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Saturday, December 2, 2023

BARMM execs use Heroes Day to trade views on Maguindanao

OFFICIALS of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) have ostensibly brushed aside most comments critical of an obtaining political situation in Maguindanao del Norte but not this one on National Heroes Day.

On National Heroes’ Day, August 28, elected Vice-Governor Ainee Sinsuat of the undivided Maguindanao hailed members of the security sector and government employees as heroes of their own kind as workers in varying fields of endeavor.

Sinsuat took turns with an apparent political twist in her Heroes’ Day message, saying in Filipino that she agonized over a situation in which the employees were purportedly suffering from “delayed (processing of) salaries” in the new province.

But this was promptly dismissed in a rejoinder statement issued by BARMM’s Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) as no longer the prevailing situation, following President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s appointment of Abdulraof Macacua as governor of Maguindanao del Norte, and Sinsuat as vice-governor last April.

BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Al Hadj Murad Ebrahim has barely spoken on the same issue apart from saying the BARMM through the MILG will file a motion for reconsideration so that the Supreme Court may appreciate new facts in some supervening events.

MILG-BARMM Minister Naguib Sinarimbo hailed Sinsuat’s acceptance of her appointment as vice-governor last April, in that it helped pave the way through timely deliberations and passage of urgent provincial measures, including approval of local budget allocations for salaries and payments of goods and services by the new province.

The controversy stemmed from the Supreme Court decision released last June in which the High Tribunal’s Second Division affirmed a Petition for Mandamus which Sinsuat filed last February, asking the Court to order the Bureau of Local Government Finance of the Department of Finance “to process the appointment of Badore Alfonso as provincial treasurer or any qualified person to that position.”

With a portion, however, mentioning the Court’s concurrence to her assumption as acting governor last February, Sinsuat has apparently changed course two months after her appointment last April, and is ostensibly turning back to her February option.

A vice-governor presides over the sessions of the Provincial Board in which its members draft, proposed and pass measures adopted by the local legislature, such as local ordinances and budgetary provisions for administrative support services like salaries, as well as external operations.

Sinarimbo said to her credit Sinsuat has well-performed that function in tandem with Macacua as governor. She presided over the sessions of the Provincial Board during the two-month period that she had her Malacanang-issued appointment as vice-governor to which she was sworn-in by the President together with Macacua.

Sinarimbo said those “supervening events” would have to be considered in a motion for reconsideration which MILG lawyers will file, once they receive their official copy of the Supreme Court decision released in June.

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