Bangsamoro Interim Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim bangs the gong to mark the 5th Bangsamoro founding anniversary on Sunday, 21 January 2024 at the Bangsamoro Government Center in Cotabato City. Photo from Facebook page Bangsamoro Government / Hamdan Badrudin / BIO

Ebrahim calls for unity as BARMM marks 5th anniversary

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 21 January) — The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) marked its fifth of the six-year transition government, which is led by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), on Sunday, January 21.
Bangsamoro Interim Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim, also the MILF chair, banged the gong Sunday morning, symbolizing the start of the week-long celebration for the fifth founding anniversary of the Bangsamoro government at the Bangsamoro Government Center (BGC) grounds here.

The banging of the gong followed the parade participated by regional and city government workers from Governor Gutierrez Avenue until the BGC.  

In his message, Ebrahim urged the Bangsamoro people to unite, emphasizing the importance of collectively moving forward with enthusiasm and resolve. 

He highlighted the need for fostering mutual understanding, peaceful co-existence, and envisioning a shared future in the Bangsamoro.

“Let this day serve as a reminder to all of us that the path to peace and autonomy demanded several decades of persistent struggle and sacrifices, especially of the Bangsamoro Mujahideen and those who devoted themselves in ensuring the necessary conditions for enduring peace and socio-economic development in the (Bangsamoro) autonomous region,” Ebrahim said. 

This year’s celebration is themed “A Journey Towards Mutual Understanding, Peaceful Co-existence, and a Shared Future in the Bangsamoro.” 

A series of activities would be conducted by the different ministries and agencies in the BARMM from January 21 to 26, such as free legal assistance, free public rides with coffee, tree planting activities, clean-up drives,  medical missions, distribution of shelter tool kits, Land Transportation Office non-penalty for late registrations, and many more.

Ebrahim noted that “amid the challenges, BARMM is celebrating five years of vibrant progress and unity, laying the foundation for a brighter future for the Bangsamoro homeland and its people.”

BARMM was created after the plebiscites that ratified Republic Act 11054 or the Organic Law for the BARMM on January 21 and February 6, 2019.

On February 26, 2019, the then Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao turned over the reins of governance to the BARMM, which was inaugurated by then President Rodrigo Duterte on March 29, 2019.

The BARMM is governed by the 80-member Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), which is dominated by the MILF.
The creation of the Bangsamoro region is at the core of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), which the government and the MILF signed in 2014 during the Aquino III administration after 17 years of peace negotiations.
The BTA was slated to end on June 30, 2022 but Duterte signed Republic Act 11593, which resets the first Bangsamoro parliamentary elections from May 2022 to May 2025.