BARMM hails peace gains as reg’l gov’t marks 5th anniversary

QUINQUENNIAL FESTIVITY. BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim strikes the ‘gong’ on Sunday (Jan. 21, 2024), signaling the start of the regional autonomous government’s weeklong 5th foundation anniversary celebration. Regional officials have hailed the peace gains the BARMM is enjoying, as evident in the regional government’s performance in economic, social, infrastructure, peace, security, and governance. (Photo by Bangsamoro Information Office)

COTABATO CITY – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim led here Sunday the opening celebration of the week-long regional government’s 5th foundation anniversary by sharing the “peace dividends now enjoyed by Bangsamoro people.”

Ebrahim thanked President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., international partners, local stakeholders, civil society organizations, non-government organizations, and local government units in BARMM, which continuously play instrumental roles in achieving peace through the process.

“On Jan. 21, 2019, we witnessed the results of our courage and hope. We saw how our people decidedly and unanimously ratified the Bangsamoro Organic Law that paved the way for establishing the BARMM,” Ebrahim said in a statement on Monday.

The chief minister, who leads an extended transitional government following the signing of the Government of the Philippines-Moro Islamic Liberation Front (GPH-MILF) peace deal and the ratification of the organic law, admitted that the road ahead remains “tough and challenging.”

“Five years on, our journey towards building an empowered, cohesive, and progressive Bangsamoro continues to be filled with positivity and inspiration,” Ebrahim said, noting that peace and socio-economic development “have reigned on the island,” particularly the BARMM, obviously as “dividends” of the peace process.

“This year is the last full year of the extended transition period; let us make the most of the opportunity given to us to be of service to the people,” he stressed, referring to the fledgling region’s first parliamentary election that will coincide with the May 2025 midterm polls.

Ebrahim also recognized the national government’s implementation of the provisions of the BOL and the commitment offered by the Marcos administration to help ensure the Mindanao peace process will never fail.

This year’s celebration carries the theme: “A Journey Towards Mutual Understanding, Peaceful Co-existence, and a Shared Future in the Bangsamoro.” (Edwin Fernandez/PNA)