By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) governance mourns the demise of former President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III, citing his regime’s role in the peace process that led to dawning of brighter prospects for stable security and equitable growth in southern Philippines.
Shortly after the breakout of news about the death of the former 61-year old former President, BARMM Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim ordered the hoisting of official flags at half-mast in public offices in the region to include the so-called “Malacañang of the Bangsamoro” – the regional executive building here.
The 80-member Parliament of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the BARMM’s interim ruling body, passed a Thursday expressing “profound sympathy and sincere condolences” to the bereaved kin, friends and supporters of the country’s 15th President.
Three resolutions were actually introduced by members of the Parliament, but these were harmonized into one that is reflective of the BARMM’s recognition of the Aquino regime’s sealing two major peace accords in 2013 and 2014 with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the office of Speaker Pangalian Balindong said.
The two accords – the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) – have been legally translated into R. A. 11054, which the 18th Congress passed and was signed into law in July 2018 by succeeding President Rodrigo Duterte.
R.A. 11054, also known as Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), created BARMM with more autonomy and resources in replacement of the 29-year old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). President Duterte inaugurated the new autonomous government on March 29, 2019, formally installing 80 appointed personalities led by Ebrahim to administer the interim parliament and its bureaucracy.
Mr. Aquino, known as “Noynoy,” expired in the early morning of Thursday, June 24, at the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City where he was rushed on the same day for treatment of a lingering ailment initially attributed to habitual smoking.
Apart from the BTA resolution, key BTA Parliament members like Nabil Tan, Zia Alonto-Adiong and Paisalin Tago conveyed separate words of sympathy in published reports over the demise of the former President.
Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, BARMM spokesman and Local Government minister, echoed in a separate message the regional leadership’s mourning of Mr. Aquino’s demise.
“We remember with a deep sense of gratitude his contribution in establishing the self-governing political entity now called the BARMM. He was bold and brave enough (in meeting with) the then rebel and Chairman of the MILF in a third country, a first in the history of the Moro struggle. This meeting hastened the pace of the negotiations and led into the signing of the FAB and the CAB,” said Sinarimbo, a former executive secretary of ARMM.
President Duterte, whose administration is now fleshing out the mandates of the CAB and the BOL, has also issued an official statement of sympathy over his predecessor’s demise.
Other Mindanao leaders from political, military, police and civil society groups have since taken turns in conveying condolences, and thanking the country’s 15th President for all his efforts in helping bring peace in the south.
Governors Bombit Alonto-Adiong of Lanao del Sur and Nancy Catamco of North Cotabato, and Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno have ordered the hoisting of flags at half-mast in their respective turfs in support of their words of sympathy. AGM