Maguindanao’s ALIM reaffirms support to peace process PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 15 November 2014 11:32

Local executives from across Maguindanao convened in Cotabato City on Thursday to renew commitment to the Mindanao peace process and regroup into one bloc for them to easily address the political and socio-economic challenges confronting the province.

The pledging session capped off the 2nd general assembly at the Alnor Convention Center in Cotabato City of the Alliance of Lumad, Iranun and Maguindanaon (ALIM) leaders, comprised of mayors, vice-mayors and sectoral representatives from Maguindanao’s 36 towns.

The assembly, where participants discussed vital community peace and security issues, was jointly presided over by Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, Vice Gov. Lester Sinsuat, and Rep. Sandra Sema.

Rep. Sema, congressional representative of the first district of Maguindanao, is a member of the House ad-hoc committee tasked to legislate the draft Basic Bangsamoro Law (BBL),

The draft BBL is the enabling measure for the creation of a Bangsamoro entity based on the peace compact between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

A senior member of the provincial board, lawyer Bobby Katambak, one of the organizers of the ALIM assembly, said the event was meant to disprove assertions by “politically hostile” quarters that local officials in Maguindanao are fragmented on their positions on the government’s on-going peace overture with the MILF.

“This is also to disprove speculations that local leaders in the province are politically disunited. No, we are not. We cannot get disunited under any situation,” Katambak said.

Besides the incumbent regional officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, only political leaders in Maguindanao, from among ARMM’s five provinces, have openly been campaigning for the speedy passage of the draft BBL.

The ALIM gathering was attended by Regional Speaker Ronnie Sinsuat of the 24-member ARMM Assembly, touted as the “Little Congress” of the autonomous region, and Assemblyman Khadafy Mangudadatu, younger sibling of Maguindanao’s incumbent provincial governor.

ALIM members agreed during their assembly to unite and help each other sustain the momentum of the now on-going recovery of the province from devastation wrought by secessionist conflicts in decades past.

Maguindanao is host to more than 50 government-acknowledged MILF enclaves covered by the group’s July 1997 ceasefire pact with government.

Vice Gov. Sinsuat, chairman of ALIM, said their association of lumad, Iranun and Maguindanaon community leaders have actively been supporting the efforts of the provincial government to amicably resolve clan wars, called “rido” in the vernacular, involving Moro families.

He said ALIM also supports the peace and socio-economic thrusts of Gov. Mangudadatu.

Vice Gov. Sinsuat had also clarified that there is no truth to spreading stories that he and the governor are now politically estranged due to irreconcilable political differences.

Gov. Mangudadatu, chairman of the provincial peace and order council, said the ALIM assembly is a “show of force” to project how leaders in Maguindanao support the implementation, “in letter and spirit,” of the March 27, 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) between the government and the MILF.

Vice Gov. Sinsuat said he is thankful to his subordinate provincial lawmaker, Katambak, and the appointed deputy governor of Maguindanao, Ramil Dilangalen, for organizing ALIM’s 2nd general assembly.