BARMM Interim Chief Minister vows to lead a ‘morally upright bureaucracy’

Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, the Interim Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), committed to lead a ‘morally upright bureaucracy’ during the turn-over ceremony of the ARMM to the BARMM held at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex, ORG Compound, Cotabato City on Tuesday (Feb 26).

“This turn-over ceremony is an occasion for everyone of us here in this hall, to bear witness that we are assuming the trust and responsibility over the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,” Al Haj Murad said.

He emphasized that as the Bangsamoro government shall take responsibility for the health of the constituents and the economic and infrastructure development of the region, he declared that, “I shall be responsible for leading a morally upright bureaucracy.” 

Al Haj Murad will lead the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) comprised of 80 representatives from various sectors of which 41 were nominated by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) which he also chairs.

The BTA will serve as the Bangsamoro region’s transitional government from 2019 to the 2022 elections.

In order to ensure that the parliament will work for a government that is free from the ills of governance, Al Haj Murad announced that they will also take oath to Allah over the Qur’an.

He related that in their Jihad (struggle) then, their enemies were oppression, exploitation, and those anti-people.

And as they enter the next level of the struggle, he said it will be more intense and more challenging citing, “Our jihad firstly will be against our own selves.” 

He identified the new enemies as graft and corruption, nepotism, and manipulation of the government.

The interim chief minister is hopeful that good governance will prevail in the system and urged the constituents of the Bansgamoro region to give their support to the new regional government.

“Without your support, we will not succeed in our Jihad,” Al Haj Murad said.

“We also believe that purity of intention for genuine service and sacrifice for the people can be the driving force for change in the BARMM, just as sincerity and perseverance had brought us this far in our struggle,” he added.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman formally handed over to the interim chief minister the responsibilities in the regional government. Hataman said he still can be reached anytime for help.

“I thank Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman for preparing the smooth transfer of the ARMM bureaucracy to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority,” Al Haj Murad said.

Present in the ceremony were the members of the BTA, MILF Central Committee members, Moro National Liberation Front officials, staff of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, ARMM officials, representatives of the international donor agencies, and representatives from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process led by Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr.

The MILF entered into peace negotiation with Government of the Philippines in 1997 and concluded the talks in March 27, 2014 with the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

The CAB provides the creation of the Bangsamoro autonomous region with more fiscal and political powers aimed to put an end to the decades of Moro insurgency in southern Philippines.