UBJP condemns killing of party official

COTABATO CITY – The United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP) denounced the killing on Friday of its official, Datu Jamael Sinsuat Jr., “as an affront not only to the UBJP but also against the instrumentalities of the government.”
“Datu Jamael was murdered on Friday as he stepped out of the mosque after the Friday congregational prayer in Poblacion Dalican, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao,” said lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, UBJP deputy secretary-general and local government minister in the Bangsamoro Autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Sinarimbo said Sinsuat was a former chair of Barangay Dalican in Datu Odin Sinsuat town and was the mayoralty candidate of the UBJP in the municipality during the last May 2022 elections.

Sinsuat ran as mayor but lost against his nephew, Datu Lester Sinsuat,  in the last elections.

“We condemn in (the) strongest terms the killing orchestrated against Datu Jamael Q. Sinsuat, Jr. in broad daylight.  We will take this as an affront not only to the UBJP but also against the instrumentalities of the government,” said Mohagher Iqbal, UBJP vice president and education minister in the BARMM.

Iqbal requested the leadership of the Police Regional Office of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO-BAR) “to immediately relieve from his post the present chief of the Datu Odin Sinsuat municipal police station for his failure to keep the peace and order in the municipality.”  

“To the bereaved family, my deepest condolences.  Rest assured that the UBJP will not turn its back to the family of a fallen comrade,”  Iqbal said.

Sinarimbo said “the UBJP notes with concern the continuing harassment and attack against its officials and party leaders since the elections and immediately thereafter.”

“We call on law enforcement agencies to conduct a swift and thorough investigation and immediately bring the perpetrators and everyone behind this to the bar of justice,” Sinarimbo said.

Earlier, Iqbal said in a statement that “the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) through its political party, the UBJP, is all set in working out to level the political playing field in the BARMM in preparation for the first parliamentary elections in 2025.”

He said their main focus is the province of Maguindanao as they want democracy to work and succeed in the region, and at the same time humanize and civilize its implementation. 

“The feudal system should already be in the dustbin of history. We want the candidates truly voted and chosen by the electorates to lead our people, not those who win through deceit, duress, vote-buying, and other foul means,” Iqbal said.

Iqbal, however, admitted that “this struggle to democratize the political playing field in the region is going to be a long haul. UBJP cannot do it alone. The national government should play its role for reason that the Philippines is not yet fully a matured democracy.”

“The international community should also extend a helping hand through the national government and the BARMM,” Iqbal said.