Mindanao leaders oppose inclusion in Bangsamoro

Two Mindanao political leaders are advocating the “no” vote to the Bangsamoro Organic Law in the forthcoming plebiscites.

Lanao del Norte Rep. Khalid Dimaporo said his province is not part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which he said failed to govern itself professionally and deliver its promises of improving the quality of life of its constituents. 

The proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao might just be a continuation of the old ARMM system, Dimaporo said.

Cotabato City Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani likewise said leaders from various sectors oppose the creation of the new region.

The first plebiscite day is scheduled on Jan. 19 in ARMM, Cotabato and Isabela cities. 

The second voting day will be held on Feb. 6 in Lanao del Norte (except for Iligan City) and North Cotabato.

Dimaporo said he is not in favor of an independent government which lacks transparency and accountability, shows biases for ethnic groups and implements Islamic-based laws that are practiced in other Muslim countries which are too harsh for the local culture. 

“We don’t want to take a chance,” he said. “Bangsamoro might be a repeat of ARMM.”

The solon cited Marawi, Lanao del Sur as an example of long years of neglect that resulted in the penetration of the Maute and ISIS terrorist groups

“The MILF wanted to create the Bangsamoro. They didn’t address the national power. Everything will be controlled by the local government units. It merely adds another layer of bureaucracy,” he said.   

“Bangsamoro will be having a system of kanya-kanyang mundo (to each to his own). The LGUs can have their Internal Revenue Allotment, the congressman can get funds from the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the regional government will get the block grant. Money will be spent the way they please. Projects will overlap. How do you account for them? That was the problem with ARMM which ended up with ghost projects.”

“We don’t want to be a part of that system. We’d rather deal with Malacañang than deal with another layer of bureaucracy,” Dimaporo said.

Topics: Bangsamoro Organic Law , Khalid Dimaporo , Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao , Frances Cynthia Guiani
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