Monday Sep, 23 2019 09:34:45 PM

Saliman and BARMM minister’s meeting fruitful

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 06:15 AM Thu Sep 12, 2019
279
By: 
John M. Unson
Gov. Salliman and Chief Minister Ebrahim's dialogue was cordial and fruitful. (John Unson)

COTABATO CITY --- Basilan Gov. Jim Salliman and the chief minister of the Bangsamoro region agreed Tuesday to cooperate on reintegrating religious extremists to mainstream communities.

Salliman and Hadji Ahod Ebrahim of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao had also talked about the completion of on-going infrastructure projects in Basilan that were started by the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao whose funding are now channeled through the BARMM government.

“My dialogue with Chief Minister Ebrahim was cordial and I felt his sincerity in his commitment to our goal of building a durable peace in Basilan,” Salliman told reporters after their meeting at the Bangsamoro capital in Cotabato City.

The meeting of Salliman and Ebrahim was facilitated by lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, who is BARMM’s local government minister, Mayor Hanie Bud of Maluso town in Basilan and Engr. Salonga Lasatan, a technical staff of the now second-termer provincial governor.

Salliman said he told Ebrahim they can even name “BARMM Highway” the Basilan Transcentral Road that the provincial government is presently constructing to manifest the recognition by residents in the island province of the newly-established Bangsamoro region as a solution to the decades-old southern secessionist strife.

The Basilan Transcentral Road, a flagship project of former ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, now deputy speaker in the House of Representatives, cuts through densely forested mountain ranges in the center of the province where the Abu Sayyaf once had enclaves where it held captives, many of them beheaded for non-payment of ransom.

Salliman said he also explained to Ebrahim that his administration also need the support of the Bangsamoro government for an agricultural diversification program that could provide farmers alternate sources of income to cushion the effects of the “cocolisap” infestation that destroyed vast swaths of coconut plantations in the province.

“It has affected so many coconut farm owners and farm workers in Basilan,” Salliman said.

He said Ebrahim assured to help the provincial government put up more infrastructure projects in Basilan, now touted as the new investment frontier of BARMM, to generate comprehensive livelihood opportunities for the local communities.

Salliman and Ebrahim also discussed the feats of the provincial government in securing the surrender in recent years of more than 200 Abu Sayyaf members now being reintroduced to the local communities via the Program Against Violent Extremism, or PAVE.

The PAVE was pioneered by Hataman while he was still governor of ARMM that got replaced on February this year with BARMM.

The creation of BARMM is a result of 22 years of peace talks between Malacanang and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front whose figurehead, Ebrahim, is now chief minister of the region.

Hataman was elected representative of the lone congressional district in Basilan on May 13 after serving as regional chief executive of ARMM for seven years. 

 

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