MANILA – With his term ending in over three months, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte believes that he has been able to deliver his promise to bring peace to Mindanao.
In a prerecorded interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy aired Saturday on SMNI, Duterte also gave credit to Bangsamoro leaders for the end of decades-old conflict in Mindanao.
The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), led by Chief Minister Ahod “Murad” Ebrahim, was able to “somehow calm” the situation in the region, Duterte said.
“I think we have relatively a peaceful Mindanao,” he said. “We have a good rapport with the Moro of Mindanao. And I think that just allow them in the governance of our country and give them enough elbowroom to, you know, just govern without interference of armed groups.”
Duterte also hoped that the peace and development in Mindanao would be sustained even after his term ends.
“I think that we have achieved militarily the objectives of keeping the peace in Mindanao. God willing, if the equilibrium nami-maintain (will be maintained), we are trouble-free. I hope and I pray of course,” he said.
Duterte has decided to maintain the status quo on the current composition of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the interim government with executive and legislative power over the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.
The BTA was tasked to oversee the three-year transition period from 2019, followed by an election of BARMM officials.
Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. in February said over 10.3 million euro (PHP601.9 million) worth of project grants are set to be implemented in support of the normalization process in the Bangsamoro government.
Meantime, officials of the BARMM and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) vowed Friday to help ensure a peaceful, clean, and orderly elections on May 9 this year.
BARMM police director Brig. Gen. Arthur Cabalona earlier reported that the Police Regional Office-BARMM has listed 102 areas of concern in this year’s national and local elections in BARMM.
Of the 102 election hotspots, 99 are municipalities and the three others are the cities of Cotabato, Marawi, and Lamitan, Cabalona said.
On March 7, OPAPRU said some 19,345 former MILF combatants have already been through the three phases of decommissioning process and another 14,000 MILF members are scheduled to be decommissioned this year. (PNA)