Gutoc says peacebuilding in Mindanao no longer about politics
MANILA, Philippines — Otso Diretso senatorial bet Samira Gutoc has called on all stakeholders, whether from the administration or the opposition to pray for lasting peace in Mindanao amid the impending transition to a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.
Gutoc said on Friday before the oathtaking of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) officials forming the Bangsamoro Transition Authority that she is hopeful for a smooth turnover of powers.
“This crusade towards peace is no longer about politics. This is regardless of whether I’m from the opposition or not. We are one Bangsamoro, and I pray and hope that this crucial transition to BARMM would finally lead to the just and lasting peace that we’ve been looking for,” she said in a statement.
“I sincerely believe and have high hopes on the leadership of the BTA to be led by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). I call on all the MILF, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and government appointees to unite towards a peaceful and meaningful transition,” she added.
The interim leaders of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are set to be sworn in by Duterte in an event in Malacañang. The new officials will serve until 2022, or when the region holds its first election as BARMM.
The BARMM was created after residents of the former Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao voted in favor of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, ratifying the measure.
Gutoc said she hopes the president will ensure that the BTA officials would represent all sectors inside the autonomous region.
“I earlier called on President Rodrigo Duterte to make sure all sectors, all gender, all faith, all cultural groups are represented in the BTA, and I hope he did. Sana ay nagkaroon ng public, transparent and collective process of selection,” Gutoc explained.
“We now walk through this historic and landmark journey. Ang kinabukasan ng BARMM ay nasa kamay na ng BTA. I call on each of its member to always represent the poor, the vulnerable, the powerless in all the legislation that they will craft,” she added.
She also noted the importance of this chance to ensure lasting peace in the war-torn land.
“Huwag natin hahayaan na may maeetsapwera tayong kapatid (Let us not allow our brothers and sisters to be left out). This is our chance to correct the historical injustices in the past,” she said.
Gutoc, who hails from Marawi City in Lanao del Sur, was a former member of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission. She quit after the President made a series of rape jokes. In several instances in the past, she called on the government to assist the people from Marawi who were affected by the siege in May 2017. /ee
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