BARMM Term Extension: Yes or No

By Abdul Hannan
Magarang Tago

With the fast approaching upcoming election in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) based on the agreed pact between national government and BARMM. Politicians constituents and stakeholders have started debating each other on the BARMM extension appeal.

It is now crystal clear that traditional ruling politicians are strongly opposing the extension. Obviously they are in a hurry to grab the opportunity. While Maguindanao province is reportedly indorsing the extension of the transition government, Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are apparently against the extension.

With the strong financial influence and capitalizing on what they claim failure and shortcomings of the infant BARMM administration, they are now in a position to blame the incumbent administration for every single mistake in addressing the basic needs of the Bangsamoro.

For instance, unemployment or massive termination was among serious attacks, not to mention nepotism vis-à-vis the employing of close kin including children at the expense of qualified constituents who are also members of the organization or at least helped it to win.

Such favoritism obviously contradicts their (BARMM) censure against nepotism based on their advocacy for ‘moral governance’ in their first days.

In some cases, children or in laws of a member of the parliament are top officials in another BARMM ministry.

Their (BARMM) strong argument, among others, was that they are from the government nominees and it was a coincidence that close peer or kin was MILF nominee.

I think this is one serious matter that must be corrected if the extension is passed.

Some MPs we met have confessed that they are really new in this government bureaucracy and need more time to learn.

Also there are serious and valid reasons of some MILF commanders who were left behind.

Instead of making use of them, the organization now as already a government partner, LGUs or elected constituents in various municipalities or Barangays were given chance to lead the ongoing creation of political parties that also angered the veteran combatants.

Talking from the media point of views; we have now two difficult options or choices that one of them must remain.

One is to hold the elections as scheduled where ruling politicians or political dynasty are presumed emerging winners!

And, two is the term extension so the BARMM current administration will continue the hanging and unfinished projects.

Now the ball is in the hand of the Congress while Duterte administration is in a favorable position.

We have seen now sympathy for extension seemingly gaining support in apparent reasons that money again will definitely win and not the mind or principle in a situation we are living in now.

Surely, as practices here once the election made as this moment of time this will be as usual gambling way of polling then progress and development will collapse for the benefit of few families and their cohorts.

Insurgency and rebellion in the region is again inevitable. Now BARMM has taken a serious lesson that the region is still under democratic system that people are the source of power. Selfishness and nepotism is not only against the real democracy but our very own religion Islam abhors it for the sake of inclusiveness and fairness. (AHMT)

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