Photo courtesy by MILF chairman Official facebook.

Newly elected Sulu governor Tan changes stance, pledges support to BARMM

Cotabato City – Cognizant of the fact that the ‘people have (already) spoken,’ Sulu governor-elect Abdusakur Tan pledged support to the newly established Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“Since it (BARMM) is already here, it is not right for us not to support it because we will suffer. We cannot afford to suffer for the next three years, six years or nine years,” Tan said partly in Filipino.

Tan served as governor of Sulu from 2007 to 2013.  He ran for the position of regional governor in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), in the 2016 national and local elections but lost.

The governor-elect attended the orientation and training seminar for newly-elected local chief executives held in the BARMM in Cotabato City on June 16 to17.

In the plebiscite held last January 21 for the ratification of Republic Act 11054 otherwise known as the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OLBARMM) or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), only the province of Sulu rejected the ratification of the law. 

The other provinces in the ARMM such as Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan (except Isabela City) and Tawi-tawi as well as Cotabato City voted for the ratification of the BOL. 

Sulu, however, could not opt out of the BARMM because its votes were counted along with the other provinces which composed the ARMM that overwhelmingly ratified the BOL.

Citing questions on constitutionality, Gov. Abdusakur Tan II, who is the incoming Sulu vice governor, filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with a request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) before the Supreme Court a few months before the plebiscite. The high tribunal is yet to decide on the case.

“I’m very happy that the incoming Sulu governor expressed his willingness to cooperate and be a partner of the Bangsamoro government,” said BARMM Chief Minister Ahod ‘Al Hajj Murad’ Ebrahim.

Ebrahim cited the importance of unity and collaboration among local officials to meet the Bangsamoro people’s high expectations in the BARMM.

 BARMM Minister for Local Government Naguib Sinarimbo said they organized the orientation and training seminar for incoming local chief executives in the BARMM to call for their support to and adopt “moral governance” to improve the conditions of the new autonomous region. 

Come June 30, the newly elected local chief executives will assume their respective offices.