Chief Minister Ebrahim Meets Mayors, Appeals for 2022 Peaceful Elections in BARMM

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(SDN) — You can say that political exercises in the Bangsamoro region in the past left much to be desired.

Claims of vote-buying, cheating, intimidation and harassment, and violence were the order of the election season then.

In fairness, these things were also seen nationwide, not just in the Moro areas.

Thus, it’s not surprising at all that Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim has met recently with the mayors of Maguindanao as he “asked their cooperation in ensuring the province “will have a peaceful, honest, and free elections where the true will of the electorate will be expressed and reflected.”

Interior Minister Naguib G. Sinarimbo relayed this to the public and members of the news media, saying Ebrahim also took time to brief the mayors on the new developments concerning the extension of the transition phase of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) presently running the affairs of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

BARMM is comprised of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Cotabato, Lamitan, and Marawi, and the 63 villages known as Special Geographic Area (AGA) in North Cotabato province.

Ebrahim, the Chief Minister and head of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP), the political arm of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), relayed his sentiments how an election should be the to local government executives.

“He (Ebrahim) explained that elections should be a regular process in democracies and that opponents need not become enemies,” Sinarimbo, BARMM spokesman, recalls the MILF chairman as telling the mayors of Maguindanao.

“As for the MILF, their organization of a political party called the UBJP and their participation in electoral processes is part of their transition from an armed revolutionary group into democratic and peaceful advocacies and struggle,” the head of the BARMM’s Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG), says.

 As it is the election season already, Ebrahim as president of the UBJP, had already chosen the party’s candidates in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur for the May 2022 elections.

Sinarimbo said for Maguindanao, the Chief Minister announced recently the candidates of the UBJP for the following elective posts in the Province of Maguindanao:

Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Esmael ‘Toto’ Mangudadatu.

1. Governor — Datu Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, incumbent congressman of Maguindanao second district;

2. Vice Governor — Congresswoman Bai Sandra Sema, former congresswoman;

3. 1st District Congressman — incumbent Rep. Datu Roonie Q. Sinsuat;

4. Mayor for Datu Odin Sinsuat — Datu Jamael Sinsuat.

Apparently, the named UBJP bets “have shown their consistent support to the organization both during the enactment of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) as well as the push for the extension of the BTA,” Sinarimbo points out.

“The (UBJP) pledged to mobilize all its resources and strength to ensure that its candidates will win. The Party will ensure that all and every elective posts in Maguindanao and Cotabato City will be fielded with its official candidates,” he said.

UBJP bets in Maguindanao for May 2022 political exercise.

Over in Lanao del Sur, the UBJP also has its picked bets which Ebrahim officially declared on October 5, 2021.

The official candidates are for elective positions in the province, neighbor of Maguindanao, in coalition with the local party of Lanao del Sur Gov. Bombit Alonto Adiong, Jr. are Governor Adiong, Congressman Yasser Balindong, BTA Minister Zia Adiong, and the mayors of the municipalities of the province, Sinarimbo revealed.

For Lanao del Sur. (All images from Minister Naguib G. Sinarimbo)

UBJP’s anointed candidates for Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi (the BARMM island provinces) are keenly awaited. (✓)

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