Starting a revolutionary govt was very challenging, while running a govt is more problematic- Ebrahim

Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao- Starting a revolutionary organization was “talagang (really) very challenging” but “it has run for decades already so wala na masyadong problema” (there’s not much problem), said MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim told Mindanews in a sit down interview at Camp Darapanan on Sunday (Sept. 8).

Ebrahim is also the interim Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“Running a government bureaucracy, however, is “mas (more) problematic. Triple yung feeling ko. Tatlong beses” (Three times), “ Ebrahim told Mindanews during the interview.

Ebrahim admits it’s difficult to run a government because “walang experience” in governance (we don’t have experience) but he draws from their experience in the MILF as a revolutionary organization. “Leadership din ang main factor,” Mindanews quoted him saying.

He explained that within the MILF, they have “always been practicing consultative and collective leadership so up to the BARMM” that is what they are following.

In the early days of BARMM, Ebrahim met the Cabinet twice a week. Now, he says he meets with the Cabinet once a week and reports to the Parliament once a month.

Decision-making, he says, “always comes from the Cabinet.”

“We decide collectively in the Cabinet,” said Ebrahim who lives and works in the BARMM compound on weekdays and in Camp Darapanan on weekends to attend to his other role as MILF chair.

Ebrahim’s Cabinet is composed mostly of the MILF’s Central Committee who are also in the BTA, and those who have been with the MILF peace process for years.

The RA 11054 that was passed by Congress in August last year, says that, “the national government shall provide an annual block grant which shall be the share of the Bangsamoro Government in the national internal revenue tax collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and collections of the Bureau of Customs.”

The law also mandates the national government to provide the BARMM an Special Development Fund (SDF) for the “rebuilding, rehabilitation, and development of its conflict-affected communities.”

The SDF is 50 billion pesos at 5 billion per year for 10 years and will be used in accordance with the Bangsamoro Deelopment Plan. 

The BARMM is a product of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the government, and the MILF on August 27, 2014.