ARMM officials ready to leave once Bangsamoro outfit is up PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 24 August 2013 14:32

Officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao reiterated Friday their readiness to vacate their post even before 2016 if the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front reaches a final compact leading to the ARMM’s replacement with a Bangsamoro entity.

The tenure of elected ARMM officials, from the regional governor down to the members of the Regional Legislative Assembly, started on June 30 and will last until June 30, 2016.

ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, chairman of the regional peace and order council, said their reassurance was a “vote of confidence” for the government and MILF’s peace panels, now trying to iron out in Malaysia the remaining two annexes — on power sharing and normalization – to the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro (FAB).

The FAB is to be the basis for the crafting of an enabling law for the setting up of a new, MILF-led Bangsamoro political entity that would replace the ARMM.

“We in the ARMM are moving forward to fulfill our mandate, as elected officials, while supporting, to the best we can, the on-going peace talks between the government and the MILF,” Hataman said.

Hataman said all appointed members of the regional cabinet helping oversee more than 40 line agencies and support offices under the Office of the Regional Governor are just as ready pack and leave to pave the way for a transition from the ARMM to the new entity the government and MILF are to jointly put up.

Hataman said he and his subordinate-elected and appointed officials were elated seeing that the recent spate of deadly bombings and hostilities instigated by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters did not dampen the zeal of the GPH and MILF panels to forge ahead with the crafting of the remaining annexes to the FAB,

“We here in the ARMM will always put enough premiums to the peace process. In fact, we made `peace and security’ as one of our pillars in pursuing much-needed reforms in the regional bureaucracy,” Hataman said.

Hataman’s administration exercises political and administrative jurisdiction over Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are both in mainland Mindanao, the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and the cities of Lamitan and Marawi.

“We made a covenant with the voters in the ARMM during the May 2013 campaign period that we shall step down if final GPH-MILF peace deal will require. We are keeping that in our hearts. That was a word of honor,” Hataman said.

The 39th GPH-MILF exploratory talks in Malaysia started the other day, with both panels optimistic of its fruitful outcome.