MILF chief assumes gov’t post as BARMM chief

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COTABATO CITY – The leader of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is now officially a government official after he assumed on Tuesday the leadership of the expanded autonomous region in southern Philippines.

In a turn-over ceremony, MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim assumed the top post of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) from ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Center here.

The historic event was witnessed by Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and more than 5,000 Bangsamoro people.

Hataman turned over his post to Ebrahim, including the assets and liabilities of the regional bureaucracy. After which, the outgoing governor delivered an emotional farewell speech.

“Let us now unite, do away with tribalism, Muslims, Christians and (Indigenous Peoples), let us all unite now under this Bangsamoro government,” a teary-eyed Hataman said in his speech.

The BARMM is the result of more than 20 years of peace negotiations between Manila and the MILF. After assuming the post, Ebrahim announced some of his regional cabinet members who will help him run the affairs of the new political entity.

Ebrahim assured ARMM civil government workers that they shall remain in office in the meantime but those who are co-terminus with the elected officials may go.

“All those in the bureaucracy will remain intact,” Ebrahim said as the current ARMM employees who feared of losing jobs when the new leaders assume office lauded his statement.

Ebrahim said the new government will be inaugurated next month, as the first session of the BARMM parliament will also take place in March. Ebrahim, in a concurrent capacity, would be BARMM’s Minister of Public Works and Highways. Other appointees include Architect Eduard Guerra, Minister of Finance, Budget and Management; Atty. Raissa Jajurie, Minister of Social Services;

Mohagher Iqbal, Minister of Basic, Higher and Technical Education; Dr. Zafrullah Dipatuan, Minister of Health; Timuay Melanio Ulama, Minister of Indigenous Peoples Affairs; Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo, Minister of Local Government; Abdoraof Macacua, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources; Mohammad Suwaib Yacob, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform; and Hussein Munoz, Minister of Public Order and Safety.-PNA

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