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DBS barangay execs back entry of mayor to UBJP

GOVERNANCE/POLITICS • 14:15 PM Thu May 13, 2021
John M. Unson
The mayors were sworn in as UBJP members on May 8. (From MILG-BARMM)

COTABATO CITY --- Barangay leaders in what could now be Maguindanao’s most peaceful town are certain their mayor’s having joined the United Bangsamoro Justice Party will boost their municipal government’s development initiatives.

Mayor Marshall Sinsuat, mayor of the seaside Datu Blah Sinsuat town in Maguindanao, joined the UBJP last May 8.

The Datu Blah Sinsuat is most known as DBS, a booming town along the west coast of Maguindanao province.

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, local government minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said Thursday Sinsuat and 10 other mayors in the first district of Maguindanao were sworn in as new members of the UBJP by BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim.

The event was held at Camp Darapanan of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao, about 15 kilometers north of BARMM’s capitol in Cotabato City.

In a statement Wednesday, all 13 barangay chairpersons in DBS, the fishing capital of Maguindanao, said they were elated with Sinsuat’s having joined the MILF-led UBJP.

The fledgling municipality of Datu Blah Sinsuat was created only in 2006 by the Regional Assembly of the now defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The UBJP was founded by the MILF before Ebrahim, the front’s figurehead, was appointed BARMM chief minister by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019. Ebrahim is president of UBJP.

Sinsuat said he did not hesitate to join the UBJP, convinced its peace and development agenda can hasten the peaceful resolution of the nagging Mindanao Moro issue.

“My constituent-barangay captains are all behind me on this. They were glad that I joined UBJP,” Sinsuat said. 

He said he got fascinated with UBJP’s focus on restoring normalcy in conflict-stricken areas via participatory governance and political reforms meant to foster interfaith and cultural solidarity among BARMM’s Muslim, Christian and non-Moro indigenous communities.



Among the 11 mayors who joined UBJP last May 8 are the politically-influential Shameem Mastura of Sultan Kudarat, Cherry Lu Sinsuat of Datu Odin Sinsuat and Ramon Piang, Sr. of the upland Upi town.

The local government unit of Upi thrice received in the past three years the Seal of Good Local Governance from the central office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

The DILG’s grant of the yearly SGLG award is based on the fiscal management efficiency of an LGU and its involvement on domestic security and socio-economic initiatives.

Sinarimbo said Maguindanao Vice Gov. Lester Sinsuat, former Sultan Mastura Mayor Armando Mastura and a member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, Tucao Mastura, also joined in the May 8 event in UBJP’s headquarters in Camp Darapanan.

Sinarimbo, also BARMM’s regional spokesperson, said all municipal mayors and elected provincial officials in Tawi-Tawi also joined the UBJP last April.

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


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