Humble Chief Minister proves down-to-earth leadership


I was deeply touched honored with this very humble words from a Chief Minister, “Very sorry brother, I was in Malacañang during the 21st day of the celebration” said Chief Minister, Ahod ‘Haj Murad’ Balawag Ebrahim in a text message yesterday.

He added: I left an instruction to our program director to invite you, but unfortunately it was not relayed to the one who finalized the program.

“Really very sorry was not able to monitor the program. Actually it was only this afternoon, I learn that you have not delivered a message” CM Murad observed.

On January 18, the start of the 2nd Foundation Anniversary of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) I received an invitation text message from the Chief Minister to participate in the final day of the celebration (Jan. 21) by delivering short message via zoom along with top officials of the national government as below text message.

During the visit of then MILF Chairman, Haj Murad Ebrahim to this writer at his office in Arab News, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia in 1994.

“We will invite you on the final day on 21 to give a short message via zoom, along with the National Officials”.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman visited me more than ten years ago at the headquarters of the Saudi Arabia leading English daily, Arab News in Jeddah for an exclusive interview while he was still the MILF head. I reciprocated him an official visit to his camp Darapanan during my vocation for another media interview. Then exchange of meetings have been became constant and cordials.

Recently, in September 2019, I was tasked to invite him as the guest of honor at the First Global Economic Summit organized by the Bangsamoro Federal Business Council Inc. (BFBCI) held in Manila Hotel.

We both attended the annual Ramadan Iftar at the invitation of Saudi Arabia Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr. Abdullah Albussairy at his embassy in Makati, Metro Manila.

I was able also to introduce him at the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce and Industries business forum at Dusit Hotel in Makati to talk on the investment opportunities in BARMM.

The text below was intended for my participation I supposed to deliver via zoom on January 21 along with top national government officials including Cabinet Secretaries.

Alhamdulillah, In behalf of Al Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines (AAIBP), Bangsamoro Federal Business Council (BFBCI) and the Al-Azhar Scholars and Cairo Alumni from Lanao (ASEAL) as designated first Secretary General of the organization.

Allow me to express my utmost and sincerest wishes to my very own Bangsamoro people especially to those who sacrificed their lives, love ones and relatives for our own sake and benefit.

To our first ever Chief Minister, Al-Mujahid Ahod Haj Murad Ebrahim, the ministers of different ministries and members of the BTA (bangsamoro transition authority) given to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Thanks for the opportunity to share and air my overwhelmed happiness on the BARMM 2nd Founding Anniversary that became possible because of the wisdom and decisive leadership of the President of the Republic of the Philippines His Excellency Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

I have been writer of a Saudi leading newspaper for two decades and Bangsamoro issue was in my blood that reflected in my bylines and writings. I had several one-on-one interviews with top leaders of the MILF including the Chief Minister.

I strongly believe that BARMM leadership — as a fruit of 50 years long struggle is on right track despite the very limited provision period given to prove itself. It is performing its mandate with full competency, inclusiveness and competitiveness.

The pandemic has affected the world without exemption, as such the three years transition period would not be sufficient to enable a infant entity to stand by and with it’s own foot. BARMM is the last card and the only promising hope left for the Bangsamoro as the definite answer to the historical injustices committed against them.

Let’s us continue the job for an extension of another three years to the BARMM leadership of what it has started. I am certainly confident to see another progressive and peaceful region in the country and Asia as a whole. Shukran and wassalam. AHMT

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