Bong Go echoes PRRD appeal for peaceful elections in BARMM

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go reiterated President  Duterte’s call for peaceful elections next year in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao that would ensure fair and just  votation that  reflects the true will of the electorate. 

He emphasized r that the country’s sovereignty rests on its people. 

Go also reminded political leaders and members of the civil society to work together in creating the conditions necessary to instill confidence in the election process which will serve as an important step toward the recovery and sustained development of the region and the entire  country. 

“Suportado po natin ang BARMM dahil isa itong mahalagang hakbang para makamit natin ang matagal nang hinahangad na kapayapaan at kaunlaran hindi lamang para sa mga kapatid nating Muslim kundi sa buong Mindanao,” said Go.

“Sa mga kapatid kong Muslim, ang hinahangad nating long and lasting peace and development ay abot kamay na kung patuloy tayong magtutulungan. Magkaiba man tayo ng pananaw sa politika, pareho lang tayong may takot sa Diyos at may pagmamahal sa ating bayan,” he said. 

The only Muslim-dominated autonomous region in the country, BARMM was formed after the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in 2019, pursuant to a peace deal forged between the Philippine government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

It is comprised of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi; cities of Marawi, Lamitan and Cotabato; and 63 barangays of North Cotabato called the Special Geographic Area.

Last October 29, President Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11593 which postponed the first parliamentary and regional elections in BARMM from May 2022 to May 2025. The extension aims to give the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) more time to complete its programs and projects that were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Created under the BOL, the BTA is the interim regional government which took over the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The transition period was originally set for three years from 2019 with the election of new BARMM officials scheduled in 2022 to coincide with the national and local polls.

During the inauguration of the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Hospital in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat recently, President Duterte appealed to all Filipinos to ensure a peaceful and violence-free election season.

“Ngayong eleksyon, gusto ko sa buong Pilipinas peaceful at people can vote freely for their candidates. Nobody wants trouble. Nobody wants cheating … Nakiki-usap na ako. I’m pleading, almost praying that people will really stick to the rule of law and avoid violence,” he said. 

“Either that we have an election that is free, or I will use the military to see to it that the election is free (from any violence). The military is the guardian of our country, and I could call them anytime to see to it that people are protected and elections are freely, orderly exercised,” vowed the President.

In the end, the senator also reminded BARMM’s leaders of their historical commitment to peace and stability in light of the renewed risk of confrontation due to the economic, social and health crises brought about by the pandemic. 

He assured to advocate for the people’s rights and interests as well as their vision for achieving long-lasting peace and prosperity which will serve as the final redress for the decades of historical injustice that many had endured. 

“Patuloy akong magseserbisyo sa mga kapatid natin sa BARMM at kapatid nating Muslim upang tuluyang makamit natin ang inaasam na kapayapaan at kaunlaran. Importante sa amin ni Pangulong Duterte ang kapayapaan at wala na dapat ang patayan dahil sino ba namang gustong nagpapatayan ang Pilipino laban sa kapwa Pilipino?” Go quipped.


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