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Thursday, June 30, 2022

BARMM thanks President Duterte, Secretary Dominguez for strong commitment to Mindanao peace process

The Bangsamoro government has paid tribute to President Duterte for honoring his 2016 promise of making the Mindanao peace process among the top priorities of his administration, as demonstrated by his strong political will and leadership to help realize the Bangsamoro people’s goal of a genuine and functional autonomous Muslim region.

On behalf of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Minister Mohagher Iqbal of its Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education also lauded Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III for his high level of “professionalism and hard work” that has contributed to the significant progress achieved by the Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB) that they both co-chair.  

The IGRB is tasked to coordinate and resolve issues affecting the implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) and the programs and projects of the national government in the BARMM through regular consultations and continuing negotiations in a non-adversarial manner. 

Dominguez and Iqbal presented the IGRB’s second progress report to President Duterte in Malacañan Palace Thursday night (June 16).

The report documents the achievements made over the 11 meetings held by the IGRB since it was first convened in December 2019 in Davao City. 

“In essence, President Duterte never failed to acknowledge the peace agreements and used them as a guide in steering his directives when it came to the affairs of the Bangsamoro. President Duterte honors the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, and we are happy that in his six years as President of the Republic of the Philippines, he stayed true to his promise of placing the peace process among the top of his administration’s agenda to pave the way for longer-term political and economic reforms for the country,” Iqbal said during the event. 

“For all of these, His Excellency President Duterte, you have our profound respect and gratitude. Congratulations on a wonderful 6 years of Presidency and we wish you only the best in the years to come,” he added. 

As for the IGRB, Iqbal said he “could not have wished for a better partner” than Dominguez. 

“The level of professionalism and hard work of this group is beyond compare. It has been an honor to have worked by your side, and you may rest assured that I will take inspiration from this friendship and good working relationship as we move forward with the IGR Body in the next administration,” Iqbal said of Dominguez.

Iqbal expressed the hope that the incoming administration would show “a similar commitment and enthusiasm to complete the process that other past administrations have started and nurtured.” 

“With the coming of a new administration on June 30, 2022, we are confident that the Bangsamoro peace process will not be relegated in status, as it has proven to potentially be the most viable solution to address conflict arising from historical injustices committed against our people,” Iqbal said. 

Iqbal pointed out that President Duterte’s sincerity in fulfilling his promise of supporting the Bangsamoro peace process during his term was backed by action. 

“President Duterte fully grasps the root of the injustices against us and the wounds of our past as a Bangsamoro people. He has a deep understanding of the Bangsamoro Question,” Iqbal said. 

Iqbal recalled that in 2017, the President revived the Bangsamoro Transition Commission with expanded composition, and pushed the Congress to pass the BOL in 2018. 

After the ratification of the BOL in a plebiscite, the President, in only a matter of days, quickly assembled the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) and appointed the Members of the Parliament, including the interim Chief Minister, Honorable Ahod Ebrahim.

The President also heeded the call for the extension of the Bangsamoro transition period for another three years or until 2025, Iqbal said. 

Iqbal reiterated the commitment of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to pursue “long-lasting peace and development” and “exhaust all means to establish a peaceful Mindanao, especially in the BARMM.” 

“The MILF pledges to exert efforts in undertaking its obligations to fully implement the commitments under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), building upon all the gains and achievements secured in the Bangsamoro peace process through years of negotiations. It is important to sustain the traction that we have managed to develop toward the success of this political settlement,” he said. 


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