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BARMM governors launch `caucus' as peace, development platform

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 16:00 PM Thu Jun 8, 2023
John M. Unson
The Governor's Caucus was launched Tuesday in Cagayan de Oro City. (From Lanao del Sur Governor's Office)

COTABATO CITY --- Five of the six provincial governors in the Bangsamoro region have agreed to work together for peace and sustainable development via a “Governors Caucus” as a multi-sector governance discussion platform.

In a statement released Wednesday to media outfits in this city, Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal A. Adiong, Jr. said the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Governor’s Caucus, or BGC, was launched in Cagayan de Oro City Tuesday.

Governors Mariam S. Mangudadatu, Abdusakur M. Tan and Yshmael I. Sali of Maguindanao del Sur, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, respectively, were present in the event.

Basilan Gov. Jim H. Salliman was represented in the activity by Maluso Mayor Hanie A. Bud, who is president of the league of mayors in Basilan.

The four provincial governors and Bud had chosen Adiong to act as spokesperson of the BGC.

“The BGC is a platform where stakeholders can ventilate issues, talk about community concerns and governance. It is a platform for promotion of peace and sustainable development in the towns and cities in BARMM, in support of the Mindanao peace process,” Adiong said.

He said the BGC shall also be a “vehicle” for promotion of religious and cultural solidarity among the Muslims, the Christians and the indigenous non-Moro residents of the autonomous region.

The Bangsamoro region covers the provinces of Maguindanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Marawi, Lamitan and Cotabato.

Only Maguindanao del Norte Gov. Abdulrauf A. Macacua was absent in the launching of the BGC, according to reporters in Cagayan de Oro City who covered the event.

The newly-formed BGC, as an initial statement, appealed for the creation of a BARMM council of leaders that can help foster sectoral group representation in regional governance.

Adiong said the BGC shall also focus on how the local communities can together strengthen inclusive governance and maintain law and order in all towns and cities in BARMM.

"The BGC is supportive of the peace process and the BARMM. Thru the BGC, the provincial governors can build strong linkages among the local sectors, the LGUs the autonomous regional government and the national government, Adiong said.

He said the BGC shall be a venue where BARMM residents can build consensus on how they can collectively sustain the dividends of the Mindanao peace process and protect the rights and welfare of all sectors in the autonomous region regardless of religions and ethnic identities.

The BARMM was created in early 2019, a result of 22 years of peace talks between the national government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The BARMM replaced the now defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao that had lesser administrative and political powers and had very limited fiscal capability to sustain extensive peace and sustainable development initiatives.  


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