MILF’s party flexing muscles for 2022 polls | Inquirer News
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MILF’s party flexing muscles for 2022 polls

/ 12:52 PM October 01, 2021

COTABATO CITY––With the regional parliamentary elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) postponed to 2025, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will focus its political forces on local contests in the 2022 polls.

MILF chief Ahod ‘Al Haj Murad’ Ebrahim, also president of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP), recently announced an initial list of candidates they would support in Maguindanao province.

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They are Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu for governor, former Maguindanao Rep. Bai Sandra Sema for vice governor, incumbent Maguindanao 1st District Rep. Datu Roonie Q. Sinsuat, and Datu Jamael Sinsuat for mayor of Datu Odin Sinsuat town.

“Our criteria for choosing candidates to support was their stance and support for the cause of the Bangsamoro government and its eventual extension,” Ebrahim told reporters.

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He cited Mangudadatu, who authored the bill extending the Bangsamoro transition period, and Sema, who was among those who authored the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

BARMM Interior Minister Naguib Sinarimbo, UBJP deputy secretary-general, said the four politicians have joined the party recently.

“These officials have shown their consistent support to the organization both during the enactment of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, as well as the push for the extension of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority,” Sinarimbo said.

“The party pledged to mobilize all its resources and strength to ensure that its candidates will win. The party will ensure that all and every elective post in Maguindanao and Cotabato City will be fielded with its official candidates,” Sinarimbo added.

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.

It is the main vehicle of the MILF for participating in the democratic electoral process as part of its commitment to the 2014 peace agreement.

Last May, 11 Maguindanao municipal mayors also joined the UBJP, which has 170,000 members.

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Sinarimbo said they would also seek to deny votes for those who opposed their advocacies, especially to the BTA extension.

The UBJP’s first experience in a political exercise was during the 2019 referendum to ratify the BOL that saw 63 villages in Cotabato province and Cotabato City added to the territory of the autonomous region.

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TAGS: 2022 polls, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, BARMMm Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Local Polls, MILF, Politics, regional parliamentary elections, Regions
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