Hataman lauds PBBM’s assurance BARMM polls will push through next year

By Zaldy De Layola

April 29, 2024, 4:19 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 Monday lauded President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s recent assurance that the 2025 elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will push through as scheduled.

“Malinaw na malinaw ang sinabi ni Pangulong Marcos: tuloy na tuloy na ang BARMM elections sa susunod na taon (What President Marcos said was very clear: BARMM elections next year is so certain). His statement left no room for ambiguity. The people of the Bangsamoro will get an opportunity to exercise their democratic rights under the Constitution and under the Bangsamoro Organic Law,” Hataman said in a news release.

“Natutuwa tayo na kinikilala ng Pangulo ang karapatan ng mga taga-Bangsamoro region na pumili kung sino ang mamumuno sa kanila. Napakahalaga sa puntong ito sa kasaysayan ng BARMM (We are happy the President recognizes the right of the people of Bangsamoro region to choose whoever they want to lead them. It is very important, at this point, to the history of BARMM). This is the culmination of the people’s right to self-determination and self-governance that many fought for,” he added.

During the commemoration ceremony for the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in Barira, Maguindanao del Norte on Monday, Marcos reminded the people of BARMM to exercise their right to suffrage as they chart their political future in the coming elections.

President Marcos said the 2025 BARMM election is the fulfillment of their democratic right to realize and achieve meaningful autonomy as is enshrined in the CAB, urging them to safeguard those rights, empower themselves, and take part in the shared task of nation-building.

He also warned those “who may plan to threaten or derail this upcoming election” to refrain from doing so as they will be fighting the national government.

The elections in BARMM, originally scheduled in 2022 under the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), was rescheduled for 2025 through an amendment in the BOL during the 18th Congress, which extended the term of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority for another three years.

Hataman shared the President’s commitment to hold honest and orderly elections in BARMM next year, saying the time has come for the Bangsamoro people to choose their own leaders.

“Ang Bangsamoro ay para sa Bangsamoro, hindi lamang para sa iilan. Panahon na para ang mamamayan ang sumulat ng kanilang kasaysayan. Walang tunay na demokrasya kung wala sa kamay ng mamamayan ang pagpili ng kanilang mga pinuno (The Bangsamoro is for the Bangsamoro, not only for a few. It’s about time for the people to inscribe their own story. There’s no genuine democracy if the choice for their leaders is not in their hands),” Hataman said. (PNA)