MALACAÑANG — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Friday, February 22, declared that the official ratification of the Organic Act for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is a realization of the collective desire of the Mindanaoans.
“It will be the realization of all our dreams and end long decades of armed struggle that hindered the growth of the region and I also consider my home,” President Duterte said at the event here at Rizal Hall.
The ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) also expanded the territory of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao by including Cotabato City and 63 barangays from the Province of North Cotabato.
The Chief Executive underscored that the ratification of the BARMM would enable the government to create an environment that would be conducive to the peaceful coexistence among Muslims, Christians, Lumads, and all indigenous tribes who consider Mindanao as their home
President Duterte then declared Moro Islamic Liberation Front Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim as the Interim Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority. He also challenged its members to embody the dreams and aspirations of the great men and women who came before them and fought for the recognition of their right to determine their future.
“As you lead this new region towards a brighter tomorrow, I ask you never to waver in your commitment to build an institution that is founded on the rule of law, the promotion of good governance, and the defense of our most cherished democratic values,” President Duterte said.
“Always work for the best interest and welfare, not only of the Bangsamoro people but every Filipino who lives in that region. I trust that you will oversee the transition period to the best of your abilities, especially in the decommissioning of firearms and former combatants,” he added.
President Duterte reassured the people behind the success of BOL’s ratification that their efforts, courage, and determination would never be put to waste, guaranteeing that the administration would apply better governance and inclusive political empowerment in the new Bangsamoro region.
“If there is any problem at all or in the future, let me assure you that for the remaining years of my work…as a government work here…here in this building, I assure you, Insha’Allah, I will always do what the law says and what is yours…to what extent that we can give you…not only comfort but happiness to the Muslims of Mindanao,” President Duterte said.
The Chief Executive was glad to have finally reached the endpoint of the “long and rough” road to peace, which builds a new region that is bound, not by ethnic or religious affiliation, but by a common aspiration for peaceful Mindanao.
President Duterte defends Communication Secretary Andanar’s presence in PDP-Laban campaign sortie
In a chance interview with the media after his remarks, President Duterte defended Communications Secretary Martin Andanar concerning his participation in the recent Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) kick-off rally.
President Duterte said Sec. Andanar’s guidance is essential in the party because he is an “ideologue.”
“Andanar, he’s an ideologue. His guidance is very important to all of the PDP members. He’s a son of one of the founding fathers of PDP-Laban,” he said.
“So every time there is a meeting…and the talks or the dialogue and the narratives of PDP…not where to get the money or how to cheat, but rather to guide everybody the values that the PDP stands for,” he added.
The President also stated that the law allowed Cabinet secretaries to participate in campaigns but also noted that he did not permit other Cabinet members to join rallies in order to eradicate issues concerning government vehicles being utilized for campaign purposes. ### PND