By Noel Punzalan
The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) on Saturday joined the country in its 123rd Independence Day celebration.
In a statement, BARMM Chief Minister Ahod “Murad’ Ebrahim said as a people who struggled for self-determination, the Bangsamoro understands the historic implications of the celebration.
“As we continue rebuilding the (BARMM) region, we hope that our humble work paves the way for a meaningful recognition of our history in fighting against colonialism and oppression,” he said.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), once the largest Moro rebel group in Mindanao that Ebrahim also heads, has inked a comprehensive peace agreement with the government. President Rodrigo Duterte signed on July 26, 2018, the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) replacing the decades-old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with the new MILF-led BARMM to usher sustainable peace in the region.
Ebrahim said Bangsamoro honors the sacrifices of the Filipino heroes and the people towards genuine independence, citing that the sanctity of the liberty we are currently enjoying reflects the Filipino values of courage, hope, and resilience.
“(Such) traits the Bangsamoro is all familiar with. It is, therefore, a must for everyone to sustain this legacy for the generation and those who will follow,” he said.
Ebrahim emphasized that love for the country is needed now more than ever, with the coronavirus disease 2019 affecting the lives of Filipinos for more than a year.
“Our patriotism can be manifested even with the smallest acts, such as observing the minimum health standards,” he said.
Ebrahim noted that such adherence reflects the courage and nobility of the Filipino ancestors by beating an enemy, such as the pandemic.
“There is hope and we need everyone to win this battle,” he said. PNA