Maguindanao del Norte

Marcos warns against attempts to derail 2025 Bangsamoro polls 

Rommel Rebollido

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Marcos warns against attempts to derail 2025 Bangsamoro polls 

PHILIPPINE LEADER. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers a departure speech as he heads to Tokyo for the Commemorative Summit on the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation in December 2023.


President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s remarks came as civil society groups in the BARMM insisted on extending the term of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority for another three years

GENERAL SANTOS, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. warned on Monday, April 29, that the full force of the state would go after any group threatening and derailing the first Bangsamoro parliamentary elections in 2025.

“Huwag n’yo nang isipin (Don’t even think about it),” he said, adding that they better channel their efforts into helping give a better life to the Bangsamoro people.

Marcos’ remarks came as civil society groups in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) insisted on extending the term of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) for another three years and moving the elections to 2028.

Marcos was in Maguindanao del Norte on Monday to grace the commemoration rites of the 10th year anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro forged by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government in 2014.

He said the CAB is a continuing crusade for peace that should not be hinged on whims or depend on where the political winds blow.

Addressing a crowd at Camp Abubakar as-Siddique, the former camp of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Barira town, Marcos urged BARMM voters to exercise their right of suffrage in the coming first BARMM elections.

Marcos said that he would exercise “a strong political will” in ensuring smooth and credible elections, ensuring that voters in the region can freely choose their future.

“This is the fulfillment of your democratic right to realize and achieve meaningful autonomy as enshrined in the CAB,” Marcos said. “Safeguard those rights.”

Marcos had words for aspiring candidates in the elections, “We expect that you uphold the principles of Bangsamoro muna bago ang sarili (Bangsamoro first before self). Stand for a better Bangsamoro.”

While at the former main camp of the MILF, Marcos offered a wreath at the Marine Warrior Memorial to honor the 53 fallen soldiers during the all-out war in 2000 that was waged by the government during the Estrada administration.

The then-president Joseph Estrada raised the Philippine flag in the camp in July 2000 to mark its fall to government forces. He brought lechon (roasted pigs) and cases of beer to celebrate the fall of the camp. Camp Abubakar now hosts Camp Iranun, the headquarters of the 1st Marine Brigade.

Earlier in the day, Marcos led the historic graduation rites of the first batch of Moro combatants who successfully completed police basic training at Camp Salipada K. Pendatun in Parang town.

The graduating class consists of 100 trainees evenly divided between the MILF and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), 92 men, and eight women. The former guerrillas underwent a 23-week training course.

BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim said the recruitment from the ranks of the MILF and MNLF is provided for in the CAB and the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

Based on the law, the National Police Commission (Napolcom) can waive the age, height, and educational requirements for former guerrillas who wish to become policemen, subject to other existing policies and regulations.

Recruits who are accepted into the police force but lack the required educational attainment will be given 15 years to comply. Their ranks and salary grades are determined based on existing laws, rules, and regulations in the PNP. –

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