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PBBM to Bangsamoro leadership: Make BARMM’s first parliamentary election a success

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 16:45 PM Thu Feb 8, 2024

MANILA - President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Thursday urged the Bangsamoro leadership to secure the very first elections for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Parliament, particularly against those planning to use violence to disenfranchise voters.

Speaking during the 17th Meeting of the Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB) at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, the President said the preparations for the BARMM’s first parliamentary election will be tested in May 2025.

“Giving the vote to the people to choose their leaders is the logical, succession, evolution, to the grant of self-rule to your land. I urge all of you, and we will be by your side, to make this very historic election, this very historical and important event a success. Let us show the world that it is peaceful and it is credible,” Marcos told the attendees of the IGRB.

“On this, let me be blunt that perhaps we must remind ourselves that we are now operating in different rules and that we cannot allow forces outside of the democratic process to deviate our dreams and our aspirations from a democratic process, let us not allow even one single voter to be disenfranchise by violence, by intimidation, or by bribery. That is the job we have in front of us. And after the elections, it will be a new chapter for BARMM. I face the future with optimism. What gives me hope is the belief that you have prepared well. You are ripe, you are ready,” he said.

Commending the peacekeepers who worked for Mindanao’s rebuilding efforts, the President encouraged everyone not to forget the “debt we owe to those who perished during the long night, from all sides, brothers all, combatants and civilians, whose blood nourished the land so peace can finally bloom.”

Everybody owes it to the young generation of Filipinos that the horrors and the harrows of the past must never visit them again; that as brothers and sisters united under one nation, a better future can be forged in a kinder society where opportunities reward hard work, dreams come true, and peace with justice reigns, he added.

A stronger BARMM means a stronger Mindanao, and a stronger Mindanao means a stronger Philippines, Marcos stressed, saying it brings the country closer to achieving its Prosperity Agenda.

The President also enumerated BARMM’s recent successes such as the passage of the Bangsamoro Administrative Code, the Bangsamoro Civil Service Code, the Bangsamoro Education Code, the Bangsamoro Electoral Code, and the Bangsamoro Local Governance Code.

“Another feather in your cap is the success of the Bangsamoro Board of Investments in generating 3.3 billion pesos worth of investments in the last three months of 2023, which will employ 1,927 workers,” he said.

In November last year, the government signed and exchanged Diplomatic Notes with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan on the Non-Project Grant Aid for the acquisition of US$6.8 million worth of Construction Equipment for Road Network Improvement and Disaster Quick Response Operation in BARMM.

In July last year, the guidelines on the joint award of Petroleum Service Contracts and Coal Operating Contracts in BARMM was also signed, one of many activities that will guarantee BARMM’s energy security.

These are on top of the continuing engagements of the United Nations, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the European Union on programs that strengthen governance institutions, public services, and financial administration.

The IGRB was created under Section 2, Article VI of Republic Act (RA) No. 110542 to coordinate and resolve intergovernmental relations (IGR) issues between the National and Bangsamoro governments and exhaust all means to resolve issues presented before them. 

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