COTABATO CITY: Leaders of the Bangsamoro government have clarified the extension it sought for the transition of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to 2025 is about making sure peace process goals are met.
BARMM spokesman and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo and Mohagher Iqbal answered their inquiries on the proposed extension of the Bangsamoro transition period from 2022 to the year 2025.
Iqbal, BARMM education minister, said the bid to extend the period of transition is to ensure that “the foundation of peace shall be well-established on the ground.”
“The extension is not about power. It is also not about trying to extend our presence in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,” he said.
Iqbal explained that one of the bases for the extension is for the interim government of the day, headed by Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim, to fully accomplish its functions and duties during the transition period.
He said since the inception of the Bangsamoro Government in March 2019, it just continued to implement the unfinished programs and projects of the previous Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with its remaining funds.
With the BARMM’s first block grant in 2020, Iqbal said the region’s different ministries and offices had prepared several plans, projects and programs.
But its implementations were drastically hampered by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The projects remained unfinished because of the pandemic. We have to follow through with the projects this year,” Iqbal said.
On the other hand, Sinarimbo reiterated that the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) still have many uncompleted obligations in the implementation of the peace process, particularly on the normalization track.
“Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr pointed out that the implementation would not be completed until 2022. It is his recommendation to pursue it until it is done,” he said.
“We should all contribute to ensuring that peace agreements’ dream of creating a peaceful progressive Bangsamoro is achieved. The only way to achieve that is to postpone the 2022 election at the regional level, and ensure that by the next 3 years we are able to complete all the work that needs to be done, so that the peace agreement is complied with, and the organic law is fully implemented,” Sinarimbo added.
AND ASANGAN MADALE