It was a celebration dedicated to strengthening and sustaining peace and development, which is the essence why in the first place the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) exists.
On its fourth foundation anniversary on January 21, 2023, the BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Murad Ebrahim renewed his vows to sustain progress and peace in the region at all costs.
“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, addressing the crowd during the celebration of BARMM's fourth foundation anniversary.
In his report to the Bangsamoro, Ebrahim recalled that before the establishment of the region, there were many challenges, sacrifices, and endless wars and conflicts.
Looking back, Ebrahim said, he realized that the path to achieving peace was never easy.
“Maraming sakripisyo ang ating dinanas. More than 40 years, 4 decades of struggle ng Bangsamoro, ito yung resulta, itong Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Admittedly, the path to peace was never easy. 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,” he noted.
It can be recalled that the creation of the BARMM government was rooted in the Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law signed by then President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on July 26, 2018. The law was then ratified during a two-part plebiscite held on January 21 and February 6, 2019, replacing the decades-old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
“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.
Sharing some of BARMM’s major accomplishments in the last four years, Ebrahim underscored that to better appreciate the region’s development, the Bangsamoro people need to take a look back at its predecessor, which is the ARMM.
He said, however, that the comparison does not mean to belittle the ARMM nor 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.”
This year’s celebration of the BARMM’s founding centered on the theme, “Sama-Samang Pagtataguyod Sa Isang Mas Mapayapa At Mas Masaganang Bangsamoro,’ as Ebrahim urged every Bangsamoro to be united in the goal towards a more progressive and peaceful region.
He also called on his fellow public servants to continue serving the Bangsamoro people with sincere intention and genuine public service founded on the bedrock of solid moral governance inclusive to all Bangsamoro residents. “Isantabi natin ang pansiriling interes at lagi’t lagi, dapat bangsamoro muna.” (PIA Cotabato City)