Muslim Bangsamoro Celebrates Three Years of Autonomy

Mindanao, MINA – The Bangsamoro autonomous region in the southern Philippines on Friday celebrated three years of autonomous rule.

“Three years ago, we made a choice,” said Bangsamoro Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim in his message to mark the three years of his autonomous government, Anadolu Agency reported.

“It is a choice that will determine our collective future as a region and as a people,” he added.

In 2018, a decades-long insurgency by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) resulted in peace negotiations with the Philippine government, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) was created following the signing of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

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The local government is run by the Bangsamoro Transitional Authority (BTA) under Ebrahim. January 21 is observed as BARMM Founding Day, the day when a plebiscite was held in 2019, which officially ratified the Bangsamoro Basic Law and established the BARMM.

“The decision to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law is a manifestation of our togetherness that we are ready to move forward to move forward from the nightmares of the past, from yesterday’s mistakes and to move forward as a united nation,” he said.

The local government held a week-long program to commemorate the three years of its establishment.

Last year, the Philippine parliament adopted changes to the BOL and extended BARMM’s term until 2025 when the first elections were rescheduled.

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BARMM had reached a three-year interim term that was due to expire this year but the BOL was amended to allow the Ebrahim-led government to achieve all targets including the decommissioning of former MILF fighters.

Acknowledging the challenges facing his administration including political dynamics, bureaucratic adjustments and the ongoing pandemic, Ebrahim urged people to “celebrate our victories and acknowledge our lessons along the way, especially the chapters that are close to our community.”

“After all, the point of this transition period is to improve the lives of our people,” he stressed.

“As we enter the next three years of a transition period, let us work together to maintain the achievement of peace and moral governance. Only then can we truly say that we have succeeded as a region and as a people,” he said. (T/RE1)

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Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)