Sat. May 25th, 2019

Local execs to support normalization efforts of BARMM

COTABATO CITY — Officials will maximize efforts to resolve clan wars in support of the disarmament goal of Malacañang and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The peace deal between the government and the MILF is partly focused on decommissioning of guerillas while they are being reintroduced into the mainstream communities.

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu told reporters Saturday it would be easier for the disarmament program of the fledgling Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, or BARMM, to takeoff if clan wars involving certain members of the MILF and big families have all been resolved peacefully.

“We already have the MTFRU to help the MILF address clan wars in the province to hasten its decommissioning of guerillas as agreed by the national government and the MILF,” Mangudadatu said, referring to the Maguindanao Task Force on Reconciliation and Unification.

The MTFRU has settled more than 200 deadly clan wars in Maguindanao since its inception after the election in 2010 of Mangudadatu, whose third and last term as governor will end on June 30.

Mangudadatu said he will also invite a representative from the newly-launched MILF-led Bangsamoro Transition Authority, or BTA, to sit as member of the multi-sectoral provincial peace and order council, or PPOC, which he chairs as chief executive of the province.

“While we don’t have big problem anymore about this `rido’ thing in Maguindanao since dozens have been settled peacefully we cannot be complacent. There are still a number of family feuds that we need to settle as soon as possible,” Mangudadatu said.

The now outgoing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Mujiv Hataman said Saturday he has urged members of the PPOC in Basilan, his home-province, to expand their reconciliation programs in support of BARMM and Malacañang’s joint normalization goals.

The ARMM government and the Basilan PPOC have facilitated the surrender of 237 Abu Sayyaf bandits in the province in the past 24 months, now thriving as entrepreneurs grouped in different fishermen and farmers’ cooperatives.

“Residents of Basilan do not have problem supporting the normalization and decommissioning agenda of BARMM. We in the province voted for the ratification of its charter, the Bangsamoro Organic Law, during the plebiscite last January 21,” Hataman said.

The BTA, which President Rodrigo Duterte launched last Friday, will oversee the transition from ARMM to BARMM, expected to commence in March.

Hataman and members of his regional cabinet have assured of a smooth turnover of the ARMM government to the BTA.

The transitory bloc shall operate under the ministerial control of the MILF’s figurehead, Hadji Murad Ebrahim.

The 80 members of the BTA, more than half of them representing the MILF, were sworn in Friday at Malacañang by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Employees of different agencies under ARMM’s Office of the Regional Governor, touted as the “little Malacañang of the autonomous region,” held on Friday an emotional flag retreat in what was for them their last, anticipating the start of BTA’s operation soon. (John Unson / PhilStar)

John Unson

John Unson, The Philippine Star's writer and the president of the Kampilan Defense Press Corps (KDPC) based in Sixth Infantry Division (6th ID) at Camp Siongco, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.