DAVAO CITY—The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is “heading towards the right direction,” its chief minister and Moro Islamic Liberation Front Chairman Ahod Ebrahim said.
“Rest assured that we will continue to devote, as we always did, whatever is left of our time here in Dunya for the Bangsamoro,” Ebrahim said, as he addressed the crowd of regional autonomy officials and business leaders in Cotabato City during its fourth foundation anniversary on January 21.
In his Report to the Bangsamoro, he said that before the installation of the region, “our people had to go through so much pain and suffering. We had to live a life filled with physical and structural violence.”
“Looking back, the path to peace was never easy,” Ebrahim said. “The mere fact that we had to work together with individuals whom we once considered as adversaries required the highest level of commitment, understanding, and submission to the will of Allah (SWT).”
“Today, as we gather to commemorate that historic plebiscite, we recall not just the triumph of the ratification, but of our cause, the Bangsamoro cause, and honor those who sacrificed for this dream,” Ebrahim said.
To better appreciate the region’s developments and overall direction was to take a look back at its predecessor, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Ebrahim said, as he talked of BARMM’s major accomplishments.
He said the comparison “does not mean to belittle the ARMM or to undermine the efforts of the past administrations.”
“Such comparison is intended to determine a benchmark to gauge the effectiveness of the policies and programs we are implementing. After all, anything less than the ARMM is unacceptable,” Ebrahim added.
He admitted though, that the Bangsamoro government still has many governance and development challenges to overcome.
“We have faced many challenges together, from the seemingly endless wars and conflicts, through the struggle, sacrifices and setbacks, the Bangsamoro has and will always prevail. In shaa Allah,” Ebrahim said.
“As the theme goes, ‘Sama-Samang Pagtataguyod Sa Isang Mas Mapayapa At Mas Masaganang Bangsamoro,’ we can only be successful if we are united,” he added. “Isantabi natin ang pansiriling interes at lagi’t lagi, dapat Bangsamoro muna (Let us set aside our personal interest, and always put the Bangsamoro first).”