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BARMM's chief minister voting for 2nd time since joining government

NDBC BANTAY HALALAN 2022 • 10:15 AM Mon May 13, 2019
John Unson
BARMM Chief Minister Al Haj Murad Ebrahim cast his votes at Simuay Junction Elementary School in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. (MILF photo)

MAGUINDANAO -- Bangsamoro Interim Chief Minister Hadji Ahod Ebrahim voted for favored candidates Monday, an exercise he never believed in until the Moro Islamic Liberation Front forged a peace deal with Malacañang.
Murad, chairman of the MILF, is a registered voter in Barangay Simuay in Sultan Kudarat town in the first district of Maguindanao.

“I voted for provincial, congressional and senatorial candidates according to what my heart told me. I voted for candidates with good service records and are dedicated to serving people,” Ebrahim said.

The mayor, vice mayor and councilors in Sultan Kudarat are all seeking reelection unopposed.

Ebrahim first exercised his right of suffrage during the January 21 plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (Republic Act 11054), the enabling measure for the replacement of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with an MILF-led Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The creation of the parliament-style BARMM was premised on two compacts between the government and the MILF --- the 2012 Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro and, subsequently, the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro.

Ebrahim, most known by his nom de guerre “Hadji Murad,” said he has never participated in any electoral exercise since he went underground, yet a 19-year-old student, to join the Moro secessionist movement in the early 1970s.

He started as a field commander in the Moro National Liberation Front but bolted in the early 1980s, along with Ustadz Salamat Hashim, an Islamic theologian trained at the Al-Azzar University in Cairo, Egypt who was to become founder of the MILF.

“Life has changed. We are now pursuing a struggle for peace, Moro recognition and sustainable development in the Bangsamoro region via governance and equitable sharing of power among the local Muslim, Christian and Lumad communities,” Ebrahim said.

Ebrahim, appointed chief minister of BARMM, took over the ARMM government from its regional governor, Mujiv Hataman, last February after the ratification of the BOL that paved the way for the setting up of the Bangsamoro regional government.

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