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MILF prepares UBJP party for 2022 polls as BARMM transitions in post-midterm elections

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BW/TSBASMAN

SULTAN KUDARAT, MAGUINDANAO — Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim, also chair of the former rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), cast his vote Monday, his first time to participate in national elections.

“We have always believed that the solution to the problem is a political one, not a military one. We were just forced to use weapons for survival and defense in the past,” he said in an earlier interview with BusinessWorld, remembering that the struggle started when “genocidal campaigns against the Moro people were committed” and worsened when Former President Ferdinand R. Marcos declared Martial Law.

Since the 71-year old joined what he calls the “Bangsamoro struggle” in 1969, his first participation in elections was in January this year for the ratification of Republic Act 11054, the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

As the BARMM, a fruit of the peace deal between the government and the MILF, transitions within the next three years with the elected officials in Monday’s midterm polls, Mr. Murad said they will also be preparing the MILF’s United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP) for the 2022 elections.

“UBJP will be our political wing. Everyone who will be elected to be part of that party will work towards achieving our goals,” he said.

“The problem with most of our candidates (now) is that they cannot fulfill their campaign promises because these are individual commitments, but if the program is a program of a political party, and everyone is working towards achieving the goal, that will be more viable,” he said.




When asked to comment on the recurring violent incidents and reports of vote-buying in the region, the chief minister said the BARMM government aims to address those concerns.

“This is included in our moral governance. Until we erase the evils in our system, we will have a hard time attaining progress.” — Tajallih S. Basman

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