ARMM officials assure President of support to creation of Bangsamoro PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 14 February 2014 12:56

Local officials in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on Wednesday signed and handed over to President Benigno Aquino III while in Davao City a resolution expressing their all out support to the creation of the Bangsamoro political entity.

The document was personally turned over to the President by ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman after the president delivered his keynote address at the autonomous region’s 2nd local government summit at the Waterfront Hotel in Sasa District in Davao City.

Close to 500 local executives, including congressional representatives and members of the 24-seat Regional Legislative Assembly, touted as the “Little Congress” of the autonomous region, attended the February 11-12 summit, where they discussed vital socio-economic, political concerns, and the recent breakthroughs in the on-going peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The written resolution by summit participants stated that the region’s five provincial governors, 118 mayors, including the chief executives of the ARMM cities of Marawi and Lamitan, are ready to help facilitate the transition from the present autonomous regional government to the Bangsamoro entity which the GPH and MILF peace panels aims to establish before 2016.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles on Monday told local officials, during the 10th day of the two-week Sagayan Festival in Buluan town in Maguindanao, that the two panels are optimistic the Congress can pass the Basic Bangsamoro Law (BBL) before yearend, to enable the creation of the Bangsamoro entity.

The MILF-led Bangsamoro entity will replace the ARMM once ratified through a plebiscite in its proposed territory, which include all of the autonomous region’s component areas, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are both in Central Mindanao, the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and the cities of Marawi and Lamitan.

The President, in a speech, appealed to local executives in the region to continue supporting the Mindanao peace process.

“Kaya naman, nananawagan po ako sa sambayanang Pilipino, lalo na sa mga kapatid nating nandito: nawa’y bigyang-daan po ninyo ang mga hakbang nating ito. Makakaasa po kayong sa bawat kasunduang ating nilalagdaan ay nakataya ang aming dangal at pangalan,” he said.

Hataman said local officials in the autonomous region recognize President Aquino’s commitment to the Southern peace process, which aims to peacefully address the decades-old Mindanao Moro issue and the quest of locales for self-governance under the international right-to-self determination (RSD) principle.

The President acknowledged the reforms introduced by Hataman into the ARMM bureaucracy.

Hataman, a known political protégé of Mr. Aquino, first got to the helm of the regional government as appointed caretaker in 2011.  He was, subsequently, elected as regional governor during the May 13, 2013 elections.

Hataman said  he is ready to vacate his post if the BBL, now being crafted by the MILF-led Bangsamoro Transition Committee (BTC) and to be submitted anytime soon to the House of Representatives, will shorten his term to hasten the transition from the ARMM to the Bangsamoro entity.

“Tunay at kongkretong reporma ang isinagawa mo sa inyong rehiyon; hindi mga proyektong aparisyon. Mula sa mga serbisyong panlipunan, hanggang sa pagtutuwid ng sistema sa lokal na pamahalaan—ipinamalas mo ang lideratong nakatutok sa kapakanan ng mamamayan,” Aquino said, apparently referring to Hataman.