system.
Zia Alonto Adiong, the newly elected ARMM Assemblyman representing Lanao Del Sur, said he supports the idea of establishing a federal system of government.
However, Adiong said there is still a need to study further the details of the proposed federal system in order to make sure that the system would bring lasting peace in Mindanao.
He said federalism is ideal, but there are certain issues in the Muslim-dominated areas in Mindanao that could not be addressed by the federal form of government.
Nonetheless, Adiong said he still hopes for the passage of the BBL since its concept was the product of the collective efforts of the previous government, the peace advocates and various sectors in Mindanao.
He said the BBL addresses the issues of political apathy, oppression and social injustices that the minority of the people in Mindanao, including the Muslims and the Indigenous Peoples (IP), have suffered since the time of President Manuel Quezon.