The P25 million worth public market building constructed in Pagalungan, Maguindanao del Sur by the Bangsamoro government was opened to the public last weekend. / John Unson

Once strife-torn town now has P25 million worth market building

COTABATO CITY — An old town devastated by secessionist conflicts in decades past got a new multi-million public market building from the Bangsamoro government for local residents. This is a dividend of the Mindanao peace process.
Pagalungan Mayor Salik Mamasabulod on Friday said that he and his constituents are grateful for the Bangsamoro local government ministry for providing them with a P25 million worth public market building that regional officials turned over to last weekend.

Mamasabulod said that the public market building, jointly constructed by their municipal government and the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, is a first in Pagalungan.

Pagalungan, located near central Mindanao’s 220,000-hectare Liguasan Delta, is where the deadly clashes between Moro secessionist groups and state forces during the 1970s and, subsequently, in late 1998 and in 2003 happened.

The office of BARMM Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo has constructed at least 60 public market buildings, barangay halls and police stations in different towns in the Bangsamoro region in the past 20 months.

Sinarimbo turned over to Pagalungan municipal officials the newly-built P25 million worth public market building during a simple rite on Friday that capped off the culmination of the week-long commemoration of the 76th founding anniversary of the municipality, one of the oldest in Maguindanao del Sur.

Barangay officials told reporters that the projects of the MILG-BARMM in Pagalungan are for the tacit dividends of the peace overture between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that led to the creation of BARMM in 2019, after two decades of negotiations.

Mamasabulod said he and his constituent-leaders and the big Maguindanaon noble clans in his municipality are staunch supporters of the joint peace and development efforts of Malacañang and the BARMM regional government.