Bangsamoro needs competent leaders to achieve genuine development, says official

MANILA, June 13 (PNA) — Bringing lasting peace and change in Mindanao is not only about money that the national government pours into the region but the quality of leaders being elected during elections, a Palace official said.

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is considered to be a failed experiment in attaining peace in the region. The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front agreed on a peace deal and an enabling law for its imposition is now being deliberated in Congress.

The national government allocated a huge amount of development fund to ARMM but the region remains poor even after many decades.

“Doon sa experience ng ARMM, makikita na hindi lang po talaga ‘yung pondo ang dapat pinag-uusapan kundi ‘yung kapasidad nang mga taong mahahalal at magtataguyod ng kapakanan ng isang rehiyon ang talagang mas importante,” Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview Saturday.

“That’s why, moving forward, remember that the crafting of the basic law, as well as the annexes, the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, and the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, as well as all the negotiations had the past in mind—how to avoid the mistakes of the past, how to make sure that we avoid the pitfalls of the past,” Valte said over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

Some lawmakers proposed revisions to the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law but Valte reiterated the government’s commitment to keep the original draft that is being subjected to the legislative processes.

The government said the MILF is scheduled next week to undergo the first phase of the decommissioning of its weapons and combatants.

The decommissioning process will be on June 16, according to peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer. President Aquino is expected to attend the event in Mindanao. (PNA)