2025 mid-term polls ‘true test’ of peace, democracy in BARMM

By Zaldy De Layola

March 27, 2024, 2:32 pm

<p>Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman<em> (File photo)</em></p>

Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman (File photo)

MANILA – House Deputy Minority Leader and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman on Wednesday described the 2025 mid-term elections “true test” of peace and democracy in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

He made this remark was given during the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) that paved the way for the establishment of the BARMM.

"Ang halalan sa susunod na taon ang tunay na esensya ng kapayapaan at demokrasyang ipinaglaban natin sa Bangsamoro, dahil may kalayaan na ang mamamayan na pumili ng mga taong mamumuno sa rehiyon (The election next year is the true essence of peace and democracy that we pushed in Bangsamoro, because the people now have the freedom to choose their leaders in the region)," Hataman said in his message.

Hataman, former governor of the now defunct Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), called on residents of BARMM to work together for genuine peace in the Bangsamoro.

He said genuine peace will be realized “if democracy is vibrant and the freedom of the people to choose their leaders becomes a reality."

For the past five years, leaders of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) that make up the Bangsamoro Parliament have all been appointed by the President.

An election was supposed to be conducted in 2022, but Congress extended the life of the BTA for another three years.

Hataman said since the signing of the CAB on Mar. 27, 2014, he was reminded of the significant strides BARMM has made in the pursuit of lasting peace and development in Mindanao.

"This milestone in the peace process marks a pivotal moment in our history, one that has brought hope and optimism to the people of the Bangsamoro," he said.

"As a former governor of ARMM, I had the privilege of witnessing firsthand how the peace process evolved and flourished under the Aquino administration, culminating in its finalization during the Duterte administration" he added.

Hataman said the establishment BARMM is a testament to the unwavering commitment of both the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to find a peaceful resolution to the decades-long conflict in the region.

"Peace is integral to the progress and development of BARMM, and the CAB has provided the framework upon which we can build a more inclusive and prosperous society for all," Hataman said.

"It is crucial that we continue to uphold the principles and provisions outlined in the agreement, ensuring that the gains we have achieved are sustained and further strengthened in the years to come," he added.

He thanked the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) for its efforts in facilitating the peace process and ensuring the successful implementation of the CAB.

"As we celebrate this milestone, let us reaffirm our commitment to building a brighter future for the Bangsamoro people. Let us continue to work together, hand in hand, towards the realization of our shared vision of peace, prosperity and unity in the region,” he said. (PNA)