Al Haj Murad agrees with Iqbal’s comparison of “unity in diversity with a rainbow”

Kabacan, North Cotabato-MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim in his message agreed with the citation of Mohagher Iqbal, Chairman of the MILF Peace Implementing Panel who said during his message that, “unity in diversity is like a rainbow which has 8 colors but looks beautiful due to their corroborating role to each other.”  

The example can be applied in our situation under the sphere of unity in diversity. This means our identity is Bangsamoro as compared to the mainstream Filipino identity but our citizenship is still Filipino. 

Al Haj Murad also underscored the challenges beyond which is faced by his leadership under the future Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). 

He said: there must be change in the system which means the Bangsamoro people must be recipients of the benefits from the government and not only the governing few. 

Iqbal for his part, shed light on the injustices perpetrated by past regimes against the Bangsamoro people on the belief that the painful truth shall cure the social ill. Among those he enumerated are the lands which the Bangsamoro owned was 98% in the past but now only very little is left. Among others are: Internal development is less in them, self-interest is demonstrated by many national leaders towards them, and the mother of all poverty which is war has been prevalent on their midst. The healing process to eradicate them is the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) once ratified. 

The statements were made during the North Cotabato Multi-Sectoral Assembly for the Ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) held on January 19, 2019 at the University of Southern Mindanao, Kabacan, Cotabato.

Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. of the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Peace Process (OPAPP) reiterated his strong support to the Yes Vote to BOL as this is once only in a lifetime. 

Congresswoman Nancy Catamco, an IP solon from North Cotabato exhorted everyone to vote yes to the BOL like what she had done in Congress during the passage of the same law.

Datu Muslimen Sema of the MNLF Bangsamoro People’s Congress told the audience that the BOL is a product of the blood and tears of the Bangsamoro people, hence its ratification is indispensable. 

BTC Chairman and MILF 1st Vice Chairman Ghazali Jaafar assured the crowd that Bangsamoro can be good leader because, he demonstrated it in the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) along with lawyers, doctors and other professionals in his Commission. 

Other VIPs present in the assembly were: Congressman Jose “Ping ping” Tejada, Gov. Lala Taliño-Mendoza, Carmen Mayor Roger Taliño, North Board Member Mohammad “Kelly” Antao, Board Member Dulia Sultan, Kabacan Mayor Herlo Guzman, Jr., Pikit Mayor Sumulong Sultan, and Matalam Mayor Cheche Valdevieso. Datu Tong Paglas, and Datu Masla Mantawil are also in the crowd.

Members of the academe who also graced the assembly were: USM President Francisco Gil N. Garcia, Vice President Dr. Palasig U. Ampang, another Vice President Dr. Alimen W. Sincel, Director of Instruction Dr. Abubakar A. Murray, and former Cotabato City State Polytechnic College President Dr. Dingan Ali.

MILF Front Commanders, Brigade Commanders, Battalion Bommanders, other officers and men served as unarmed security in the gathering. Also AFP and Police officers and men acted as armed security forces. There are more than 250,000 individuals on record who attended the gathering.