11 Maguindanao mayors join MILF political party | Inquirer News
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11 Maguindanao mayors join MILF political party

/ 11:10 AM May 13, 2021

COTABATO CITY –– Eleven municipal mayors in Maguindanao have joined the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP), the first bulk of local officials in the province to have joined the political party organized by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“Many local executives are now seeking membership in the UBJP. This is an indication that our political party is strong,” said lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, Minister of the Interior and Local Government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and UBJP deputy secretary-general.

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The UBJP was established in 2014 after the signing of the peace pact between the MILF and the government. It obtained formal registration from the Commission on Elections in 2015.

But whether the new political party would participate in next year’s local and national elections remained to be seen as proposals to postpone the regional elections to give way to an extended Bangsamoro transition period are still pending in Congress.

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The Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) sets the first regular election in the Bangsamoro during the synchronized local and national elections next year.

BARMM leaders, along with various local government units and civil society organizations, have been seeking the extension of the Bangsamoro transition period for another three years after it ends next year.

Among the mayors who joined the MILF’s political party are Datu Shameem Mastura of Sultan Kudarat town, Abdulrauf Mastura of Sultan Mastura town, Abolais Manalao of Buldon, Abdulraof Tomawis of Barira, Mohammad-Ali Guro of Matanog, Cahar Ibay of Parang, Ramil Dilangalen of Northern Kabuntalan, Salaban Diocolano of Kabuntalalan, Cherry Lu Sinsuat of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Ramon Piang Sr. of Upi, and Marshall Sinsuat of Datu Blah Sinsuat.

“We congratulate the new members who took their oath before the Party president, BARMM Chief Minister Ahod ‘Al Haj Murad’ Ebrahim,” Sinarimbo said.

Ebrahim also congratulated the new members and urged them to play an important role in the push for moral governance in the Bangsamoro region.

“Last month, the entire elected provincial officials of the province of Tawi-Tawi, including the mayors of their municipalities and their Sanggunian members, took their oath as members of the UBJP,” Sinarimbo added.

Asked whether the UBJP was now gearing for the 2022 elections, Sinarimbo said they were ready, but they preferred that there would be no election yet so that their attention would not be diverted from the delivery of basic services to the people in the BARMM.

When the local officials took their oath as UBJP members last May 8 in the MILF’s Camp Darapanan, among those present were Member of Parliament Datu Tocao Mastura, former Mayor Datu Armando Mastura of Sultan Mastura, and Maguindanao Vice Governor Datu Lester Sinsuat.

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TAGS: Local officials, Maguindanao, MILF, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, municipal mayors, political party, UBJP, United Bangsamoro Justice Party
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